Upcoming Course Dates

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This course is run in conjunction with NIRI.
Bookings will be made via their website.

We do not currently have any dates scheduled for this open course - please contact us for more information or view our range of online courses.

  • I found this course one of the best courses I have attended in some time.  I expected to be watching the clock somewhat as finance is not one of my strong points.  I however, found it incredibly interesting and well presented

Prerequisite Courses

If you are unsure whether this course is right for you, please contact Miranda Lane (info@financetalking.com)

Related Courses
The following courses are closely related to this course.

Finance Essentials Intensive for IR and Corporate Communications (FEIUS)

3-Days Developing Skills

This intensive three-day program is designed to give you the financial fluency you need to communicate really effectively with finance professionals ranging from the CFO to the buy- and sell-side and the financial media.  Finance Essentials Intensive combines elements from the 2-day Finance Essentials and Think Like an Analyst. Although this course recaps the fundamentals of finance, we move fairly quickly onto more sophisticated concepts and analysis. If you would like to get to grips with the basics before attending the course, you could consider taking Finance 101 first.

Who Should Attend?

  • Investor Relations professionals
  • Media relations and other corporate communicators


  • Understand the language and concepts of the C-suite
  • Further develop your financial fluency and literacy and develop a comprehensive understanding of accounting concepts
  • Be able to challenge and critique financial information with confidence
  • See how analysts build models and how to provide effective guidance
  • Appreciate how analysts think and what pushes their buttons
  • See how stocks are valued, appreciate the drivers of investment decisions and learn how to communicate for value
  • Participate in M&A discussions and understand how financial audiences evaluate deals
  • Be able to develop and communicate a great investment story

What you will learn

The Big Picture

  • The financial markets architecture
  • Sources of capital
  • Understanding investors and what they want
  • The role of analysts in today’s capital markets
  • Sell-side and buy-side – similarities and differences
  • Primary tasks of an equity research analyst
  • Analyst perspectives, pressures and typical characteristics
  • Debt IR essentials and the role of ratings agencies
  • The importance of managing expectations
  • Overview of key regulations and governance requirements

Identifying Value Drivers

  • Understanding industry structures and peer group identification
  • Analyzing capacity and demand – the importance of historical analysis
  • Identifying the food chain – suppliers and customers
  • Evaluating growth potential – PESTLE, Porter, BCG and SWOT
  • Critical factors that impact earnings, cash flows and/or returns
  • Key questions you need to be able to answer on strategy

Accounting Essentials 

  • Reminder of accounting basics
  • The FinanceTalking accounting game – cash flow edition
  • Jargon – GAAP and non-GAAP, EBITDA etc
  • Goodwill and impairment
  • Earnings releases and annual reports – how analysts and journalists use your financial information

Corporate Finance Essentials 

  • Creating shareholder value – recap
  • Capital allocation decisions – using NPV and IRR and the link with value creation
  • Cost of capital and the capital mix
  • Changing the capital structure
  • Dividend policy and share buy-backs
  • DCF reminder

Capital Structure and Allocation 

  • Which balance sheet, which sector?
  • Leverage for different sectors
  • The optimum debt/equity mix
  • Funding M&A
  • Evaluating capex investment
  • Working capital management and working capital ratios
  • Balance sheet conclusions
  • “Think like an analyst” case study


  • Headline numbers
  • Performance review for different sectors
  • Growth and margins, operational leverage
  • Building a story using key performance indicators
  • Preparing for earnings
  • Forecasting case study
  • “Think like an analyst” case study

Cash Generation

  • Why are cash flows different from profit?
  • Profits to cash flows reconciliation
  • Investment and financing cash flows
  • Key concepts – free cash flow and NOPAT

Financial Analysis

  • Building a story using KPIs
  • Inputs to analysts’ models and the role of guidance
  • Measures used by ratings agencies
  • Media and analyst conference case studies


  • Analyst perspectives and sources of information
  • Valuing a company using DCF
  • Valuing a company using multiples
  • Understanding price targets and recommendations
  • Which sector, which valuation methodology?
  • Valuation in IPOs and M&A situations
  • Understanding the assumptions in consensus
  • Using communications to influence valuation
  • “Think like an analyst” case study
  • M&A case study

How to Tell your Investment Story 

  • Management’s task
  • Telling the story in terms of what really matters
  • Targeting the appropriate shareholder base
  • Lessons for communicating with analysts
  • Overall lessons for corporate communications

Summary and conclusion

  • Where to go from here

How you will learn

Through engaging, interactive case studies and exercises that guide you from what you know to more advanced finance and accounting

By exercises designed to replicate situations you will encounter, with many drawn from real life examples

Through vigorous discussion and debate that encourages attendees to engage financial language and helps solidify the learning

Via practical applications of content—ensuring that you return to your desk to carry out your duties even more effectively