University of Wisconsin–Madison

Building Financial Confidence in your Business


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


Location: Grainger Hall, UW-Madison*

* Please note that for this in-person course, the campus expectation is that “We expect everyone on campus – students, faculty, staff, and visitors – to follow the reasonable and research-based measures we have in place to protect our community. Those who can wear a face covering but refuse to do so will be asked to leave the building.”

Schedule: 8:30 am-12:00 pm

Fee: $480

Dates:  Wednesdays – 11/3, 11/10. 11/17, 12/1, 2021 (No class 11/24 for Thanksgiving)

Click to Register or call 608-262-3909 to register BONUS: Place 2 or more fall paid SBDC courses in your cart, and use discount code SBDC10 for 10% off. Classes must be purchased in the same transaction.

This Program is preapproved for SHRM recertification

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 608-262-3909. 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.

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.

“The coursework provided us with a lot of tools and resources that helped us manage the growing business. The binder received in the class we use weekly still today. Steve Pullara did an excellent job at explaining key concepts and how to continue to use the information in our business.  The course really provided a crucial piece of the puzzle we needed to help us guide our start-up business. I would recommend this to anyone who is serious about starting a business or to anyone who may have some core Financial Management training needs.”
~Brenda Fritz, Academy of Little Viking 4K & Childcare

“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

“This series helped me understand more deeply why the numbers matter”

~Bachmann Construction


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.