Finance for Non-Finance People (4 Day Training)

ROOM M4, CAMBRIDGE HOUSE, 1 Addington Square, London, England, SE5
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Ideal for anybody working in the voluntary and community sector (including social enterprises) looking to improve their confidence when dealing with finance.

Over four full-day sessions we will explore theory, practical examples and tools to use as well as codes of good practice using case studies, peer learning, exercises and lectures.

We will explore the key components of finance such as balance sheets, income and expenditure accounts, analysis and forecasting and performance benchmarks.

By the end of the course, you will be more confident in developing and implementing financial policies and procedures and using financial data.

Full details

This course will support participants to develop their financial understanding, understand how their decisions affect an organisation’s financial performance and improve their organisation’s financial potential.

We will demystify the jargon, explore key concepts in a practical way and help you to identify important trends and areas of concern. You will also be able to map out the key financial challenges and opportunities and how to effectively plan and budget for them.

This is a four day course held over a six week period. You must be able to commit to all four sessions:

Thursday 12 February, Thursday 26 February, Thursday 12 March, Thursday 26 March 2015

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for anyone who:
•   Uses financial procedures in their daily work but would like a deeper understanding 
•   Those new to finance or project management
•   Those who have attended Fundamentals of Business Planning and Multiple income streams for the voluntary and community sector and are looking for the next step

Course content

Session 1 - Morning - The Balance Sheet  

•   Understanding different assets and liabilities 
•   What are fixed assets?  
•   Current assets – what they are and how to improve  
•   Current liabilities – what they are and how to improve them

Session 1- Afternoon – The Income and Expenditure Account (or Profit and Loss Account)  

•   The key components of the income and expenditure account  
•   Analysing key ratios and trends  
•   Managing different types of costs and their behaviour  
•   Analysing income streams  
•   Improving profitability and productivity  
•   Profit/surplus and cash-flow are different things  

Session 2 – Management Accounts  

•   What management accounts should tell us  
•   How these figures contribute to overall performance  
•   Managing the cash-flow as well as the costs  
•   Managing variances and making any necessary improvement

Session 3 – Using ratios to benchmark performance  

•   How to use the key ratios to benchmark performance  
•   Recognising areas where performance is slipping and which need attention  
•   Generating ideas to improve financial performance, including people’s productivity  
•   Identifying and investing more in high performing activities  
•   Identifying and improving underperforming assets and costs

Session 4 - Morning – Moving from Analysis to Forecasting  

•   The principles of forecasting and budgeting  
•   Revenue budgets:
             o   The strengths and problems of traditional budgeting methods  
•   Budgeting for projects – how to do a cost-benefit analysis  
•   Capital expenditure:
             o   Cost of capital issues and the time value of money  
•   Where budgeting can go wrong and how to avoid the principal problems

Session 4 - Afternoon – Understanding the Jargon and next steps  

•   Clarifying terminology and jargon 
•   What does this all mean for my organisation and my team?  
•   What areas do we need to work on?  
•   Action plans for when I get back to work


On completion of this Finance for Non-Finance People course participants will be able to:

•   identify and manage financial strengths and weaknesses
•   understand the importance and relevance of financial principles such as ‘liabilities’ and ‘forecasting’
•   analyse, understand and manage income and expenditure accounts more effectively
•   understand the importance of cash-flow and cash management
•   use internal management accounts to monitor and improve performance against budget
•   recognise areas of concern and recommend ideas for improving financial performance and productivity
•   contribute more effectively to budgeting negotiations
•   recognise at least three different methods of preparing operating budgets, and the strengths and weaknesses of each method
•   feel more confident about using financial data.


The cost of this Finance for Non-Finance People course is:

CAS members: £150

Non-members:  £250

We have a complimentary place available for this session for a member from two small volunteer led voluntary or community sector organisation based in Southwark through the CAS Bursary Scheme. To be eligible for a place, you must be a CAS member and the income of your organisation must be less than £25,000.

To apply for a bursary place, please complete this application form and e-mail it to Clare Chamberlain at

Join CAS

If you would like to become a CAS member, please call 020 7358 7020

What is included?

•   Course Workbook
•   Refreshments
•   Certificate of training course attendance
•   On completion of the four workshops, each of the participants will received a two hour tailored 1:1 session with a CAS Development Officer to support them in applying the learning in a practical and tangible way

Lunch is not provided for this course. Please bring your own lunch, or we can point you to a variety of delights available on the Walworth Road or in Camberwell.

We offer bespoke training and consultancy for organisations wishing to undergo a tailor-made programme specific to their requirements. For more information please call 020 7358 7021.

Training Provider

Community Action Southwark, Development Team

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