Leading with Finance

  • course details
  • Dates and time: Course is not offered
  • Location: Online, instructor-led live sessions
  • Number of sessions: 6 sessions over 4 weeks
  • Instructional fee: $895, reduced fees available (see Cost section below for details)
  • Format: Zoom videoconference

Accounting and Finance are the “languages of business”. If you are looking to improve your leadership skills by learning the key languages of your business, then this course is for you!

You will gain knowledge and confidence to communicate effectively with key stakeholders, whether you are presenting to executives, shareholders, lenders, customers, or vendors. You will develop a financial intuition to make effective decisions.

What you will learn

  • Accounting foundations and why numbers are the language of business.
  • How to perform activities to understand the impact on financial statements and ratios.
  • How to prepare a basic set of financials, a dashboard with financial ratios, or proforma as a project.

This course is part of a two-course series. You can either take just this course, or start with this course then take the QuickBooks course to further advance your knowledge. You need to register for the QuickBooks course separately.

What are graduates saying?

"This course gave me a great understanding of how finance and some real-life situations could help me with my future investments and businesses"

"I enjoyed the online format which allowed me to complete this course while working full time"

"Good course, well organized"

Who should attend

Working professionals, front-line leaders (new or experienced), executives, board members, entrepreneurs, project managers or those involved in the areas of developing products, processes, or services. Those working in the areas of engineering, customer service, marketing, product design, manufacturing, supply chain development, technology, human resources or individuals exploring a career in accounting.

Course content

A typical course covers the following:

  • The three primary financial statements and what they tell you about the health of a business.
  • Accounting basics:
    • Dual entry,
    • Key accounting categories – assets, liabilities, equity, revenue and expenses,
    • Accrual vs cash basis financial statements,
  • Importance of accounting for entrepreneurs, leaders, lenders, investors, employees, vendors, etc.
  • How to prepare journal entries, invoices, and record vendor bills and payments to gain basic familiarity with how each of these processes impact the financials.
  • How to analyze and identify what your numbers tell you about your business.
  • Key financial ratios – representing liquidity, leverage and profitability.
  • How to prepare numbers and graphs for your audience:
    • Financial dashboard examples,
    • Financial proforma and budget basics,
    • Setting financial targets and goals,
  • How to prepare reports for executives, owners, investors, lenders, etc.
  • Capstone project presentations.

Capstone projects are chosen by you at the beginning of the course. You are encouraged to bring your own project. The combination of the in-class training and the application of course concepts to a real-world capstone project will help increase your knowledge depth. You will receive one-on-one review of your project by the instructor.

Applied learning model

  • You will receive a combination of lectures and hands-on training using QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel examples,
  • You will present your project to a small group of peers during the final class.

Student materials

  • Course materials will be provided electronically
  • QuickBooks software will be available through a free link. In addition, Microsoft Excel will be required.


Robin Geertz

Robin Geertz is the owner and CEO of Dragonfly 360, Inc. She is a licensed CPA with over 25 years of accounting experience. Robin has led teams and managed process and system improvement projects for a variety of companies, including those with revenues in excess of $1 billion. Her responsibilities have included oversight of internal controls, risk management, taxes, budget, payroll, accounts payable, and collections, all while leading key interdepartmental process and system improvement efforts. Robin has a B.S. in Business Management and Communications and an MBA with a concentration in Project Management. She loves spending time with her family, traveling, and learning about other cultures. Robin’s fondest childhood memories include many camping and fishing trips with her family.


The instructional fee is $895. There are limited number of seats available for employees of small businesses with fewer than 150 employees ($448), non-profits and educational institutions ($224), and for current WSU students ($90) and employees ($224). All instructional fees are per person and include a nonrefundable administrative fee of $75. See Registration for details.

The registration fee is the same regardless of residence.

Meetings and format

The course is delivered via Zoom videoconference with live instruction. To attend, you need a computer with webcam, microphone and high-speed internet.

Each Zoom session allows for live interactions with the instructor and other students via chat, web conferencing or phone, all in real time. Assignments and other materials will be available online through a web-based learning management system.

Certificate completion

  • Attend at least five of six sessions
  • Completion and presentation of project