Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow, ratio, variable, EVA, LIFO, FIFO—for many executives, the terms of accounting and finance seem like a foreign language. What do these terms mean and how do they relate to your role in your organization? How do your decisions affect your organization's profitability? Most important, how can you utilize these concepts to become a greater asset to your company?

Program tuition includes private accommodations, all meals, and course materials.

Program Overview

Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Executive has been carefully crafted by leading faculty to eliminate the mystery behind the numbers and to help executives become informed, strategic users of accounting and financial data. The course covers the core concepts of both finance and accounting, including terminology and assumptions, valuation, financial statements, and distinguishing income from cash flow. The curriculum examines specific accounting methods and demonstrates how these choices affect earnings. Participants learn how to analyze financial reports, identify trends, and study competitors.

Faculty Directors
Other Faculty

Dean Witter Distinguished Professor of Finance, Emeritus; Faculty Director of the Stanford MSx Program

The Robert K. Jaedicke Professor of Accounting; Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Professor of Law (by courtesy), Stanford Law School

Professor of Accounting; Paul L. and Phyllis Wattis Professor of Management

Marriner S. Eccles Professor of Public and Private Management Professor of Law (by courtesy), School of Law

COG. Miller Distinguished Professor of Finance; Professor of Law (by courtesy), School of Law

Key Takeaways
  • Frameworks and tools for understanding the concepts, terms, and techniques of accounting and finance
  • Broad overview of the emerging global marketplace and the role a company plays within it
  • Insight from leading faculty and financial and accounting experts who can translate complex theory into practical, understandable terms

Highlighted Sessions

Capital Structure, Agency Problems, and Market Signaling
Faculty identify the factors that must be considered in determining a firm's optimal capital structure and show how the market reacts to changes in that structure.

Construction of Financial Statements
This session focuses on the mapping between underlying economic events and financial statements, and on how this mapping affects inferences about future profitability and cash flows. In particular, students will examine the construction of financial statements from transaction information, realize that accounting involves trade-offs relating to basic concepts, and illustrate the importance of judgment in accounting and its potential effects on financial statements.

Stock-Based Compensation and Shareholders' Equity
The use of equity-based compensation as a vehicle for motivating and compensating employees is widespread, but has come under increasing criticism, with many observers arguing that the explosive growth in the use of stock options, in particular, was driven by the unusual accounting treatment accorded to them. Over the course of two sessions, we will examine the valuation of traded and employee stock options, the debate about the accounting for employee stock options, and the recent controversy regarding backdating. More broadly, we will use equity pay as a vehicle to understand some key accounting concepts related to shareholders' equity.

Who Should Attend?

This program is developed for mid- to senior-level executives in general management, corporate planning, marketing and sales, or other functional areas who have little or no academic training in finance or accounting. It is appropriate for executives from organizations of any size or industry.
SAMPLE Participant Mix
This week has been like a brain-spa for the busy executive... the frameworks that I learned at Stanford's Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Executive will enable me to ask the right questions about my company's practices and goals.
– Marya L. Andrepont
Deputy Program Manager
Lockheed Martin Space and Strategic Missiles
Hearing the perspective of a diverse group of participants on the issues and topics presented was invaluable in my learning experience. I gained much more insight in assessing the financial performance/condition of other companies which will aide in my primary function in mergers and acquisitions.
– Lester A. Zitkus
Vice President
Equitable Production Company
Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Executive program combines principles of finance and accounting with discussion of application to recent events and highlighted the use of financial tools to better manage and create value in my operation.
– Marshall M. Criser III
VP Regulatory / External Affairs
As an HR executive for a public company, financial acumen is becoming increasingly more critical to the job.  In one week, the FANFE program demystified the world of finance and accounting for me and I feel much more confident in my abilities to analyze financial information.
– Kelley Steven-Waiss
VP, Worldwide Human Resources
PMC-Sierra, Inc.
Of course you learn on the job, but that process takes years. By attending Stanford's Finance and Accounting for the Nonfinancial Executive and learning from the world's best teachers, the education is faster and more cost effective.
– Giuseppe A. D'Angelo
Regional Vice President
General Mills Europe


Stanford University
The Stanford campus is world renowned for its natural beauty, Spanish mission-style architecture, and temperate climate. With more than 8,180 acres (3,310 hectares), Stanford's campus ranks as one of the largest in the United States. Participants in Stanford's Executive Programs become part of a quintessential university setting, residing together, walking or biking to classes, and enjoying access to Stanford University facilities.
The Knight Management Center
Opened in spring 2011, the Knight Management Center has transformed the Stanford Graduate School of Business into a vibrant and unified indoor-outdoor, living and learning community. Participants will take classes at this new state-of-the-art campus, which features tiered classrooms with extensive floor-to-ceiling glass, the latest in audiovisual technology, numerous breakout and study rooms, outdoor seating areas to encourage informal discussion, and an open collaboration lab that employs hands-on and design thinking techniques.
Schwab Residential Center
Designed by renowned Mexican architect, Ricardo Legorreta, the Schwab Residential Center gives residents ample privacy while promoting collegial interaction through shared lounges, outdoor meeting areas, a library, and an exercise room.


Lisa Blair
Associate Director, Programs and Marketing
Phone: +1.650.736.8473