Finance Essentials

Gain a comprehensive overview of the key financial information you require to confidently perform your duties.

8 CPD points

You’ll learn to use and oversee financial information and processes – both of which are critical elements of holding an organisation to account on behalf of stakeholders. The content is focused on practical application and exercises to ensure relevance. 
(Pictured:  Zoe Griffiths, Ministry of Education; Anthony Little, Ngati Tama Ki Te Waipounamu Trust and Joanie Wilson, Ngati Koata Trust.)

Course/workshop category: Fundamental course

Duration: One day 8.30 am – 5.00 pm

Content covered

  • The Financial Reporting Act 2013 and its implications for directors
  • Accounting terms and principles for directors and key finance terminology
  • Directors’ external reporting obligations and solvency requirements
  • Financial analysis tools for interpreting performance
  • Assessing initiatives and opportunities to build organisational value
  • Recognising ‘red flags’

Who should attend?

Aspiring or new directors embarking on a governance career and senior executives who want to interact with their board more effectively, as well as more experienced directors upskilling in finance.


​Members: $850 incl GST
Non-members: $1,080 incl GST

Not a member? Join online now to receive the member rate.

A 10% discount is available if you are booking this course under the Essentials of Directorship package.


Chelsea Millar"I was hesitant going into the course, as my governance and finance experience was limited, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the attendees were on the same page. The information was really easy to digest and having working examples allowed you to put your new knowledge into practice. One of the participants said they loved words, and when they saw numbers they just froze because it became foreign to them. Our coach explained how numbers tell a story you just need to know how to read that story! Bingo – everything made sense. I now feel a lot more confident when reading cash flows and balance sheets. Rather than picking out the minor operational detail in reports, I now have the knowledge to challenge what is presented at a governance level. It’s a real confidence builder."
Chelsea Millar, board member NZ Young Farmers and recent Wellington Finance Essentials course attendee

“Finance Essentials gives a good overview of interpreting accounts and what questions directors should be asking.” – testimonial from a Finance Essentials attendee

Our facilitators

Finance Essentials is presented by one of the facilitators below.

  • Nick Dangerfield BCom, FCA, CMA, MInstD

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    Nick has a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Economics) from Canterbury University and is a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants as well as being a qualified cost and management accountant. Nick has had over 25 years’ experience in senior finance management positions and has also held the role of General Manager Operations. Nick also does Training for Chartered Accountant Australia and New Zealand in the areas of Finance for Non-Financial Managers and Professional Ethics. Nick has held a number of directorships and chairmanships in both the SME market and not-for-profit sector. He is currently Treasurer of PARS, Chair (Audit & Risk) and Board Member of NZ Cancer Society as well as member of the Tauranga Te Papa Rotary Club.

  • Craig Rust NDB, NDA, CA, MInstD

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    Craig is a fully qualified Chartered Accountant and member of both the Chartered Accountants of New Zealand / Australia and the Institute of Directors (IoD). Craig established Business Innovators Ltd in 2002 which specialises in business turnarounds through providing strategic growth and management advice to a wide range of small and medium sized businesses. Craig also provides ongoing Director, Chair and Advisory Board services, including regularly facilitating director level training for the IoD since 2009 around the topics of Governance, Finance and Strategy. Prior to setting up Business Innovators, Craig worked as a Chartered Accountant, including in a Senior Management capacity at PricewaterhouseCoopers and received the 2005 Young Accountant of the Year Award for the Southern Region.

    Over the years, a number of Craig’s clients have won various business awards throughout New Zealand including; Small to Medium Exporter of the Year Award, A national Maori Business Award, Supreme Business of the Year in the Nelson Business Awards, First place on the Deloitte Unlimited Fast 50 list.

    Executive and Directorship roles over the past 25 years in the food, data, technology, business development, education, and engineering sectors have resulted in many years of governance, strategy and organisational development experience.

    Currently Craig is the owner and Director of a South Island based food manufacturing and retail business; The Divine Cakes and Desserts Group, and employs over 40 staff.

  • Paul Connell CA CFInstD

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    Paul is an independent director with extensive experience as a consultant, executive and director in a variety of industries. Since 2000 he has been a director of a number of listed companies, private companies and public entities. He is presently Chair of the Accreditation Council, Director and of Unison Networks Ltd, Unison Fibre Ltd, ETEL Ltd, Hall’s Logistics Group Ltd and Telarc Ltd. He is Independent Chair of the Environmental Protection Authority’s Audit and Risk Committee, Chair of Unison Networks Audit and Risk Committee and Chair of Bobux International Limited.

  • Catherine McMillan BCom (Hons), CA, DipTchng, MInstD

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    Catherine has experience in the public sector, corporate business and education, in both senior management and governance roles. She has her own consultancy business which focuses on professional and executive education, strategy development and business re-structuring. She has held governance roles in a variety of organisations and is a trustee with CORE Education Charitable Trust and Te Kōhaka o Tūhaitara Trust. In addition, she sits on the Christ’s College Board as the Christ College Old Boys Association representative.

  • Hamish Stevens MCom, MBA, CA, CMInstD

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    Hamish is an Auckland based independent director and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors. He is an experienced board chair and holds several board committee chair positions.  Hamish is currently chair of East Health Services Ltd and The Kennedy’s Ltd, and a director of Restaurant Brands Ltd, Marsden Maritime Holdings Ltd, Pacific Radiology Group Ltd, Pharmaco Ltd, and Counties Power Ltd.  He is also the Independent Chair of the Waikato Regional Council Audit and Risk committee.  Prior to his governance career, Hamish held senior executive positions within some of New Zealand’s largest companies, including Tip Top Ice Cream, Heinz Wattie’s, and DB Breweries. Hamish has an M.Com (Hons.) and MBA from the University of Auckland and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand.