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Successfully running a development finance institution or making decisions in such institutions requires profound knowledge of accounting, because accounting is the language of business. This course will make you familiar with this language.

What Do We Offer?

  • An interactive e-learning course including video lectures, PDF scripts, examples, practical exercises, self-assessment online tests and case studies
  • A discussion forum for course related issues as well as for exchange of opinions and experiences with your classmates, tutors or the FSDF e-Campus team
  • Personalized support from your e-Campus team
  • Possibility to achieve a Frankfurt School certificate after passing the final exam or a confirmation of course completion after completing the course
  • International network of institutions hosting our final exam all over the world.

Tuition Fees*

Registration Date Fee
Before July 15, 2019 EUR 1,100
After July 15, 2019 EUR 1,300

Final exam fee: 50 EUR (to be paid directly to the final exam host)

Certificate fee: After passing the final exam you will receive a digital certificate. Should you wish to receive a hard copy of your certificate as well, an additional administrative fee of EUR 50 will be charged.


- 10% group discount (for 2 or more participants working for the same institution, informed to us before by an email)

- 10% Alumni discount

- For company packages, please contact us

Payment Options
  • Bank transfer (bank fees have to be covered by the participant)
  • Credit card
  • PayPal

Payment in instalments is unfortunately not possible.

*Subject to change

Target Audience

The target group for the Certified Expert in Financial & Managerial Accounting is top managers, decision-makers, practitioners, consultants, and operational staff working at/for:

  • MFIs and other financial institutions;
  • Regulators and government authorities;
  • Donor institutions;
  • NGOs;
  • International Organizations


The course takes approx. 6 months assuming 5-6 hours of self-study per week. It consists of 6 units which build upon each other. You will take the units in sequence and will  need to pass an online multiple choice test before accessing the next unit.

Unit 4 includes an assignment which you will need to submit at a fixed deadline.

You are not sure if you manage to complete the course within 6 months? No worries! You can apply for a course extension (6 more months) against an administrative fee.

Course contributes to UN SDGs

This course will enhance your knowledge in the following SDGs. The SWA offers professional and executive courses dedicated to the advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Registrations for the next course intake (March – Aug 2020) are possible from 1st of December. If you register before January 15th, 2020 you will benefit from EUR 200 early bird discount.

Course Content*

The Certified Expert in Financial & Managerial Accounting online course introduces concepts and theories of financial and managerial accounting. It focuses on leadership aspects in accounting. Participants will get acquainted with how accounting information is used in decision making and how leadership designs accounting systems and strategically uses the disclosure system to achieve targets. The course covers applied topics of accounting and leadership.

Course Objectives

On successful completion of this course, you will have a thorough comprehension of the basic definitions, theories and concepts of financial and managerial accounting., i.e. you will be able to:

  • describe theories and concepts of financial and managerial accounting
  • point at crucial accounting standards, choices and discretion that leaders should be aware of
  • explain how the cost accounting choices influence the data presented to managers for planning and controlling, as well as for determining prices for products and services
  • be introduced to psychological aspects that should be considered in decision making, including deciding about performance measures and incentives

Suggestions and Recommendations

This course gives you the flexibility to decide on the timing and pace of your learning experience. However we will provide you with recommendations for you to take as much as possible from this course.

Your schedule: We will provide you a course schedule including voluntary and mandatory deadlines. The course schedule serves as a guideline for your personal learning schedule and will help you complete the programme within the given time frame.

Exercises: Even though the exercises in the script are not mandatory we strongly advise that you use them as an opportunity to check your knowledge and to prepare for the final exam.

Networking Opportunities: Use the forum to introduce yourself to your peer participants and to start interesting discussions.

Unit 1: Foundations

The first unit is an introduction to financial and managerial accounting. You will become familiar with the logic of double-entry bookkeeping and start to understand how business transactions are recorded in financial statements. You will be introduced to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which is a set of globally accepted accounting standards. Furthermore, in Unit 1 you will become acquainted with the idea that incentives matter and that there might be conflicts between different objectives of accounting. This also raises concern on accounting quality. We shed light on how IFRS defines accounting quality and how accounting quality can be assessed from a capital market perspective.

Unit 3: Financial Management & Analysis

Unit 3 introduces you to financial statement analysis, i.e. how financial statements are used in economic decision making. The Unit deals with common size financial statements, introduces key financial indicators, but also more sophisticated tools that help us to assess a firm’s operating profitability. The Unit also discusses how financial accounting information is used in valuation models and credit analysis. It also sheds light on accounting discretion, an important aspect both from a financial management but also from the analyst’s perspective.

Unit 5: Analysing Costs for Managerial Decision Making

Unit 5 covers important techniques to analyse costs for managerial decision making. The module will guide you through cost-volume profit analysis which addresses the question of how many units you need to sell to break-even. Moreover, absorption costing and variable costing are explained, which are highly relevant to calculate the value of inventory and to calculate operating income of businesses that have inventories. Finally, you will be introduced to lower price limits and to choosing the optimal product or service mix when capacities are lower than customer demand.

Unit 2: Understanding IFRS Reports

Unit 2 aims at enabling you to read and understand complex financial statements. This is an important prerequisite to analysing financial statements. Understanding IFRS reports might be of high practical relevance for several reasons:

  • Top managers should be able to understand how the business model translates into financial statements.
  • Many stakeholders base their economic decision making on published financial statements; accounting will likely have an impact on cost of capital.
  • In banks, credit decisions require thorough financial statement analysis, in most cases the clients of a bank are not from the financial sector.

Unit 2 uses the example of Volkswagen, a German car manufacturer selling its products worldwide. The interesting feature is that Volkswagen is not only an industrial firm but also has a financial arm which includes one of Germany’s largest banks. This allows us to use Volkswagen as a convenient example both for readers interested in financial reporting issues in industrial firms and in banks. You will basically learn how business models translate into financial statements and what the accounting treatments for key assets, liabilities, expenses and income are.


Unit 4: Basics of Cost Accounting

In Unit 4, you will learn the basics of cost accounting. This includes important concepts such as direct and indirect costs, variable and fixed costs, and total versus unit costs. To calculate profits of products or divisions, we need to allocate overhead costs. There are different options, and depending on the option you choose some product or departments will look more profitable or less profitable – although the underlying business activities do not change! Specifically, the unit will introduce you to methods for allocating support department costs, to job costing, and activity based costing. Understanding these choices is important for any performance evaluation exercise and particularly important for all if responsible for a department or business unit. Moreover, understanding cost allocation is also important, if you want to analyse investment proposals by corporate loan seekers.

Unit 6: Behavioural Aspects in Accounting

The last unit introduces you to economic and psychological aspects of incentives. The knowledge provided in Unit 5 is important for all leaders, as people in leading positions must evaluate the performance of their subordinates. We will consider the non-monetary aspects that drive human behaviour and are relevant in accounting settings, such as social comparison, fairness, honesty and, reciprocity. Finally, the Unit will also provide you with recent insights regarding psychological pitfalls (heuristics and biases) in decision making, for example self-justification, overconfidence, and the sunk-cost effect.

*Subject to change

Course Authors & Trainer

Prof. Dr. Jörg Werner

Prof. Dr. Jörg R. Werner is Professor of Accounting at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management since 2011. His research areas are international and comparative accounting with a particular focus on empirical methods, but also on regulatory issues in accounting and corporate governance. More...

Prof. Dr. Matthias Mahlendorf

Prof. Dr. Matthias D. Mahlendorf is Professor of Managerial Accounting at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. His research areas are performance measurement and relative performance information. More...

Course Trainer

Philipp Stalter

Philipp Stalter works with KPMG in the audit financial service department since 2011. He is in charge of the annual audit for clients in the banking sector and other financial services institutions. He gives support to advisory projects as well.

Furthermore, Philipp is in charge of the internal training in the service line audit. Prior to working with KPMG he worked with a small-sized tax consultancy firm where he was responsible for the preparation of annual financial statements for commercial and fiscal purposes.

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Philipp graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor degree from the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Mannheim (Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg in Mannheim). He focused on tax law and audit. In 2013, he started an extra-occupational Master degree with the Frankfurt School in cooperation with the University of applied science Mainz (Hochschule Mainz). Philipp graduated in 2016 and works as a lecturer for the Frankfurt School since then.