Leading With Finance Course


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Build an intuitive understanding of finance to better communicate with key stakeholders and grow your career.

As a business leader, it is critical that you can understand and communicate the financial implications of your decisions. How will you generate value? How will your decisions impact shareholders?

Leading with Finance is an online program designed to provide you with a thorough understanding of the principles of finance – a toolkit for making smart financial decisions and the confidence to clearly communicate those decisions to key internal and external stakeholders.

This program also highlights the importance of incorporating subjective judgments into financial decision-making, empowering you to firmly grasp the bigger picture and become a more effective leader. Participating in Leading with Finance will allow you to:

  • Understand key financial levers that drive financial performance
  • Discover how and why finance is concerned with cash flow versus profits
  • Identify ways to create and measure value
  • Examine how the capital markets work and how they affect your business
  • Develop a deep financial intuition that will give you the tools and confidence to make better decisions in your career and life
  • Engage with like-minded peers from around the globe and content developed by the best and brightest of Harvard Business School faculty

Program Structure

Leading with Finance consists of approximately 40 hours of material delivered over a six-week period with a flexible program structure. There is no set time to log in. You complete the coursework on your own time while meeting regular deadlines. All course material is delivered through our innovative online platform. There will be weekly quizzes and a capstone assignment due at the end of the program.

Our learning model centers around the Harvard Business School case method, featuring interviews with business leaders and executives from companies around the world who candidly discuss challenges they've faced or obstacles they've overcome. We ask you to step into their shoes and engage with your peers to work through these real-world business scenarios.

The case protagonists in Leading with Finance represent some of the best and brightest from the worlds of corporate finance, private equity, and investment management.

Topics covered in the program include:

  • Financial Analysis
  • Finance versus Accounting
  • Capital Markets
  • Creating Value
  • Valuation
  • Capital Allocation

Participants in Leading with Finance are eligible for a Certificate of Completion from Harvard Business School Online. To earn the certificate, you must successfully complete all coursework by the stated deadlines and actively contribute to the vibrant learning community.

Who would benefit?

Leading with Finance is designed for individuals who need to look at their business from a deeper financial perspective and who wish to gain the skills and confidence needed to make and convey better financial decisions. This program is also for finance professionals who wish to update their knowledge of finance in order to grow their career.


It is free to apply and applications are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis, so early application is encouraged. Successful applicants will have an undergraduate degree, or be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. Proficiency in written and spoken English is essential.

A basic understanding of accounting and business practices is recommended prior to taking this program, but no prior knowledge of finance is required.

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

Harvard Business School Online teaches vital business concepts in a unique and highly engaging way that enables committed learners to transform their careers, their organizations, and their lives.

Harvard Business School Online teaches vital business concepts in a unique and highly engaging way that enables committed learners to transform their careers, their organizations, and their lives. Read less