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Financial Analysis for Business Decisions: Cash Flow Management

Explore fundamental aspects of cash flow management, from cash conversion cycles to short-term financing

Financial Analysis for Business Decisions: Cash Flow Management
  • Duration4 weeks
  • Weekly study4 hours
  • 100% onlineTry this course for free
  • Included in an ExpertTrackCourse 2 of 3
  • Get full ExpertTrack access$39/month

Do you need to improve cash flow management within your organisation? Financial analysis plays a central role in data-driven decision making in our current analytics-orientated age.

In this financial management course, you’ll learn how financial analysis can be applied to various aspects of cash flow management.

You will learn:

  • how to calculate working capital, cash conversion cycles, and bond and stock valuations
  • best practice accounting policy related to accounts payable (AP), accounts receivable (AR) and inventory
  • how to raise short-term financing
  • how to raise capital with stocks and bonds vs. investment

The finance and accounting skills you learn in this course will enable you to take a data-led approach to cash flow management. This will empower you to lead data-driven decision making related to incomings and outgoings in your or your clients’ organisations.

Make better business decisions with financial analysis

You will explore key elements of cash flow management on this course. These include how to calculate working capital, cash conversion cycles, and stock and bond valuations.

You will consider accounting policy, looking at best practice related to AP, AR, and inventory management.

Using financial analysis, you will learn how to take a sound, data-driven approach to business decisions related to these areas. You will be able to approach these aspects of cash flow management with confidence.

Explore how to raise capital through different channels

This financial management course will also consider the question of how to raise capital. You’ll learn approaches to raising short-term financing to meet an organisation’s immediate needs. Such needs can emerge unexpectedly or in relation to external events, being able to raise short-term financing can therefore be pivotal.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Introduction to the course and working capital analysis

    • Welcome to the course

      You will be introduced to the characteristics of working capital and how to effectively manage working capital, as well as the assessment structure for this course.

    • Working capital analysis

      Is your company financially healthy? A working capital analysis can unveil details. You are about to explore more about this.

    • Cash conversion cycle (CCC)

      Cash conversion cycle is the time a firm takes to convert investment in inventory to cash generated from sales. The shorter the better; you are about to explore an excellent tool to measure liquidity of a company.

    • Accounts receivable (AR)

      Have you ever encountered overdue payments or non-payments from your clients? You will learn how accounts receivable, also called AR, plays a fundamental role to solve the problem.

    • Wrap-up

      To complete the week, test your knowledge of this week's content and recap the learning outcomes for the week.

  • Week 2

    Accounts payable and short-term financing

    • Introduction

      You will be introduced to the characteristics of working capital and how to effectively manage working capital.

    • Inventories

      What is the role of an inventory in a business? Learn about its importance and more. You also will get a chance to perform basic inventory calculations.

    • Accounts payable (AP)

      Where AR was all about receiving delayed payments, you will explore how AP is all about letting out delayed payments; you will be learning more about what AP is and why it's important.

    • Sources of short-term financing

      A firm won’t always match cash inflows and outflows. Shortfalls can be bridged through various sources of financing. You will now learn some popular short-term financing options available through banks and other institutions.

    • Wrap-up

      Good job! You’ve now completed Week 2. Test your knowledge and reflect on what you've learned.

  • Week 3

    Long-term financing

    • Introduction

      You will be introduced to a the basic financial investment option: bonds – including the issue of bonds, identifying the types of bonds, and the calculation of bond valuation.

    • Bonds

      Learn more about bonds, a long-term financing option.

    • Wrap-up

      Good job! You’ve now completed Week 3. Here is a wrap-up of what you learned.

  • Week 4

    Capital markets

    • Introduction

      In this final week, you will be introduced to how to approach financial modelling, including the considerations that are required for your business case.

    • Stocks

      Discover how stocks can be used as a long-term financing instrument.

    • Investments and special topics

      Learn about how stocks and bonds can be used as investments, as well as other emerging options for long-term financing.

    • Course wrap-up

      Wow! You’ve now completed Week 4. Complete your graded course test and reflect on what you've learned.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Calculate working capital, cash conversion cycle, bond and stock valuations
  • Describe best practice AP, AR and inventory policies
  • Describe ways an organisation can bridge their short term financing needs
  • Differentiate between how stocks and bonds are used to raise money vs investment

Who is the course for?

This course is for those who want to support data-driven decision making based on financial analysis. You could be a finance professional seeking career advancement or better communication skills, or a manager looking to strengthen key finance skills.

What software or tools do you need?

During the course we’ll be using Tableau Public and Excel. If you don’t have Excel, you might find this online version useful.

We recommend you use a computer to access this course.

Who will you learn with?

Commercially focused Finance Director / CFO with experience working with fast growth online SMEs in different sectors, including two successful exits (Amazon acquisition & Funding Circle’s IPO)

Who developed the course?

FutureLearn

The social learning platform with hundreds of online courses from a quarter of the world’s top universities.

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About this ExpertTrack

Discover how to use financial analysis to support data-driven decision making, in three financial management courses.

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After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
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  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends