Finance for the Non-finance Executive

Accounting, financial processes, and the interpretation of numbers

> Target audienceKey benefitsKey topicsMeet the staff

Managers in multifaceted organizations are seldom encouraged to consider their value-chain position or the value created by all the players involved. Indeed, many executives are not confident in their knowledge of the underlying principles and practical applications of basic investment-appraisal techniques.

This innovative, action-oriented, hands-on program in English language is designed for non-financial managers who wish to learn how accounting and financial processes work, and how to interpret the powerful messages that can emerge from the numbers. Finance for the Non-finance Executive (FIN) focuses on identifying and removing financial management roadblocks and helps establish a sustainable program on financial discipline and awareness.

As an alternative a longer program we offer the German language program “Betriebswirtschaft für Führungskräfte” (BTN); and as another finance program we would also recommend the German language programs “Mergers & Acquisitions” (M&A) and “Controlling für Führungskräfte” (CTR)


Target audience

Senior or mid-level managers from a non-financial background interested in gaining a better understanding of financial principles.


Key Benefits

  • gain a deeper understanding of profit-and-loss accounts, balance sheets, and cash-flow statement operations
  • learn to identify relevant costs and revenues
  • obtain a firm grasp on finance
  • communicate their financial goals to others
  • receive a solid network of global contacts


Key topics

  • Developing awareness of external financial markets and their effects on management decisions
  • Explaining relationships between revenue and costs and asset management; how return on capital employed (ROCE) is built from these two components; and how profit differs from cash
  • Forensic analysis of cash-flow statements to predict financial stress
  • Understanding the basic valuation framework surrounding investment decisions; measuring consequences of time adjustment, amounts of relevant cash flow, and risks
  • Introducing new techniques in cost measurement, such as activity-based costing and value-chain analysis; discussing the relevance of these tools
  • Effective cooperation with internal and external financial specialists



“It was a very interesting and informative week. I would especially highlight the sessions with Prof Lothian, because he manages to convey financial topics in a lively, humorous, and practical way. ESMT and Berlin are both well worth a visit.”

Bernhard Kuhnt, Director of European Operations, Jaguar Land Rover


Meet the teaching staff

Jörg Rocholl (Program Director)

has been the president of ESMT Berlin since July 2011. He joined ESMT in July of 2007 as an associate professor. In July 2010 he was promoted to full professor and was awarded the first EY Chair in Governance and Compliance. In September 2010 he was named the associate dean of faculty and in April 2011, dean of faculty. Jörg holds both his PhD in Finance and Economics and his MPhil from Columbia Business School, and received his “Diplom-Ökonom mit Auszeichnung” (Economics degree with distinction) from Witten/Herdecke University in Germany.


Niall Lothian

is a visiting lecturer at ESMT and a professor for accounting and control at the Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland; a member of the international visiting faculty of INSEAD, Fontainebleau; and a former president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. Niall´s research and consulting interests lie in both financial reporting and managerial accounting and control. He has led seminars and managerial briefings for a number of multinationals in Europe and the East Asia, including joint ventures in China. He was honored by the Queen in the New Year’s Honours 2012 by being made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to corporate and civic governance in Scotland.