Short Courses

Financial Acumen for Engineers

Develop your financial acumen with a practical understanding of finance and gain the confidence to apply this knowledge in your workplace.
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Develop your financial acumen with a practical understanding of finance and gain the confidence to apply this knowledge in your workplace.

As businesses become more competitive and complex, and engineers move into project or leadership roles, financial know-how is increasingly more important. Engineers need to understand the ‘big picture’ of financial performance, the key levers for influencing financial results, and the consequences of their decisions.

This workshop helps participants to be more effective in interpreting financial priorities, using the language of finance, communicating with financial people, incorporating financial principles in decision making, and managing financial resources.

The workshop includes a combination of virtual (live online via zoom) sessions and self-paced learning, providing participants with more content than what can be easily covered in the standard program.

After completing the course, you’ll be able to:

  • define and use financial terminology correctly
  • understand balance sheets and income statements
  • recognise the critical importance of cashflow
  • manage resources more effectively
  • evaluate financial issues and performance
  • understand the interrelationship of key financial variables and metrics
  • make better decisions by taking financial measures and outcomes into account
  • influence financial productivity.
EA members

EA members get 15% off on selected workshops and training. Not a member? Sign up now

9 hours over 4 sessions
Location & dates

This course will run on 31 Aug, 3 Sep and 7 Sep over 9am - 12:30pm AEST sessions and on 28 Sep at 9am - 10:30am AEST.

Registration for this course will close at 11:59pm on Thursday 26 August 2021.

EA members

EA members get 15% off on selected workshops and training. Not a member? Sign up now

2 day
Face to Face

We can customise this course for groups of six or more.

You choose the time, place, duration and format.

Find out how we can help you and your team by clicking on the button below to request a quote or calling us directly on +61 3 9321 1700.

Face to Face
Online - Live
Online - On Demand
Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes

Financial acumen

  • Easily make sense of balance sheets and income statements
  • Understand essential financial concepts and terminology
  • Understand the interrelationship of key financial variables and metrics
  • Understand how managers can and do influence financial performance
  • Gain an executive perspective on the financial drivers of a business

Organisational and interpersonal skills

  • Consider your organisation’s financial goals and priorities
  • Gain confidence in communicating with senior managers, executives and finance staff
  • Learn how to ask pertinent questions about financial issues and performance
  • Be able to justify proposals and projects from a financial perspective
  • Improved decision-making through consideration of multiple effects on financial performance
Is this course for you?

Is this course for you?

This course suits engineers and project managers who seek to gain a strong understanding of the fundamentals of finance from an executive perspective. Prior knowledge of accounting and finance is not required.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Topics we'll cover

Topics we'll cover

Financial fundamentals

  • Financial jargon
  • The ‘Window Model’ of a business
  • How the assets of a business are funded
  • The fundamental accounting equation
  • Relationship of income statements and balance sheets
  • How a business can go bust showing a profit
  • Types of assets, liabilities and expenses

Profit vs cashflow

  • The real meaning of profit
  • The essence of accrual accounting
  • Cash flow vs. profit (and why it matters)
  • The fundamental accounting equation

Review of financial statements

  • See financial concepts in a real-world context
  • Practice using the Window Model

Financial leverage

  • Three basic measures of financial leverage and risk
  • A unique model linking financial leverage and returns
  • Interactive exercise to calculate financial leverage for case studies

Return on investment

  • Four key measures of return on investment (ROI)
  • Return on Equity (ROE) Drivers Model
  • Three key drivers of return on funds employed and ROE
  • Predictability of results

Managing Return on Funds Employed (ROFE)

  • The financial responsibilities of every manager
  • Key variables for managing return on funds employed
  • The importance of optimising ‘free funding’
  • Good vs. bad costs (why cost cutting can be harmful)
  • The relationship of project and corporate financial results

Operating cycle and cash

  • Components of the operating and cash cycles
  • Three types of cash flow and their relevance
  • Ways of increasing operating cash flow

Final case studies

  • Reflect on and practice the concepts learned using case studies
How you'll learn

The program is implemented in four phases, using the Ready-Set-Go-Show framework developed by facilitator Geoff Rip. Each of the phases has a number of ‘success factors’ that are crucial to delivering value to participants and ensuring program effectiveness:

READY: This phase helps the participants prepare for the following phases. 

SET: It includes a combination of virtual (live online via zoom) sessions and self-paced learning. 

GO: Competence and mastery can only be achieved thorough on-the-job application and practice. This phase helps participants to (a) remember and better recall what they learned in the SET Phase, and (b) successfully apply their learning in the workplace and use it as a powerful learning experience.

SHOW: Participants share what they gained from the previous phases. 

Towards chartered

Towards chartered

Take this course to build skills and knowledge in the following Engineers Australia Chartered status competencies*:

6. Identify, assess and manage risks
9. Performance

Learn more about Chartered Status.

*Completing this course does not automatically guarantee you a competency. However, you will gain the base knowledge you need to develop these specific Chartered competencies.

Geoff Rip

I could not fault this course.  Geoff delivered everything I was looking for and then some. His written material and verbal presentations were engaging and informative. I left with confidence that I can now understand enough of the financial aspects of business to make a difference.  Thank you, Geoff! 

Participant 2021

I found the content very well matched to my needs and Geoff's approach to engaging participants ensured maximum engagement and gave me a very good chance of retaining knowledge of the topic.

Participant 2021
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