Centre for Continuing Education

Financial Decision-Making Course for Managers

Finance. Boost your financial know-how.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

This next-level finance course shows managers how to make decisions using their organisation’s financial information. You will learn to read, interpret, test and take action using the language and techniques of finance to support your strategic decisions.

This course will teach you to model, forecast, and plan for the financial impact of your decisions and help you stand out as a leader in your organisation. We will delve into the financial measures used to manage and judge organisational performance, identifying some key financial measures and understanding what they mean to the business. We will also cover longer-term financial decisions, and how to judge the financial performance of projects and purchases.

Please note: this class is intended as a follow-on from Finance Course for the Non-Financial Manager and it is recommended that you are familiar with the concepts included in the learning outcomes of that course as a prerequisite to this course.


We want to empower you to confidently make financial decisions, knowing how to read and interpret financial information, and test your ideas before presenting them to stakeholders. This course also aims to teach you financial language in a practical context, so that you can effectively present the outcomes of your decision-making to shareholders, investors, lenders, funders and donors.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • describe the “Flow of Finance” and its importance for all management decisions
  • calculate break-even point and forecast profit or loss using Cost/Volume/Profit (CVP) analysis
  • judge the impact of purchasing and pricing decisions
  • quantify the relationship between money, time, and risk
  • apply the concepts of Net Present Value, Payback Period, and Internal Rate of Return
  • judge projects and proposals from a financial perspective
  • apply financial literacy skills to manage financial decisions.


The Flow of Finance

  • Sources of finance
  • Uses of finance
  • Results

Cost/Volume/Profit (CVP) Analysis

  • Identify cost behaviours – fixed, variable, mixed
  • Cost and revenue drivers
  • Calculate break-even point

Scenario Planning

  • Forecasting the impact of pricing and costing decisions
  • Conduct “What-if” analysis to model future impacts

The relationships between money, time, and risk

  • Understand the ‘price’ of funding to an organisation
  • See how risk analysis relates to this ‘price’ of funding

Financial Analysis Techniques

  • Net Present Value (NPV)
  • Payback Period (PP)
  • Internal Rate of Return (IRR)

Project and Business Case approval techniques

  • Apply NPV, PP and IRR to practice case studies

Intended audience

  • Middle to Senior Managers
  • Executive Managers
  • Project and Program Managers


It is recommended that you have appropriate management experience and the skills matching the learning outcomes of these courses:

Delivery style

  • Interactive facilitator-led discussion
  • Case study application
  • Computer-based training using Excel on your own device
  • One day, face-to-face workshop
  • Bring your own device


You will be provided the following materials (electronic copies):

  • digital course notes
  • case studies
  • Excel templates.

Bring your own device

You are required to bring your own device (Windows or Mac). You should ensure your device is fully charged as access to power is limited.

Please note that University does not carry any responsibility for your lost, stolen, or damaged devices whilst on the University premises.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

We acknowledge the tradition of custodianship and law of the Country on which the University of Sydney campuses stand. We pay our respects to those who have cared and continue to care for the Country.