Online Microcredential in Business & Management

Business Management: Financial Accounting for Non-Financial Roles

Develop your accounting skills and knowledge to interpret financial statements, measure performance and assess financial health

Created by

The Open UniversityThe Open University

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Gain the knowledge to understand financial reports with The Open University

Designed for non-financial professionals, this course will give you the confidence to analyse financial information and understand accounting terminology effectively. You’ll learn how to interpret the financial data of any limited company, empowering you to make well-informed decisions on whether a particular business might be a dependable customer, a consistent supplier, a responsible employer, or a sound investment.

During the course you’ll develop skills to make sense of annually published financial accounting statements that are presented to internal and external stakeholders, such as statements of financial performance, financial position and cash flows, in order to help you measure and assess performance, financial health, cash, and working capital.

Real-world insight from industry experts

This microcredential has been created and written by highly qualified professionals with practical experience in business accounting. It uses realistic case studies and published financial statements that will bring your learning to life and ensure that the skills you develop can be applied in a practical way to a diverse range of sectors and organisations.

You’ll learn at your own pace around other life commitments, with the time to reflect and put your skills into practice as you progress through the course. At the end, you’ll be able to immediately apply your newly gained knowledge and have the confidence to contribute to financial discussions and decision-making.

Why are financial accounting skills important for your career development?

Making good business decisions is vital for any successful organisation. This microcredential will support your development so you can do just that.

Focusing on how to interpret financial reports, rather than how to construct them, this course will help you gain meaning from data so you can be sure you are making the best choices for your business to thrive.

If you would like to further strengthen your financial knowledge, The Open University also has a microcredential on Management Accounting. This is a complementary course that will give you the expertise you need to be able to confidently prepare budgets and calculate costs to support your decision making.

Industry statistics

  • Median base salary

  • UK job openings/month


What skills will you learn?

  • Financial literacy
  • Cash-flow analysis
  • Spreadsheet use and manipulation
  • Communication
  • Financial management
  • Decision-making
  • Financial performance and analysis

What you will achieve

By the end of the microcredential, you’ll be able to...

  • Interpret financial accounting reports with confidence
  • Assess financial reports and suggest how to enhance performance, and manage financial health, risk, and resilience
  • Classify cash flows into operating, investing, financing activities and describe their impact on the financial health of a business
  • Identify who uses accounting information and what they need from it
  • Explain the value of financial statements

Are you eligible for this microcredential?

This is an introductory course, and no previous knowledge of accounting is required. You do not require any specific experience or qualifications to enrol.

The course draws on practical examples from many industries and will help you to develop financial accounting skills that are transferable to a diverse range of sectors and organisations, including government, local authorities and the not-for-profit sector.

Is this microcredential right for you?

This microcredential will increase your confidence to interpret financial statements and make informed decisions about business performance. In particular, it will help:

  • Non-financial and emerging managers from any discipline
  • Stakeholders interested in how businesses are performing
  • Professionals who would like to progress to management level
  • Professionals who are new to financial management but lack formal qualifications
  • Senior professionals looking to develop financial accounting skills
  • Self-employed professionals looking to develop skills and knowledge of financial accounting


What happens before, during, and after your microcredential

  • Before learning

    You’ll have access to our online welcome area to read any announcements relating to your microcredential.

  • Course

    From 28 Mar 2022

    Business Management: Financial Accounting for Non-Financial Roles

    Develop your accounting skills and knowledge to interpret financial statements, measure business performance and financial health.

    10 weeks

    10 hours per week

  • After learning

    Once you’ve successfully completed this microcredential, you’ll receive your academic credits from The Open University. You’ll also have ongoing, unlimited access to the course materials.

What you will receive

10 UK credits at Undergraduate level from The Open University

You’ll receive an Open University certificate confirming that you have received 10 academic credits at undergraduate level. Credits are awarded on passing the final assessment.

The assessment will comprise a series of tasks involving the selection, assessment, and appraisal of financial accounting statements for a company of your choice, followed by a short reflective essay describing the value of what you have learned and how you might apply it in practice.

Find out how credits work and where you can use them in our FAQs.

What is a microcredential?

Microcredentials are designed to upskill you for work in rapidly-growing industries, without the time and cost commitment of a full degree. Your microcredential can stand alone as an independent credential, and some also offer academic credit to use towards a degree.

Learn online with expert instructors

Complete online courses led by experts over 12-16 weeks with a dedicated group of professionals.

Complete project-based assessments

Test your understanding with online tutor-marked assessments and exercises.

Earn a professional credential

Finish your learning and pass your assessments to gain an accredited credential.

Advance further in your career

Use your microcredential as evidence of your specialised skills and progress further in your industry.

Career-focused learning by The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Delivered by experts

Paul is a Chartered Accountant, an Open University Associate Lecturer (since 2006), and author of accounting module materials. He was awarded SFHEA for his teaching leadership in October 2017.

Elaine is a Certified Accountant and has worked for a variety of blue-chip companies. She is an Open University Associate Lecturer (since 2018) and is an Associate Fellow (AFHEA)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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When would you like to start?

We aim to run our microcredentials every few months. Join on the date that suits you or register to hear about future runs and updates.

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We can accept payments made by card (Visa, Mastercard and American Express) or PayPal via our online system.

You will have 14 days from the day the course starts to apply for a refund. You can find more information in our cancellation and refund policy.

Microcredentials are designed to fit around your life and timezone.

There may be live events as part of your studies, but these will be recorded and can be watched afterwards if you aren’t online for the live broadcast.

No, microcredentials are designed to be taken anywhere in the world. You won’t need the right to study in the country where the university offering the microcredential is based.

Want to know more? Read the microcredential FAQs, or contact us.