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I just presented a two day workshop called "Accounting and Finance for Non-financial Managers" for a large international company. The workshop focuses on theoretical concepts in micro-economics, finance and accounting and the practical application of the concepts to business management and decision making.
The client wanted the workshop to focus on the analysis of new projects using the discounted cash flow methodology. What was particularly interesting is that the company shared their own discounted cash flow template for project analysis. Every CFO makes adjustments to such a template to achieve certain strategic or risk management objectives. When I was CFO of the Indonesian company I added seven percent to the actual weighted average cost of capital discount factor to reflect the uncertainty of the operating environment. The differences between the client template and the theoretical model for discounted cash flow gave me quite a lot of insight into the strategy of the company. I would like to illustrate this point more fully but I would be violating my non-disclosure agreement with the client. One point worth noting is that the next time you do due diligence on a large acquisition ask to see their capital expenditure evaluation template. May give you some real insights into how they think about the business.
If you are interested in refreshing your knowledge of theoretical finance and valuation, Aswath Damodaran, a professor at the Stern School at NYU, has a terrific website here. What could be more fun on this 4th of July weekend than reading about beta and weighted average cost of capital. Enjoy the weekend even if you don't do any finance.