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Finance Certificate




12 Weeks


About the Course

Get a Finance Certificate

Whether you have aspirations to pursue a career in finance, or want to develop your finance skills and knowledge for your own business pursuits, this Finance Certificate Course is a great place to start. In this course you will receive a comprehensive introduction to the field of finance: the study of money, currency and capital assets. You’ll learn about the application and practice of finance to businesses and organizations, and develop tools and strategies to make sound financial decisions, solve financial problems, and manage risk.

What Happens in the Finance Certificate Course

The Finance Certificate Course is an online learning program with recommended readings from the textbook (Principles of Finance). This course is self-directed, which means you may study and complete assignments at times that are most convenient for you from the comfort of your own home.

This part-time Finance Certificate Course has a recommended completion date of 9 weeks from the start of the program, however, you may choose to complete the course in as little as 4 weeks or as long as 18 weeks, depending on your schedule.

The Finance Certificate Course has been created to allow you to complete it without teaching assistance. However, if you have questions or need assistance, you can receive help from a Faculty Member throughout the 9 weeks of the course. Your Faculty Member is a valuable resource person who can provide you with personal teaching assistance to help you succeed in the course.

Course Topics

The Finance Certificate Course has been developed to meet high academic standards, ensuring that as a graduate you can display with pride the Finance Certificate you will earn from the International Association of Professions Career College (IAP Career College).

Introduction to Finance

  • What is Finance?

  • The Role of Finance in Organization

  • Importance of Data and Technology

  • Careers in Finance

  • Markets and Participants

  • Microeconomic and Macroeconomic Matters

  • Financial Instruments

  • Concepts of Time and Value

Corporate Structure and Governance

  • Business Structures

  • Relationships between Shareholders and Company Management

  • Role of the Board of Directors

  • Agency Issues: Shareholders and Corporate Boards

  • Interacting with Investors, Intermediaries, and Other Market Participants

  • Companies in Domestic and Global Markets

Economic Foundations: Money and Rates

  • Microeconomics

  • Macroeconomics

  • Business Cycles and Economic Activity

  • Interest Rates

  • Foreign Exchange Rates

  • Sources and Characteristics of Economic Data

Accrual Accounting Process

  • Cash versus Accrual Accounting

  • Economic Basis for Accrual Accounting

  • How does a Company Recognize a Sale and an Expense?

  • When Should a Company Capitalize or Expense an Item?

  • What is “Profit” versus “Loss” for the Company?

Financial Statements

  • The Income Statement

  • The Balance Sheet

  • The Relationship Between the Balance Sheet and the Income Statement

  • The Statement of Owner’s Equity

  • The Statement of Cash Flows

  • Operating Cash Flow and Free Cash Flow to the Firm (FCFF)

  • Common-Size Statements

  • Reporting Financial Activity

Measures of Financial Health

  • Ratios: Condensing Information into Smaller Pieces

  • Operating Efficiency Ratios

  • Liquidity Ratios

  • Solvency Ratios

  • Market Value Ratios

  • Profitability Ratios and the DuPont Method

Time Value of Money I: Single Payment Value

  • Now versus Later Concepts

  • Time Value of Money (TVM) Basics

  • Methods for Solving the Value of Money Problems

  • Applications of TVM in Finance

Time Value of Money II: Equal Multiple Payments

  • Perpetuities

  • Annuities

  • Loan Amortization

  • Stated versus Effective Rates

  • Equal Payments with a Financial Calculator and Excel

Time Value of Money III: Unequal Multiple Payment Values

  • Timing of Cash Flows

  • Unequal Payments using a Financial Calculator or Microsoft Excel

Bonds and Bond Valuation

  • Characteristics of Bonds

  • Bond Valuation

  • Using the Yield Curve

  • Risks of Interest Rates and Default

  • Using Spreadsheets to Solve Bond Problems

Stocks and Stock Valuation

  • Multiple Approaches to Stock Valuation

  • Dividend Discount Models (DDMs)

  • Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Model

  • Preferred Stock

  • Efficient Markets

Historical Performance of US Markets

  • Overview of US Financial Markets

  • Historical Picture of Inflation

  • Historical Picture of Returns to Bonds

  • Historical Picture of Returns to Stocks

Statistical Analysis in Finance

  • Measures of Center

  • Measures of Spread

  • Measures of Position

  • Statistical Distributions

  • Probability Distributions

  • Data Visualization and Graphical Displays

  • The R Statistical Analysis Tool

Regression Analysis in Finance

  • Correlation Analysis

  • Linear Regression Analysis

  • Best-Fit Linear Model

  • Regression Applications in Finance

  • Predictions and Prediction Intervals

  • Use of R Statistical Analysis Tool for Regression Analysis

How to Think About Investing

  • Risk and Return to an Individual Asset

  • Risk and Return to Multiple Assets

  • The Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)

  • Applications in Performance Measurement

  • Using Excel to make Investment Decisions

How Companies think about Investing

  • Payback Period Method

  • Net Present Value (NPV) Method

  • Internal Rate of Return (IRR) Method

  • Alternative Methods

  • Choosing Between Projects

  • Using Excel to Make Company Investment Decisions

How Firms Raise Capital

  • The Concept of Capital Structure

  • The Costs of Debt and Equity Capital

  • Calculating the Weighted Average Cost of Capital

  • Capital Structure Choices

  • Optimal Capital Structure

  • Alternative Sources of Funds

Financial Forecasting

  • The Importance of Forecasting

  • Forecasting Sales

  • Pro Forma Financials

  • Generating the Complete Forecast

  • Forecasting Cash Flow and Assessing the Value of Growth

  • Using Excel to Create the Long-Term Forecast

The Importance of Trade Credit and Working Capital in Planning

  • What is Working Capital?

  • What is Trade Credit?

  • Cash Management

  • Receivables Management

  • Inventory Management

  • Using Excel to Create the Short-Term Plan

Risk Management and the Financial Manager

  • The Importance of Risk Management

  • Commodity Price Risk

  • Exchange Rates and Risk

  • Interest Rate Risk

Your Instructor

Ashley Amerson

Ashley Amerson

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