Xavier Puig manages a MOOC on finance for those with no financial background
Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) will begin a new massive open online course (MOOC) in April on finance and accountancy for people with no financial background. The course, taught by professor Xavier Puig, lecturer from the Department of Economics and Business at UPF and director of Banking and Finance programs in UPF Barcelona School of Management, will begin on 6 April and enrolment is already open.
Through the Miríada X platform, the course ‘Finance for Non-financial Participants’ seeks to help the students learn the accounting and financial information typically provided by public and private entities from scratch. “It’s about being able to interpret balance sheets and profit and loss statements. It is not an accounting course, it is a course that will provide sufficient knowledge to carry out a critical reading of an entity’s financial statements,” explains Xavier Puig. The course will require approximately 16 hours of dedicated study for 8 weeks.
Students will be introduced to the key aspects through several videos, along with the help of a business creation case study. They create the business from scratch and go on learning how the first balance generates. Then the profit and loss statement is introduced. The basic concepts will be explained: opening balance sheet, profit and loss account, cash-flow and profitability analysis, and the company’s economic viability will be projected through its ‘cash flow statements’ and ‘debt ratios’.
It is not necessary to have any prior knowledge to take this course. “In the same way that we all drive a car or use a PC without knowing anything, or almost nothing, about mechanics or computers; in this course it is not a question of learning accountancy, but of acquiring basic knowledge so that you can know how to interpret a company’s financial statements. This is the objective of the program: to learn how to interpret accounting and financial information and to use it to make the right business decisions.
With this new open program, UPF continues to rely on MOOC to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge using new technology. More than 4,000 people have already enrolled on the course so it is a good thing the number of places on these courses are unlimited and materials are free, open and accessible.