Essentials in Finance

Explore key finance concepts and learn to apply them

Why this programme Detailed programme Programme design For whom Meet your faculty

Why this programme?

Financial understanding and planning can make or break a business – so it’s vital you know how to read and understand your company’s numbers yourself.

This programme introduces you to key financial concepts. You’ll learn how to interpret balance sheets, profit-and-loss accounts and cash flow statements. And you’ll get the knowledge you need to make sound business decisions – and have confident discussions with colleagues.


Detailed programme

This programme is divided into four modules. Each one focuses on a different aspect of financial management:

Module 1: Finance and accounting simulation

How do traditional business activities, financial transactions and financial statements all relate to one other? This learning simulation explains it all. By the end of this module, you’ll be able to understand a cash flow statement, profit-and-loss account and balance sheet – and know how to calculate a number of key ratios.

Module 2: Analysing financial statements

Financial statements contain vital information about an organisation’s health. In this module, you’ll learn how to read the story behind the numbers. You’ll understand how financials link to an organisation’s business model – and learn to assess a company’s liquidity, profitability and solvency.

Module 3: Working capital management

Managing working capital is essential to keeping an organisation running smoothly. This module shows you how to optimise a company’s cash position by managing inventory levels and accounts receivable and payable.

Module 4: Wrap up

This final module focuses on what you’ve learned throughout the programme – and how you plan to use your new knowledge and skills in the future.


This online journey brings together learning formats including videos, simulations, exercises, quizzes, case studies and real-life examples. You’ll also have background reading to do and questions to help you reflect on your own experience.

In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to put theory into practice and become confident at making financial decisions. By the end of the programme, you’ll be ready to leap into finance discussions and projects in your organisation.

You can start Essentials in Finance at any time – and study wherever and whenever suits you. It takes around 10 to 12 hours to complete the programme and you can split this time over a maximum of three months.

For whom?

Everyone in business – whether they work in marketing, operations, legal or HR – has to deal with finance. So this programme is for all professionals who don’t have a background in finance, who would like to boost their understanding of finance fundamentals – and who want to become more confident at having business discussions.

meet your faculty

Wouter de Maeseneire
Professor of Corporate Finance & international Business
Wouter is a professor at Vlerick and visiting professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Ghent University. He is a passionate and experienced teacher who explains financial management principles by linking them to business models and firm strategies. His classes are often centred around real business situations - including the ABInbev deal, Walmart’s financial statements, Dell’s working capital management, Facebook’s IPO debacle, and Apple’s cash position. Wouter has been involved in customised programmes for corporations including AGC, Atlas Copco, Rabobank, Alpro, Pfizer, McCain, Bekaert, Siemens, Johnson Controls, Accenture, ABInbev, Toyota, Honda, Sun Microsystems and Hudson. He is also Programme Director for our CFA-accredited programme, Masters in Financial Management.

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Mathieu Luypaert
Professor of Corporate Finance
Mathieu is specialising in value creation through mergers and acquisitions. He studies how the stock price of merging companies reacts upon the announcement of such a deal, and how potential synergies are realised. He teaches courses on corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions.

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Sophie Manigart
Professor of Corporate Finance
Sophie turns theory into practice in the blink of an eye. She specialises in entrepreneurial finance, business angels, venture capital, MBOs, private equity and corporate finance.

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It's high impact

    You learn through a variety of formats – including simulations, case studies, discussions and real-life business challenges. And you have opportunities to turn your knowledge into action by taking what you’ve learned and immediately applying it in live projects and stimulated exercises.

It's flexible

    Our approach means you can learn in the way that best suits you. You can study anywhere, any time – and learn at your own pace. You have plenty of time to develop knowledge and skills to take back to your workplace.

It’s completely relevant to business

    We understand the fast-paced environment you work in and the challenges you face. And our faculty have close ties to the business world. So we make sure you get the latest insights that will help you to succeed in your role.


Drive real change in your organisation

A learning experience with real impact on your operations? A management programme tailored to the specific needs of your business? Contact us and discover how we can design and deliver customised programmes for your team that add genuine value to your organisation.

Meet Us

Info Sessions & Open Days
17 Aug
Meet our programme advisor online
Category: General Info Sessions

28 Sep
Info Session Executive Education & MBA
Category: General Info Sessions

05 Oct
Meet our programme advisor online
Category: General Info Sessions


& Rankings

Equis Association of MBAs AACSB Financial Times