Financial acumen is central to long-term stability and growth

The team at AAT explains how its series of ‘Essentials’ courses, designed for both finance and non-finance staff, can help build understanding of a company’s monetary matters

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During those unprecedented months of uncertainty in the spring of 2020, we were all forced to make business decisions thick and fast. Staff across the business, not just those in the finance team, were heavily involved in crucial decisions concerning financial planning and fiscal control.
It is fair to say those people and, in turn, those businesses with the greatest degree of financial acumen were the best equipped to survive. As we emerge from the pandemic, the same logic applies when it comes to securing stability and growth.
Karl Eastwood, 33, is CEO of Global Lingo, a leading translation and language company. He applied this logic when thinking about his company’s five-year growth strategy. Recognising the need to upskill his global team and improve their financial acumen, he turned to AAT Essentials.
Karl had trained in finance himself by studying AAT’s globally recognised accounting qualifications – so AAT was a logical choice.
“As an AAT alumnus, I have always kept engaged with what AAT can offer in terms of training and CPD,” he says. “I saw the AAT Essentials courses online and thought it would be relevant. Additionally, as I have trained with AAT, I knew that the standard of training was high”.
Unlike AAT’s accounting and finance qualifications, AAT Essentials are designed for non-finance staff as well as finance staff looking to keep their skills fresh. The programme of 10 one- and two-day courses are led by expert trainers and cover essential topics including budgeting, pricing, financial reporting and cash flow.
“We specifically booked the 'Finance for non-finance managers' course to assist staff with the annual budgeting procedure. My team learned about the allocation of expenses and assets to either the income statement or the statement of financial position, as well as other financial ratios that they can apply in their day-to-day roles,” Karl says.
The senior management team at Global Lingo around the world attended the AAT Essentials courses remotely across two days. Those staff taking part in the training were three sales directors, three regional operations managers and an employee experience manager.
As a direct result, Karl has seen more decisions being looked at from a financial perspective as well as a business use perspective. Additionally, in 2021, the team has taken more responsibility for budget ownership and the training has given them more knowledge about how to read these financial documents including the Statement of Liability (SoL) and Statement of Financial Position (SoFP).
“Overall, smarter decisions are being made incorporating not only business requirements but the impact on business financial performance,” he explains.
Working to fine-tune financial skills across your organisation makes a lot of sense. At AAT, our accounting and finance qualifications are a well-established training route for finance staff. However, we recognise this is not always an appropriate route for managers looking to quickly improve their financial know-how.
That’s where AAT Essentials can help. The courses are a cost-effective and convenient way to upskill you or your workforce across a range of essential finance topics. We run in-house sessions if you have groups of staff who require the same training. Alternatively, we run regular open courses which anyone can book on to.
To find out how AAT Essentials will enable smarter decision making in your business, sign up for a free taster session at