A successful business career starts with financial fundamentals. If you aspire to become a vital contributor to the economic well-being of any organization, the online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Finance program from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (UWP) provides an ideal environment to build a strong foundation of financial literacy and proficiency.

What Is Financial Literacy in Business?

Financial literacy in business is about gaining a profound knowledge of financial principles and practices that drive sound decision-making. It goes beyond balancing budgets or analyzing spreadsheets. It is about mastering the art of managing cash flow, strategically utilizing resources, optimizing tax strategies and making informed, data-driven decisions. It is also about confidently handling challenges and avoiding potentially devastating errors.

With financial literacy, you will have the confidence to navigate the complexities of the financial world, drive your organization’s success and unlock endless growth opportunities. UWP’s specialized MBA program empowers you with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in financial management.

Understanding the Most Vital Numbers in Business Management

A comprehensive understanding of financial management is the cornerstone of success for the decision-makers running firms of all sizes and in every industry. The UWP MBA with a Concentration in Finance equips you with the knowledge and skills to master the most vital numbers in business management. Here are a few examples:

  • Cash flow analysis: At the core of financial management lies the ability to meticulously analyze your company’s cash flow. This involves tracking the movement of funds in and out of your business, identifying patterns and ensuring that your company always has enough liquidity to meet operational needs. The UWP program trains students with the expertise to navigate this critical aspect of financial management efficiently.
  • Tax strategy: Taxes are inevitable in any business operation. Understanding the intricacies of taxation, from income tax to corporate tax, is paramount. This program provides the insights needed to optimize tax strategies, ensuring that your business or clients are not paying more than a fair share and that you are taking advantage of any available tax incentives.
  • Budgeting proficiency: Creating an accurate budget and advocating for the allocations your business unit needs are fundamental skills in financial management. As a program graduate, you will be able to develop comprehensive and realistic budget plans that serve as roadmaps for your unit or company finances, guiding decision-makers in allocating resources effectively and achieving financial goals.
  • Financial health assessment: Understanding financial numbers allows you to assess the overall health of your company. You will be able to identify areas of wasted money, helping you to remove unnecessary expenses and improve profitability. Simultaneously, you will be equipped to recognize opportunities for long-term investments that can drive sustainable business growth and success.
  • Financial statement fluency: Financial statements are the pulse of your business. Learning to dissect balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements enables you to gain valuable insights into your company’s financial health. These insights help you spot trends, assess profitability and make data-driven decisions to optimize your financial strategy.
  • Key ratio expertise: Important financial ratios include the debt-to-equity ratio (which reveals the balance between your business’s debt and equity) and the gross profit margin (which indicates your company’s profitability after accounting for the cost of goods sold). Proficiency in interpreting these ratios equips you to make more informed judgments on your company’s behalf.
  • Credit and debt navigation: Understanding how to effectively manage and leverage credit and debt is crucial for business growth and sustainability. Whether you need to secure loans for expansion, manage credit lines, assess creditworthiness, negotiate favorable lending terms or refinance existing debt, this knowledge empowers you to make informed borrowing decisions that align with your company’s financial goals.
  • Accounts receivable management: Efficient management of accounts receivable ensures a steady cash flow, which is the lifeblood of any business. The UWP program curriculum equips you with techniques to streamline your invoicing process, minimize late payments and effectively manage outstanding receivables, ensuring your company remains financially stable.
  • Investment planning: Whether considering capital expenditures, evaluating potential acquisitions or looking for ways to grow your financial assets, program courses provide the skills to assess risks, calculate returns and make sound investment choices that align with your company’s long-term objectives.

Financial Literacy Is Your Competitive Advantage: Build a Strong Foundation

Financial acumen is in strong demand in every business sector. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 17% job growth for financial managers between 2021-2031, as of September 2023. This growth projection is much faster than average, with about 71,300 openings projected each year on average through the period.

Harvard Business School includes financial abilities as key technical skills in its list of top skills MBA programs develop and cites the importance of understanding financial statements, ratios and formulas. Ultimately, all employees should be able to “contribute to a discussion on the company’s performance” to help their businesses keep score. Earning a specialized MBA in finance can become your career-long advantage in a business world that is increasingly driven by managers and executives with strong financial acumen.

Learn more about University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s online Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance program.