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.

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: Understanding Capital Structure, Accounting, Financial Analysis and Corporate Valuation for Communicators (FEUS)

2-Days Developing Skills

If you have already taken Finance 101 or if you have some financial knowledge already, this is a great next step.  We recap the key concepts and then take your knowledge to the next level, applying the principles to real situations across a range of sectors. We cover accounting and analysis and key corporate finance concepts – shareholder value, cost of capital, evaluating M&A, dividend and buy-back policy etc – everything you need to communicate your company’s financial story effectively and participate fully in C-suite discussions – all in an accessible way for non-finance specialists and designed specifically for corporate communicators.

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
  • Understand company valuation and appreciate how M&A deals are evaluated
  • Be able to develop and communicate a great investment story


Note: We recommend leaving a few months between taking Finance 101 and Finance Essentials so that you can consolidate your learning. If you choose to take both courses together, please be aware that there will be some overlap.

What you will learn

The Big Picture

  • The financial markets architecture
  • Sources of capital
  • Understanding investors and what they want
  • The role of the sell side
  • Debt IR essentials and the role of ratings agencies
  • The importance of managing expectations
  • Overview of key regulations and governance requirements

Accounting Essentials

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

Corporate Finance Essentials

  • Creating shareholder value – recap
  • The link to return on capital
  • Evaluating growth potential – PESTLE, Porter, BCG and SWOT
  • 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
  • Balance sheet conclusions


  • 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

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
  • 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 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