Course Description

This online course is 36 learning hours over twelve weeks. It is recommended that students spend a minimum of 3 hours each week on course work. Students may choose to complete more hours of work on the course in order to explore the content in more depth. 

This course is for non-finance or accounting executives involved in a small/medium-sized enterprise (SME) that is subject to ASPE Standards (Accounting for Private Enterprises). It will provide participants with an understanding of the language of accounting and the information presented in the financial statements, and how to critically interpret from a high level what is being presented. An introduction of the budgeting process, financial ratios and key performance indicators (KPIs) will also be discussed.

Course Outline

  • Discuss the differences between Public Sector Accounting (PSA) and small/medium-sized enterprise accounting (SME).
  • Consider from a high level what the accounting process is, how it can be used to help manage various aspects of an entity and why it is key to the language of business
  • Learn about various financial presentation structures and formats, including how to do a high level analysis
  • Gain an understanding of the budget process, the importance of a properly structured budget process and the need for ongoing monitoring of the budget
  • Identify various types of ratios, obtain a basic understanding of selecting KPI's and learn what information is needed to manage a business

What You Will Learn

  • This course is not designed to create “accountants”, but to give the non-accountants the tools to understand the information presented, how to critically analyze the information as it relates to the entity/department/unit and make/take informed action.


For assistance or more information, please contact openlearning@dal.ca.

The Faculty of OLCD recommends an intermediate level of English language proficiency for the most effective learning and participation in our online and face-to-face courses. A list of minimum recommended scores on some common English tests can be found on our website. If you have questions about your English language proficiency and ability to succeed in this course, please contact openlearning@dal.ca.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Recommended For

This course is recommended for:

  • Suppliers or customers of small/medium-sized enterprise accounting (SME)
  • Non-Accounting/Finance Directors/Advisers of small/medium-sized enterprise accounting (SME)
  • Non-Accounting/Finance Managers

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
Finance Essentials for Business
Online - Self-Paced
Sep 08, 2023 to Dec 01, 2023
Total Learning Hours
Instruction Delivery Method(s)
Course Fee(s)
Tuition non-credit $1,045.00
Required Software
A webcam and microphone will be required for the live sessions.
Section Notes

This course has scheduled written assignments and discussions within the term time frame. The syllabus will be available on the course site. The course site on Brightspace will be available from 4:00 PM AT on the course start date.

Days and times of scheduled meetings will be announced at a future date. Scheduled sessions: students who are unable to attend live sessions will be able to view a recorded version.

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