Understanding the Financial Impact of Operating Decisions

Created in partnership with: Ahmad Rahnema Alavi

Understanding The Financial Impact Of Operating Decisions

What You Will Learn

  • Anticipate the impact of day-to-day operational decisions on the financial health of the business
  • Use ratios and other frameworks to identify the source of problems that are contributing to poor financial health
  • Investigate examples of how operating decisions impact the Balance Sheet and Income Statement

What You Will Do

  • Analyze company Profit & Loss (P&L) statements to calculate and trend the gap between Working Capital (WC) and Working Capital Requirements (WCR)
  • Recommend actions that consider cash flow management, customer service, cost and risk to optimize working capital performance
  • Pursue creative approaches to improve the organization’s cash positions, including suppliers’ terms and processes for receivables


Managers make decisions every day that have an impact on the company’s financial performance. Reputable companies that went bankrupt during the financial crisis between 2007 and 2009 might have escaped that fate if managers had seen problems arising soon enough to take corrective actions to preserve the firm’s cash, and ultimately, its solvency.

In this Learning Sprint, you will learn how common management decisions related to inventory, marketing, sales practices, procurement and others can stress company cash flows. With deeper insight into the relationship between Working Capital and Working Capital Requirements, managers will better understand the impact their decisions have on company Profit & Loss (P & L) statements.

Course Outline

Expert Faculty

Ahmad Rahnema Alavi
Director of Financial Management Department, IESE

Additional Material