SBDC class participant

Intermediate Financial Management

NOTE: This course is ideal for participants who have some familiarity with financial statements, but who may have not received formal training in the past. If you are looking for a more beginner course, you may be interested in our Introduction to Financial Management course.

Accounting is the language of business. Being conversant in this language means you have a better ability to proactively plan where your business is going and to work effectively with your accountant, bookkeeper, lenders, and other members of your entrepreneurial advisory team.  We consider business financial education to take place along a spectrum of learning – starting with recordkeeping/bookkeeping (accurately tracking your financial transactions), progressing to accounting (understanding how to read “the numbers,” interpret financial statements, identify trends, etc.), and culminating in financial management (taking an active role in the future planning of the direction of your business). This course focuses primarily on the assessment elements of accounting (understanding your numbers) and financial management (future planning and strategic decision-making).

Not sure which financial class is right for you? Check out our Introduction to vs. Intermediate Financial Management – Which is Right for You? for a comparison of each.


Created for owners, managers and employees who want to understand and use financial information to make sound business decisions.

If you as an entrepreneur or business manager are looking for the answers and solutions to these sorts of questions and challenges, then this class is for you: (1) How to read and understand financial information, (2) How to analyze financial information to improve business management decisions resulting in business return on investment commensurate with the risks of the business, (3) How to improve and manage profitability using budgets and better manage working capital, (4) How to improve and manage cash flows using budgets.

In this series of four financial management classes, you will learn how to set up financial records, how to use and analyze financial statements to make decisions, how to create budgets to for profitability and how to manage cash flow.

Reading Financial Statements

Learn accounting terminology and the financial language of business management, how to read the three financial statements, and how management decisions impact your firm’s financial future. Learn accounting jargon, bookkeeping basics, the three types of financial statements, and how your management decisions affect your firm’s financial future.

You will learn:

  • How to read the three types of financial statements
  • How to record business transactions
  • Definitions of accounting terms

Analyzing & Interpreting Financial Statements

Use your financial statements to take advantage of opportunities, improve business performance and discover problem areas. Compare company performance to industry standards.

You will learn:

  • How to make smart business decisions using your financial statements
  • Types of financial analysis tools and their uses
  • Understanding breakeven analysis and the relationship amongst costs, sales volume, pricing, and profitability

Budgeting and Profit Planning

Learn the steps in the budgeting process. Predict sales volumes, estimate expenses and assess different business strategies.

You will learn:

  • Sales and revenue budgeting techniques
  • How to plan for profit
  • Forecasting sales and operating expenses and cost of goods sold

Managing Cash Flow

Forecast and manage cash inflows and outflows to ensure available cash when needed. Develop a cash-flow plan and budget. Understand the difference between short and long-term growth.

You will learn:

  • How to maximize return on equity through cash-flow planning
  • Analysis of actual vs. projected cash flow
  • How to diagnose cash-flow problems and strategies for improvement

Registration Fall 2024

Location: Grainger Hall, UW-Madison

Time: 8:30 am-12:00 pm

Fee: $359

Dates for Fall 2024:

  • Wednesday, October 30, 2024
  • Wednesday, November 6, 2024
  • Wednesday, November 13, 2024
  • Wednesday, November 20, 2024

Registration coming soon for Fall 2024 or call 608-262-2451 to register. BONUS: Place 2 or more paid SBDC courses in your cart, and use discount code SBDC10 for 10% off. Classes must be purchased in the same transaction.

Registration Deadlines

Registration type Date Fee
Earlybird Earlybird closes: 10/9/2024 Earlybird Registration Fee: $323.10
Late Registration Late Registration begins: 10/22/2024 Late Registration Fee: $394.90
Course registration closes 10/29/2024

Registration policy: Payment will be required at time of registration. You must have either a credit card or valid UW-Madison funding string to be able to register.

Cancellation policy: If you cancel before the program begins, there is a $25 cancellation fee. If you cancel after the program begins you will be charged for the full program fee. To cancel, call registration at 608-262-2451. If there is inclement weather, please call 608-263-2221 for a recorded message after 6:30 am for day classes or after 3:30 pm for night classes. Please note that in the case of a cancellation (by either the participant or the SBDC), participants can only be transferred one time into a new course.

Disability Statement: Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the UW-Madison SBDC office at to request accommodations.

I love how this course is put together and presented. Even though I took it before, I felt I learned a ton more this time. I will be back again in a few years.

Owner, Badgerland Irrigation and Lighting Service, LLC, Fall 2022 Participant

Steve was a pleasure to have as an instructor. He made numbers and the accounting concepts palatable. The formulas and data were presented in an easy-to-understand format.

Owner, Achten Building Solutions, Fall 2022 participant

[Taking this class] confirmed we are doing many things right. I learned the value of key reports and ratios, [which gave me] to have more tools to profit from and analyze our operations/decisions.

-President, Aro Eberle Architects, Inc., 2023 participant

[I appreciated the] ease of understanding. Difficult “intimidating” topics made easier to understand and apply to my skill set. Very practical information that I can immediately apply and use in business. [The instructor was] extremely affable 😊 - approachable and encouraging presenter.

–General Manager, Food Fight Restaurant Group, Fall 2022 participant

It helped to have an in-depth explanation of the importance of the information, as well as connecting the dots for what pieces flow together.

-Co-owner, The Fireplace Professionals, Inc., 2023 participant

All aspects of the course were valuable! The way material built upon itself was easy to follow and helped translate to my own business needs.

-Owner, Wilder's Plants & More, 2023 participant

This class lit a fire under my butt to take action on cleaning up my financials.

-Owner, Tricky Foods, 2023 participant

[I appreciated] the concrete tools provided. Steve moved at a pace that worked for my learning... Steve has a gift for helping novices gain skills and tools to help us manage our business more effectively.

–Owner, Tisha's Delicious Bakery, Fall 2022 Participant

Andy Fickett, Fickett Structural Solutionsoh“Steve did an excellent job of sequencing the material. The flow and slides were at a pace that allowed everyone to stay on task.”

~Andy Fickett, President, Fickett Structural Solutions (pictured)

“[This course] really helped [me] to see how it all fits together. I needed this course, and Steve really delivered!”
~Robin Kitson, President, Driftless Chocolates

“Steve explained practices in a way that could be understood; I really enjoyed learning what I didn’t know!”

~Angela Leuzinger, Premier Building Solutions, LLC


Steve Pullara

Steve Pullara is a partner with BDO USA, LLP a CPA and business advisory professional services firm. Steve specializes in serving growing privately held companies primarily in the construction and real estate industries as well as manufacturers, supply chain, and professional services industries. Steve enjoys facilitating the classes because the structure, processes, and best practices implemented by entrepreneurs and business managers enhances the businesses ability to be successful. This results in improved financial position, profits, cash flow and more and better paying jobs for employees. All of which results in sustained benefits to our communities.

The Wisconsin SBDC Network is a proud part of the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship in the University of Wisconsin System.
It is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact us at or call (608) 263-2221.