Certificate in Finance Essentials

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ONLINE: Certificate in Finance Essentials: Member Rate $359.00
ONLINE: Certificate in Finance Essentials: Non-Member $409.00
Time: 3:29 PM Eastern Time
Instructor: Online Learning
Level: Foundation


This online certificate program introduces non-financial managers to the essentials of finance. The course will help you become conversant in critical financial terminology, and you'll learn how to calculate key financial management indicators.

You will learn how to assess your organization's financial health by reviewing balance sheets, income statements, and statements of cash flow, and you will discover how finance and accounting tools can be used to support informed decision making within organizations.

Each 3 to 5 hour, self-paced course offers an assortment of interactive exercises, videos, selected readings, case studies, and self-assessments that engage you and structure your learning about organizational finance. 


  • See objectives for each individual course below
  • Download a printable certificate of completion for this online course suite 

Intended Audience

This course is targeted to individuals who meet or exceed the following professional demographics: 

  • Entry-level public procurement and central warehouse professionals who serve as assistants, coordinators, buyers, or equivalent functions within their respective entities.

  • Non-procurement managers and supervisors who are responsible for either the procurement function or staff who provide procurement functions under delegated authority.

  • Professionals who are employed by governing entities and special authorities (such as K-12 and higher education, publicly-owned utilities, transportation providers, and other publicly-funded or created organizations) that either serve within or manage the procurement function.

  • Suppliers or representatives of suppliers seeking to understand the public procurement function from a holistic level, including the policies, standards, and procedures by which public entities must function.

Delivery Formats Available


Contact Hours






Designed for public procurement professionals who are new to the profession or have 1-5 of experience.

180 Days
Access Period

Courses included in this Suite


Courses included in this Suite

  • Financial Planning and Control

    This course considers practical finance and accounting tools for decision-making within organizations. You will learn about cost benefit analysis, return on investment (ROI), fixed and variable costs, break even and CVP (cost-volume-profit) analysis, tracking and performance measures, and the Balanced Scorecard and its varied uses.

    After completing this course, the student should be able to:

    • Explain cost benefit analysis
    • Calculate return on investment and the payback period
    • Explain fixed and variable costs
    • Calculate break even and understand CVP (cost-volume-profit) analysis
    • Explain tracking and performance measures
    • Explain and calculate Balanced Scorecard measures 
  • Introduction to Business Statistics

    This course will introduce you to the importance of statistics in the business world. Statistics is the science of collecting, organizing, and analyzing data in order to make more effective decisions. Understanding statistical techniques can help any manager responsible for marketing, management, accounting, sales, or other business functions.

    After completing this course, the student should be able to:

    • Differentiate between descriptive and inferential statistics
    • Distinguish between the 4 different scales of measurement: nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio
    • Identify the appropriate graphical or tabular method for presenting your data
    • Create frequency distributions
    • Create meaningful presentations and graphs including:
      • frequency polygons
      • bar graphs
      • pie charts
      • line graphs
      • histograms                     
    • Calculate probability and explain its practical application
    • Compute the mode, median, and mean of a dataset   
    • Calculate the variance and standard deviation of a dataset
    •  Interpret sampling with and without replacement
    • Explain the significance of the area under a curve
  • Time Value of Money and Risk

    This course covers time value of money (TVM) principles and risk and return. You will review the basic TVM techniques used in evaluating all financial decisions and their cash flow implications. For Risk and Return, you will learn how risk influences investment decisions, and how to calculate risk and rates of return. Further, you will explore the benefits of diversification and the use of the portfolio concept in investing.

    After completing this course, the student should be able to:

    • Distinguish between points in time and periods of time as shown by a time line
    • Define compounding and discounting
    • Compute future value or present value for single payment amounts
    • Distinguish between single payments and streams of payments and between uneven streams and annuities
    • Solve for the interest rate or time period for simple present value and future value problems
    • Define risk
    • Describe how risk influences investment decisions
    • Calculate risk and rates of return
    • Describe how diversification can limit risk
    • Explain how diversifiable risk can be lowered using a portfolio approach
  • How to Read a Financial Statement

    This course covers financial reports and their meaning. You will learn the fundamentals and importance of the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows, and how they can be used to manage a business. You will also be exposed to financial (ratio) analysis.

    After completing this course, the student should be able to:

    • Identify and describe the documents and financial statements included in an organization's financial report
    • Itemize and interpret the information in the income statement, balance sheet, statement of changes in shareholders' equity, and statement of cash flows
    • Correctly state the impact of specific business activities on cash flow
    • Define financial (ratio) analysis and explain its objectives and limitations
    • Identify the various types and categories of financial ratios
    • Perform calculations using financial ratios  
  • Introduction to Finance

    This course introduces the discipline of finance in an organizational setting. Among the basics covered: responsibilities of financial managers; roles of finance in a typical business organization; legal forms of businesses; agency relationships; and relevant financial markets of interest to financial managers. Further, you will explore the five principles that form the foundation of financial management and you will understand the non-financial manager's impact on, and role in, the finance function.

    After completing this course, the student should be able to:

    • Identify and differentiate the three most common types of business organizations and the structure of each
    • State the fundamental objectives of a corporation and the differences between wealth and profit maximization
    • Recognize the impact of social and ethical responsibility on business
    • Identify and describe the structure and functions of the finance department within an organization
    • Define the principal-agent relationship and strategies for overcoming conflicts of interest and motivating managers
    • List and define the five key principles that form the foundation of financial management
    • Recognize and define the five key financial markets
    • Identify the sources, rules, and life-cycle stages of corporate financing
    • Describe the function of the stock market and the three trading venues it utilizes
    • Recognize the factors related to interest rate determination and the impact of interest on an organization

Available in the following delivery format


This format is 100% self-paced and designed for those who want complete control of their schedule and learning timelines. 

Completion Requirements

In order to successfully complete, learners must:

  • Complete all course modules.
  • Complete the post-course evaluation survey available in Aspire.
  • Students must complete the course series within 180 days to receive credit.