Applying new knowledge to real problems for measurable results.

Finance for Strategic Decision Making

Program Objectives

Regardless of job function, if you are in a leadership position chances are that you are also responsible for financial policy. Through Finance for Strategic Decision Making, you will learn how the impact of your financial decisions affects the performance of your unit and profitability of your organization. You will gain a better understanding of finance and accounting concepts for the competitive edge necessary for your organization's growth and success. You will leave this program with improved general financial knowledge and communications skills, and an in-depth understanding of the impact your decisions have outside your functional area.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for those charged with creating and implementing strategy and developing organizational capability. It is ideal for those with functional and general management responsibilities who seek to enhance their strategic leadership effectiveness. The participant may or may not have direct reports but is in a position of strategic influence in the enterprise or business unit. Prior knowledge of finance is not necessary. This course is an option for the Leadership Certificate in Strategy and Organizational Performance.

Program Benefits

You will have the opportunity to build your own "financial toolbox" with essential financial analysis tools, sources of financial data, and evaluative processes and enablers that can be applied to your specific needs. Take-aways include:

  • Understanding financial statements
  • Communicating comfortably using financial terms
  • Using financial forecasting techniques
  • Evaluating performance through financial modeling using spreadsheets
  • Understanding how to apply the time value of money and valuation approaches in making financial decisions
  • Improving organizational performance

Program Content

The intent of Finance for Strategic Decision Making is to create unique value for you and your organization with a particular focus on:

Financial Statements and Analysis

  • Income statements, balance sheets, and statements of cash flow
  • Performing ratio analysis to gauge performance and growth

Financial Evaluation

  • Understanding key financial concepts such as margins, turnover, and growth rate measures
  • How to apply the above concepts to evaluate your firm, your competitors, and suppliers
  • Internet-based sources of information to perform financial analysis

Financial Concepts

  • Using asset pricing models to evaluate risk and return trade-offs
  • Alternative measures of performance and how to use them to evaluate investments
  • How to compute and use the cost of capital

Understanding Key Strategic Financial Management Decisions

  • Capital budgeting
  • Capital structure
  • Working capital management

Valuation Principles

  • Applying valuation principles to capital investment decisions
  • Understanding alternative approaches to valuing investments and evaluating risk
  • Evaluation methods for mergers and acquisitions

Capital Markets

  • Hands-on experience in the Rogers Family Trading Room to gain an appreciation for markets

Global Financial Models

  • Foreign exchange exposure
  • International capital budgeting

Faculty Leaders

The program is taught by faculty leaders with extensive backgrounds in research, consulting, and educating executives.  Each brings to the classroom best-practices and implementation processes for achieving world-class results.

Faculty Director

Dr. Chris Muscarella, Professor of Finance, L.W. 'Roy' and Mary Lois Clark Teaching Fellow, Smeal College of Business, Penn State

Faculty Leaders

Dr. David Haushalter, Associate Professor of Finance and Academic Director of the Rogers Family Trading Room, Smeal College of Business, Penn State

Mr. Kenneth Pasch, Instructor in Accounting, Smeal College of Business, Penn State

Dr. Dennis Sheehan, The Virginia and Louis Benzak Professor of Finance, Smeal College of Business, Penn State


The program fee of $4,750 includes all instructional materials, private room accommodations, meals, and access to recreational facilities.

Active military personnel, PSU alumni, and teams of three or more attending this program from one company are eligible for a 20% program discount. 


Our enrollment coordinator will be happy to hold a seat for you in this program. A reservation does not commit you to the program until you submit the registration form online. Please call 814-865-3435.

Related Programs

Finance for Strategic Decision Making is part of a series designed to help you develop the holistic leadership skills necessary to deliver expected results and bring value to your organization.  Complete these other programs and earn a Leadership Certificate in Strategy and Organizational Performance.

Strategic Leadership provides senior leaders with the perspective to develop strategy and lead change in the organization. You will examine your business environment, determine opportunity, and enhance organizational capability to innovate and impact performance.

Leading in Complex Organizations develops an integrated approach to strategic, financial, and performance management. Benefits those charged with strategy execution and overall performance of the business unit. 

Increasing Your Power and Influence  is part two in the Women's Leadership Series that provides you with a framework for diagnosing and analyzing individual and organizational sources of power as well as an array of tactics by which power and influence are wielded to get things done.

Program Dates
December 12 - 14
Executive Education Center, University Park Campus
April 24 - 26, 2017
Executive Education Center, University Park Campus