10 Reasons Why Every Manager Should take a Finance Course

We just finished a “Finance
and Accounting for the Non-Financial Manager
” program this week for a large
client. The audience was mostly engineers – program and project managers, the
ones in charge of designing and making complex stuff. It was 3.5 days, which may
seem like a lot, especially for a topic that has the potential to be deadly dry
and boring.

The participant’s comments and evaluations at the end of
the program reminded me of why every
manager (and probably every employee) really needs to have a firm grasp on the
numbers and how their company makes money.

Here are 10 reasons, all of them taken from the actual
1. You’ll know how and why decisions are made by the big
2. You’ll make smarter decisions that are more likely to
be accepted by the big dogs.
3. You’ll understand that the people or companies that
buy your products are not your only customers; the shareholders that buy your
stock are customers too. They have different expectations and needs, and if
they ain’t happy, you’ll soon not have any customers.
4. You’ll have a better appreciation for why top management
or the bean counters are always asking you to fill out those reports, budgets, forecasts,
and all that other stuff that you always whine about.
5. You’ll feel more like an owner of your company. After
all, it’s your money too!
6. You’ll be better able to explain to your employees
what’s going on in the company, why decisions are made, and help them make
better decisions. You can help them feel like owners too. Caution: when
employees feel like owners, no more wasting money on expensive furniture, management
boondoggles, or projects with a poor net present value. They will call you on
7. You’ll be able to hold your own in management and
board meetings. Yes, you too can speak like a CFO!
8. You’ll be better able to understand and see the top to
bottom impact of your actions and decisions. The “big picture” will no longer
be just a buzz word to you and your employees.
9. If you’re a staff or support person (HR, training),
you’ll earn a
seat at the table.
10. You’ll be more popular and get more dates. Finance
and accounting is very sexy!
Want to test your own financial acumen? See how many of the
following can you explain to a 5th grader: 18
Financial Terms Every Leader Needs to Know