Financial statements are the report card of business. Whether you are an investor, a business owner or an executive, you need to understand how to read, analyze, and sometimes create financial statements so you can get a full and accurate understanding of your finances. Financial statements will tell you how much money there is, how much debt is owed, the income coming in each month, and the expenses going out the door.

Increasingly, executive and managers of non-financial functions need to understand the basic principles of accounting and finance in order to make informed business decisions. They often need to communicate well with their finance colleagues using financial jargon, which sometimes appear intimidating and at times often misunderstood. There is a clear need to understand the "mystery” basis on which financial statements are prepared and demonstrate how the information can be used as a tool for business decision-making and improved performance.

This one-day workshop will focus on the principles and applied understanding of accounting terminology and the use of financial reports to improve business performance, especially for non-financial executives and managers in the organization.

Course Details:



• Understand the basic principles, terminology and building blocks of financial control.


• Understand the main financial statements, how they relate to one another and how they can be translated as useful management data.


• Appreciate budgeting as a planning and control.


• Recognise different types of cost and how costs can be controlled.


• Differentiate between cash flow, profit and net worth.


• Appreciate the financial implications of plans and decisions.



• Accounting and finance concepts and principles

• Value of accounting and finance

• Financial statements – uses and limitations

• Analysis of financial performance covering financial ratios


Decision-making & evaluation of performance

• Cost and profit drivers

• Cost concepts, accumulation and allocation

• Absorption vs variable costing methods

• Break-even analysis

• Cost-volume-profit analysis

• Common decision-making cases using relevant costing techniques

• Pricing techniques


Budgeting & measuring performance

• Overview of planning process

• Assumptions and considerations in budgeting

• Uses and methods of budgeting


Working capital & cash flow management

• Sources and uses of funds

• Long-term vs short-term funding

• Relevance of WACC (Weighted Average Cost of Capital)

• Use of cash flow forecast

• How to improve efficiency and cash-flow


Evaluating capital investment decisions

• Time value of money

• Valuation approaches and methods

• Evaluation techniques covering NPV, IRR, Payback period

Who should attend

• Business Owners, start-ups, management or staff from any functional area including sales and marketing, business development and operations.



• Presentation
• Exercises
• Case studies
• Discussion


Benefits of Attending This Course

This course will benefit you and your organisation in the following ways:

• Increase your practical knowledge and confidence in the use of accounting and financial resources to improve communication and better business decision-making.

• Share a common yard-stick to adopt, measure and improve business performance of the organisation

• Minimise the risk of making wrong decisions with serious financial implications

• Knowledge acquired can be applied to any type of business or set-up, including start-ups, not-for-profit organisations and even personal finance


What questions this training programme provides answers to:

• Interpret financial information correctly for decision-making

• Understand the impact of your decisions and actions (or non-action) on the “bottom-line” performance of your organisation

• Bridge your communication gap with colleagues from the finance department

• Understand the common yardsticks used in performance evaluation

• Remove any "fear" over finance and the accompanying jargon


Lim Swee Thiam has over 30 years of work experience in both industry and academia. Upon graduation, he worked as audit senior for Ernst & Young for four years and subsequently left to join the industry as Group Accountant for two listed companies handling group accounts and management reports, review of foreign subsidiaries and associated companies’ accounts, implementation of new accounting procedures in new set-up/joint venture business overseas, and financial management. He was also a local HQ-financial representative travelling widely, undertaking business development, setting up and reviewing agency accounts for Australia, South-East and South Asia.

Swee Thiam was full-time lecturer in Nanyang Polytechnic with teaching responsibilities for lecturing of Published Financial Statements, Consolidated Accounts, Business Finance, and Cost and Management Accounting. He also conducted external finance-based professional development courses to industry, and NYP International’s overseas participants, mainly from China, Philippines and Bangladesh. He was also a Manager in the polytechnic’s technology transfer office handling business development, licensing, and promoting and mentoring students’ start-ups. He also adjunct for Singapore University of Social Sciences (formerly UNISIM) for Financial Accounting Theory and Practice, and Managerial Accounting.

Swee Thiam holds an MBA from Adelaide University and a Bachelor of Accountancy from the National University of Singapore. He is a Fellow of the Institute Chartered Accountants of Singapore since 1985.

Administrative Details:

Scheduled Dates

• Date to be advised  (2nd Run)


• S$ 450 per participant

• S$ 400 per participant for 2 or more participants from the same organisation


• 9 am - 5 pm


• Skills Connect WDA Reference CRS-N-0048648.

• Skills Future Credit for Self-Sponsored Singaporeans aged 25 and above.


A Certificate of Attendance will be awarded at the end of the workshop.


• Coffee & tea with snacks during the morning and afternoon breaks

• Buffet lunch with vegetarian & halal options


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    You can register online for any of HRM SKILLS Workshops using the Registration Form or send an email to or

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    Past Participants:

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    Past Participant Organisations

    • CAST Laboratories Pte Ltd, Credit Counselling Singapore

    • Grafunkt Pte Ltd

    • JK Concepts Pte Ltd

    • Mass Merchandise Pte Ltd

    • Schottel Far East Pte Ltd

    • Singapore Centre for Chinese Language

    • Wild Advertising and Marketing Pte Ltd