Business Finance Course

Raise Your Financial IQ: What Entrepreneurs & Business Owners Need to Know

A Pragmatic, In-depth Course to Build Your Skills, Focus and Management of Finances


This course will prepare new and seasoned business owners and entrepreneurs to make financially intelligent business decisions. In this course, we will demystify financial concepts and terms, and teach students to better understand financial statements, and how to use ratios to measure company performance. This course will enable participants to better plan for financing by developing credible and realistic projections.

This 8-week non-credit course is divided into two modules. The first (3 weeks) covers the topics from the book, and the second module provides instruction on building a complete set of proforma financial statements. Students will be given reading and Excel-based assignments, practice exercises, and quizzes. Class will be conducted in a computer lab, allowing students to work on personal or shared computers for practical, hands-on learning and support.

Course Schedule

Tuesday evenings, 6:30-9pm Sept. 25 through November 13, 2012 Eight-week course includes five "face-to-face" in-person sessions and three online sessions. Face-to-face classes are held at Union Institute & University, 440 East McMillan St. 45206.


Dr. John Clarkin has more than 20 years of management and engineering experience with Fortune 50 companies such as GE and Pfizer, and more than 10 years of consulting experience with existing and new enterprises. He earned his Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship from the University of Stirling, Scotland, an MBA from The Citadel, and a BSBA from the University of Wisconsin. He also serves as associate professor of Entrepreneurship at Northern Kentucky University.


Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs: What You Really Need to Know About the Numbers Karen Berman & Joe Knight, Harvard Business Review Press. ISBN 978-14221-1915-0


Working knowledge of Excel required. FastTrac completion preferred, not required.



Learning Objectives

Module 1 Objectives

  • Read and interpret basic financial statements (i.e. income, balance sheet, and cash flow).
  • Calculate critical ratios and understand what these reveal.
  • Differentiate net cash from profit, value of both.
  • Utilize return on investment (ROI) tools to analyze purchases and make value added investments.
  • Know how to manage working capital to improve profitability.
  • Utilization of three business valuation models, i.e., price-to-earnings ratio, discounted cash flow and asset valuation methods, ) and other methods and options.

Module 2 Objectives

  • Examine Excel Workbook and successfully navigate among all worksheets.
  • Create and construct a three-year pro forma sales forecast.
  • Calculate and measure breakeven.
  • Assemble a complete three-year pro forma income statement.
  • Formulate a comprehensive three-year pro forma balance sheet.
  • Combine information from the income statement and balance sheet to construct a three-year pro forma statement of cash flows.
  • Interpret industry ratios and estimate financial performance.
  • Create and revise capital budgeting forecasts, and select equity and debt instruments to provide sustainable business capitalization.