Online Microcredential in Business & Management

Business Management: Financial Accounting for Non-Financial Roles

Develop your accounting skills and knowledge to interpret financial statements, measure performance and assess financial health.

Created by

The Open UniversityThe Open University

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Gain the knowledge to understand financial reports with The Open University

Designed for non-financial professionals, this course will give you the confidence to analyse financial information and understand accounting terminology effectively. You’ll learn how to interpret financial data, empowering you to make well-informed decisions about a business.

During the course you’ll develop skills to make sense of annually published financial accounting statements that are presented to internal and external stakeholders, such as statements of financial performance, financial position and cash flows, in order to help you measure and assess performance, financial health, cash, and working capital.

Real-world insight from industry experts

This microcredential has been created and written by highly qualified professionals with practical experience in business accounting. It uses realistic case studies and published financial statements that will bring your learning to life and ensure that the skills you develop can be applied in a practical way to a diverse range of sectors and organisations.

You’ll learn at your own pace around other life commitments, with the time to reflect and put your skills into practice as you progress through the course. At the end, you’ll be able to immediately apply your newly gained knowledge and have the confidence to contribute to financial discussions and decision-making.

Why are financial accounting skills important for your career development?

Making good business decisions is vital for any successful organisation. This microcredential will support your development so you can do just that.

Focusing on how to interpret financial reports, rather than how to construct them, this course will help you gain meaning from data so you can be sure you are making the best choices for your business to thrive.

Throughout the course you’ll take part in weekly activities to support and consolidate your learning. At the end of the course, you’ll submit an assessment which is marked and graded with personalised feedback, by subject matter experts.

Learn from experts at The Open University

This microcredential has been created by experts from The Open University’s Business School. Its academics have vast experience in the delivery of online business modules, in fact it is one of only 100 business schools in the world to hold the ‘triple crown’ of triple-accredited status with EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA. Fewer than 1% of all business schools worldwide have been awarded this accreditation.

Discover more of The Open University’s Business and Management microcredentials – designed to provide you with key leadership and management skills that will set you up for career success.

Choose from Fundamentals of Management Accounting, Marketing Principles and Practice, Improving Organisational Practice, Project Management and People Management and Leadership.

Industry statistics

  • Median base salary

  • UK job openings/month


What skills will you learn?

  • Financial literacy
  • Cash-flow analysis
  • Spreadsheet use and manipulation
  • Communication
  • Financial management
  • Decision-making
  • Financial performance and analysis

What you will achieve

By the end of the microcredential, you’ll be able to...

  • Interpret financial accounting reports with confidence
  • Assess financial reports and suggest how to enhance performance, and manage financial health, risk, and resilience
  • Classify cash flows into operating, investing, financing activities and describe their impact on the financial health of a business
  • Identify who uses accounting information and what they need from it
  • Explain the value of financial statements

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

This is an introductory course, and no previous knowledge of accounting is required. You do not require any specific experience or qualifications to enrol.

The course draws on practical examples from many industries. It has a global focus and delivers transferable skills for diverse sectors and organisations.

The course material does not assume that learners are currently working. Past experiences will be just as relevant.

Is this microcredential right for you?

This microcredential will increase your confidence to interpret financial statements and make informed decisions about business performance. In particular, it will help:

  • Non-financial and emerging managers from any discipline
  • Stakeholders interested in how businesses are performing
  • Professionals who would like to progress to management level
  • Professionals who are new to financial management but lack formal qualifications
  • Senior professionals looking to develop financial accounting skills
  • Self-employed professionals looking to develop skills and knowledge of financial accounting


What happens before, during, and after your microcredential

  • Before learning

    You’ll have access to our online welcome area where you’ll be able to read any information relating to your microcredential.

  • Course

    From 28 Oct 2024

    Business Management: Financial Accounting for Non-Financial Roles

    Develop your accounting skills and knowledge to interpret financial statements, measure business performance and financial health.

    10 weeks

    10 hours per week

  • After learning

    Your submitted assessment will be marked and graded by subject matter experts and you’ll also receive personalised feedback on your work. You’ll continue to have ongoing access to the course materials.

What you will receive

10 UK credits at Undergraduate level from The Open University and a Certificate

Academic credits are awarded on passing the final assessment. These will be at undergraduate level 6 of the Framework for Higher Education (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) / level 10 of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.

Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.

What is a microcredential?

Microcredentials are designed to upskill you for work in rapidly-growing industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Your microcredential can stand alone as an independent credential, and some also offer academic credit to use towards a degree.

Learn online with expert instructors

Complete online courses led by experts over multiple weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.

Complete project-based assessments

Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.

Earn a professional credential

Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.

Advance further in your career

Use your microcredential as evidence of your specialised skills and progress further in your industry.

Career-focused learning by The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Delivered by experts

Paul is a Chartered Accountant, an Open University Associate Lecturer (since 2006), and author of accounting module materials. He was awarded SFHEA for his teaching leadership in October 2017.

Elaine is a Certified Accountant and has worked for a variety of blue-chip companies. She is an Open University Associate Lecturer (since 2018) and is an Associate Fellow (AFHEA)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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When would you like to start?

We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Join on the date that suits you or register to hear about future runs and updates.

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We can accept payments made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal via our online system.

You will have 14 days from the day the course starts to apply for a refund. If this Microcredential has any non-refundable costs they will be stated in the ‘Overview’ section above. You can find more information in our cancellation and refund policy.

Microcredentials are designed to fit around your life and timezone.

There may be live events as part of your studies, but these will be recorded and can be watched afterwards if you aren’t online for the live broadcast.

No, microcredentials are designed to be taken anywhere in the world. You won’t need the right to study in the country where the university offering the microcredential is based.

Microcredentials are stand-alone courses designed to meet specific learner and employer needs. Those awarded by The Open University have academic credit value at either undergraduate or postgraduate level, and, if appropriate, this may be used towards selected Open University qualifications. For more details, including eligible qualifications, visit The Open University’s Counting microcredentials towards OU qualifications page.

The credit awarded may potentially be used at another university, subject to the agreement of the receiving institution.

Want to know more? Read the microcredential FAQs, or contact us.