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This content is taken from the Coventry University's online course, An Introduction to Financial Management in Construction. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsIt was 7:00am. As was his routine works contractor Joe Short turned up at his construction site even before his hired crew. He and his team were working overtime with completion deadlines looming quickly. This work for construction giant Carillion meant a lot for Joe but what he did not expect this morning, was not having access to the site. His gate pass did not seem to work. After several attempts, Joe called the work supervisor at Carillion but to his utter shock and surprise he was told that all work had been stopped since this morning. In fact, Carillion had ordered work to stop across all its sites around the world. They had no money. Carillion had declared itself bankrupt.

Skip to 1 minute and 0 secondsOver the next few days and weeks, thousands of employees of Carillion, including external contractors big and small, like Joe Short, found themselves unpaid. Some with mounting debts because they had invested in Carillion’s activities. It shook the foundations of the construction industry in the UK and around the world. But how can a behemoth like Carillion collapse without warning? Finance is key in the construction business. If you do not keep a close eye on it, the best held plans will come to nothing. “Hi, I am Dr Andrew Arewa, over the next 10 weeks I will be your lead educator guiding you through an exploration of key financial questions faced by directors and managers of construction firms.

Skip to 1 minute and 56 secondsQuestions such as: What is the company’s profit at the end of the year? Which project should a firm or individual invest their money? How should investment portfolio be developed? How hardy is the firm? What are profit and wealth maximisation? I will be guiding you on

Skip to 2 minutes and 18 secondsthe analysis of financial relationship with provider of finance on topics such as basic accounting principles, accounting conversions, interpretation of financial statement, profit ability analysis, discounted cash flow analysis, liquidity management, financial planning and projecting, the precision of asset, cash flow analysis, evaluation management, project strategic finance management and end value analysis. Principal investment question first by individual and corporate entities such as in which assets should an individual or entity invest their money? How should investment portfolio be constructed? Each week contain video, articles, discussion that will help you develop knowledge and basic skills and appreciation in financial management and accounting, thereby gaining appreciation of accounting functions. There will also be opportunity for you to discuss your idea with other students on the course.

Skip to 3 minutes and 28 secondsLearn from the experience and point of views. You will be exposed to knowledge of different professionals from the construction industry. You are invited to think about your idea on a weekly basis and create your own project with me. I am hoping perhaps by the end of this course, you will have such good understanding of finance management that you will be able to explain to your friend, Joe why his client Carillion went bust. Welcome to your course. See you in the next step.”

Welcome to the course

Watch Dr Andrew Oyen Arewa, Senior Lecturer Quantity Surveying and Project Management at Coventry University, introduce you to the key topics that you will be exploring over the next two weeks.

The importance of financial management in any project cannot be underestimated. Understanding this concept in terms of the construction industry will be our main focus over the next two weeks.

This course not only introduces you to a broad view of accounting but discusses the unique nature of financial management in construction. We will examine real-life case studies and explore the consequences when adequate accounting and bookkeeping systems aren’t implemented.

This week

Through this week’s activities you will:

  • Get an overview of the basic principles and terms used in accounting
  • Explore the role of the project manager and tracking finances
  • Examine the objectives of financial management
  • Learn about the implications of poor financial tracking and what can go wrong

We look forward to exploring this topic with you over the next two weeks, as well as providing you with the tools to understand how you might improve your area of practice.

This short course is an introductory two-week course for a program in Financial and Asset Management which forms part of the MSc in Construction and Project Cost Management and Construction Management with BIM online degrees at Coventry University, delivered on FutureLearn.

Your task

What are you most looking forward to during this course?

Share your thoughts with your fellow learners in the comments area below.

Remember, you can ‘like’ and bookmark posts to help you refer back to them at a later stage.

Meet the team

Your lead educator is Dr Andrew Oyen Arewa, senior lecturer in quantity surveying and project management at Coventry University.

Dr Andrew Oyen Arewa

Your associate lecturer is Pauline, an experienced construction industry professional, who will guide you through the program and help you make sense of it.

You can follow them and see any comments they make via their FutureLearn profile pages.

Checking your progress

When you reach the end of a step and have understood everything, click the ‘mark as complete’ button. This will update your progress page and will help you to keep track of which steps you’ve done. Any steps you’ve completed will turn blue on your ‘to do’ list.

You can check your progress page by clicking the icon at the top of the step. There you’ll see what percentage of the course steps you’ve marked as complete.

Learning together

Don’t forget to share your thoughts on the task in the comments area and ‘like’ or reply to posts you find useful or interesting.

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This video is from the free online course:

An Introduction to Financial Management in Construction

Coventry University