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 program will help you 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 program includes a combination of virtual (live online via zoom) sessions and self-paced learning, providing you with more content and practice than that which can be covered in the standard face-to-face course.  

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

  • make sense of financial concepts and terminology
  • easily read balance sheets and income statements 
  • take an executive perspective on profit creation
  • explain the difference between profit and cash flow 
  • recognise the interconnection of financial metrics 
  • identify the financial variables you personally affect
  • use financial ratios to distinguish financial problems
  • make better decisions by incorporating financial know-how 
  • positively influence financial productivity and results.
EA members

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

2 day
EA members

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

Any questions?

9 hours over 4 sessions
Location & dates

2 November - 30 November

Additional Information

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.

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

1)    The Window Model of Business (Virtual Workshop)

  • Financial jargon (concepts and principles)
  • How the assets of a business are funded
  • Types of assets, liabilities, and expenses
  • Three equations that underpin the financials
  • Relationship of three essential financial statements
  • Effect of retained profit on equity and assets
  • How a business can go bust showing a profit
  • Two financial success criteria in any business

2)    Window Model Thinking (Self-paced Learning)

  • Practice exercises to reinforce Workshop 1.
  • The essence of accrual accounting
  • Recognition of revenue and expenses
  • The real meaning of profit and its relevance
  • Cash flow vs. profit (and why it matters)
  • Accrual of revenues and expenses
  • Effects of asset losses and write-offs
  • Credit purchases and customer prepayments

3)    The Profit Creation Cycle (Virtual Workshop)

  • Three fundamental components of profit creation
  • The meaning and effects of financial leverage
  • The DuPont equation and the profit creation cycle
  • Three ‘lever’s for managing return on equity (ROE)
  • The crucial role of asset management and ‘profit velocity’ 
  • Multiple levels of profit (and associated terminology)
  • Common-size statements and ‘fast financial analysis’
  • Financial analysis of two engineering-led companies

4)    Funds Employed and the ROFE Equation (Self-paced Learning)

  • Practice exercises to reinforce Workshop 2
  • The relevance and calculation of funds employed
  • Two key sources of ‘free money’ to fund assets
  • Return on funds employed (ROFE) and profit creation
  • Comparison of the DuPont and ROFE equations
  • Three ‘levers’ operational managers can influence 
  • The drivers and importance of Return on Assets (ROA)
  • Financial analysis of two more engineering-led companies

5)    Financial Acumen and the ROFE Model (Virtual Workshop)

  • The basic financial responsibilities of every manager
  • Financial ratios influenced by using the ROFE model
  • The need to ‘sweat assets’ and optimise free money
  • Relationship of the ROFE model to cash flow drivers
  • Core and swing factors that influence operating cash flow
  • Using the ROFE Model for better decision-making
  • Case study of an Australian financial success story
  • Case study of an engineering-led company in financial distress
How you'll learn

The program is implemented in four phases, using the Ready-Set-Go-Show framework developed by facilitator Geoff Rip. These phases will help you to gain maximum benefits and value from the program:

READY: This phase will help you to prime your brain and prepare for the following three phases.

SET: Includes three virtual (live online via zoom) sessions of 2.5 hours each plus two self-paced learning modules of approximately 1 hour. 

GO: Competence and mastery can only be achieved thorough on-the-job application and practice. This phase will help you to (a) remember and better recall what you learned in the SET Phase, and (b) successfully apply your learning in the workplace and use it to boost your financial acumen.

SHOW: Consists of a 1.5 hour virtual workshop. You get to hear how other participants have applied, or intend to apply, their learning. And you get to share your own successes and/or opportunities for application.

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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