Taught course

Business Management: Financial Accounting for Non-Financial Roles

FutureLearn · The Open University
University Credits

Entry requirements

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. It has a global focus and delivers transferable skills for diverse sectors and organisations.

The course material does not assume that learners are currently working. Past experiences will be just as relevant.

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

Months of entry


Course content

Gain the knowledge to understand financial reports with The Open University in this fully-online 10 week Microcredential course.

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.

Throughout the course you’ll take part in weekly activities to support and consolidate your learning. At the end of the course, you’ll submit an assessment which is marked and graded with personalised feedback, by academic experts from The Open University.

Learn from experts at The Open University

This microcredential has been created by experts from The Open University’s Business School. Its academics have vast experience in the delivery of online business modules, in fact it is one of only 100 business schools in the world to hold the ‘triple crown’ of triple-accredited status with EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA. Fewer than 1% of all business schools worldwide have been awarded this accreditation.

Discover more of The Open University’s Business and Management microcredentials – designed to provide you with key leadership and management skills that will set you up for career success.

Choose from Fundamentals of Management Accounting, Marketing Principles and Practice, Improving Organisational Practice, Project Management and People Management and Leadership.

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

Information for international students

This is a fully online course and can be studied from anywhere in the world.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • University Credits
    3 months
    • Online learningis available for this qualification

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.


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Not Specified100

Course contact details

FutureLearn Community Team