Course provided by Virtual College

Study type: Online

Starts: Anytime

Price: £50


This course is aimed at financial officers, team leaders and professionals. On completion learners will be able to explain financial forecasting, the challenges that come with it and the different methods.

The course begins with describing the separate but also linked processes of planning, budgeting and forecasting and their definitions in more detail. Five types of budget are reviewed: master, cash, capital expenditure, operating and departmental budgets and four steps to take to ensure that budgets and forecasts are realistic.

A seven stage budgeting and forecasting process is described, consisting of the sales budget, the production budget, the materials purchases budget, the budgeted labour and overhead costs and expenses, the cash budget, the master budget, the financial forecast. Next the components of a financial forecast are reviewed: the profit and loss account, the balance sheet and the cash flow statement.

The module emphasises the importance of accurate financial forecasting and its many benefits to an organisation, reviewing briefly the different qualitative and quantitative methods and techniques used, including the Delphi method, market surveys and reference class forecasting for example. The module concludes with a review of the challenges of accurate financial forecasting.

Learning Objectives

On completion of this course, learners will:

  • Understand methods of financial forecasting
  • Be able to explain the importance of accurate financial forecasting
  • Be able to describe the challenges in creating accurate financial forecasts
  • Be able to evaluate methods of financial forecasting
  • Be able to understand how the key components of financial forecasting are used


The content of this course has been independently certified as conforming to universally accepted Continuous Professional Development (CPD) guidelines.


On successful completion of this course, you will be awarded a Virtual College certificate which you will be able to download and print immediately on completion.


This course will take approximately one to one and a half hours to complete, depending on learning speed.

Target Audience

This course is aimed at team leaders and professionals, including finance officers.

Entry Requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this course.