Criteria For:

Honors-Ready Finance - Level 4 2CR

Honors-Ready Finance - Level 4 2CR

Program-of-Study Exam: Badge holder demonstrated an understanding of complex strategic decision-making skills and knowledge needed to manage a financial business or finance department within an organization, as well as more specialized skills and knowledge needed by accounting, corporate finance, and securities and investments professionals. Skills and concepts assessed focus on business law, compliance, communication skills, customer relations, economics, emotional intelligence, financial analysis, financial-information management, human-resources management, information management, marketing, operations, professional development, risk management, selling, and strategic management.

Business Law

Standard: Understands business's responsibility to know, abide by, and enforce laws and regulations that affect business operations and transactions

Performance Indicators:
Explain types of business ownership (BL:003, BL LAP 1) (CS)
Discuss legal considerations in the finance industry (BL:133) (SP)
Discuss the effect of tax laws and regulations on financial transactions (BL:134) (SP)
Discuss the nature and scope of compliance in the finance industry (BL:148) (SP)
Describe the use of technology in compliance (BL:149) (SP)

Customer Relations

Standard: Understands the techniques and strategies used to foster positive, ongoing relationships with customers

Performance Indicators:
Explain the nature of positive customer relations (CR:003, LAP-CR-001) (CS)
Demonstrate a customer-service mindset (CR:004, LAP-CR-004) (CS)
Develop rapport with customers (CR:029) (CS)
Reinforce service orientation through communication (CR:005) (CS)
Respond to customer inquiries (CR:006) (CS)
Adapt communication to the cultural and social differences among clients (CR:019) (CS)
Interpret business policies to customers/clients (CR:007) (CS)
Build and maintain relationships with customers (CR:030) (SP)
Handle difficult customers (CR:009, LAP-CR-003) (CS)
Handle customer/client complaints (CR:010, LAP-CR-010) (CS)
Identify company’s brand promise (CR:001, LAP-CR-006) (CS)
Determine ways of reinforcing the company’s image through employee performance (CR:002) (CS)
Explain the responsibilities of finance professionals in providing client services (CR:012) (CS)
Discuss the nature of customer relationship management (CR:016, LAP-CR-016) (SP)
Explain the role of ethics in customer relationship management (CR:017) (SP)
Describe the use of technology in customer relationship management (CR:018) (SP)
Use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology (CR:024) (SP)


Standard: Understands the economic principles and concepts fundamental to business operations

Performance Indicators:
Distinguish between economic goods and services (EC:002, LAP-EC-010) (CS)
Explain the concept of economic resources (EC:003, LAP-EC-014) (CS)
Describe the concepts of economics and economic activities (EC:001, LAP-EC-006) (CS)
Determine economic utilities created by business and marketing activities (EC:004, LAP-EC-013) (CS)
Explain the principles of supply and demand (EC:005, LAP-EC-011) (CS)
Describe the functions of prices in markets (EC:006, LAP-EC-012) (CS)
Explain the role of business in society (EC:070, LAP-EC-020) (CS)
Describe types of business activities (EC:071, LAP-EC-019) (CS)
Describe types of business models (EC:138) (SP)
Explain the organizational design of businesses (EC:103, LAP-EC-023) (SP)
Discuss the global environment in which businesses operate (EC:104, LAP-EC-022) (SP)
Describe factors that affect the business environment (EC:105, LAP-EC-026) (SP)
Explain the nature of business ethics (EC:106, LAP-EC-021) (SP)
Explain how organizations adapt to today’s markets (EC:107, LAP-EC-025) (SP)
Explain the types of economic systems (EC:007, LAP-EC-017) (CS)
Identify the impact of small business/entrepreneurship on market economies (EC:065) (CS)
Explain the concept of private enterprise (EC:009, LAP-EC-015) (CS)
Identify factors affecting a business’s profit (EC:010, LAP-EC-002) (CS)
Determine factors affecting business risk (EC:011, LAP-EC-003) (CS)
Explain the concept of competition (EC:012, LAP-EC-008) (CS)
Determine the relationship between government and business (EC:008, LAP-EC-016) (CS)
Describe the nature of taxes (EC:072, LAP-EC-027) (SP)
Explain the concept of productivity (EC:013, LAP-EC-018) (CS)
Analyze impact of specialization/division of labor on productivity (EC:014, LAP-EC-007) (SP)
Explain the concept of organized labor and business (EC:015, LAP-EC-005) (SP)
Explain the impact of the law of diminishing returns (EC:023, LAP-EC-031) (SP)
Discuss the measure of consumer spending as an economic indicator (EC:081) (SP)
Describe the economic impact of inflation on business (EC:083, LAP-EC-028) (SP)
Explain the concept of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (EC:017, LAP-EC-001) (SP)
Discuss the impact of a nation’s unemployment rates (EC:082, LAP-EC-029) (SP)
Explain the economic impact of interest-rate fluctuations (EC:084) (SP)
Determine the impact of business cycles on business activities (EC:018, LAP-EC-009) (SP)
Explain the nature of global trade (EC:016, LAP-EC-004) (SP)
Discuss the impact of globalization on business (EC:109) (SP)
Describe the determinants of exchange rates and their effects on the domestic economy (EC:100, LAP-EC-030) (SP)

Financial Analysis

Standard: Understands tools, strategies, and systems used to maintain, monitor, control, and plan the use of financial resources

Performance Indicators:
Describe types of financial-services providers (FI:075) (CS)
Discuss considerations in selecting a financial-services provider (FI:076) (CS)
Describe the need for financial information (FI:579, LAP-FI-009) (CS)
Explain the concept of accounting (FI:085, LAP-FI-005) (CS)
Discuss the role of ethics in accounting (FI:351) (SP)
Explain the use of technology in accounting (FI:352) (SP)
Explain legal considerations for accounting (FI:353) (SP)
Explain the role of finance in business (FI:354, LAP-FI-007) (CS)
Discuss the role of ethics in finance (FI:355) (SP)
Explain legal considerations for finance (FI:356) (SP)
Describe the nature of financial institutions (FI:336) (CS)
Explain types of financial markets (e.g., money market, capital market, insurance market, commodities markets, etc.) (FI:337) (SP)
Discuss the nature of convergence/consolidation in the finance industry (FI:573) (SP)
Describe the relationship between economic conditions and financial markets (FI:574) (SP)
Explain the nature and scope of financial globalization (FI:575) (SP)
Explain the need to save and invest (FI:270) (CS)
Explain types of investments (FI:077, LAP-FI-077) (CS)
Describe the concept of insurance (FI:081) (CS)
Discuss the nature of the accounting cycle (FI:342) (CS)
Distinguish among types of business transactions (FI:673) (CS)
Distinguish among types of business documentation (FI:674) (CS)
Demonstrate the effects of transactions on the accounting equation (FI:378) (CS)
Describe the nature of cash flow statements (FI:091, LAP-FI-006) (SP)
Prepare cash flow statements (FI:092) (MN)
Explain the nature of balance sheets (FI:093, LAP-FI-010) (SP)
Describe the nature of income statements (FI:094, LAP-FI-004) (SP)
Describe sources of securities information (FI:274) (CS)
Interpret securities tables (FI:275) (SP)
Explain the nature of statements of changes in equity (FI:630) (SP)
Calculate the time value of money (FI:238) (SP)
Describe the nature of budgets (FI:106, LAP-FI-003) (SP)
Explain the nature of operating budgets (FI:098) (SU)
Describe the nature of cost/benefit analysis (FI:357, LAP-FI-011) (MN)
Determine relationships among total revenue, marginal revenue, output, and profit (FI:358) (MN)
Develop company’s/department’s budget (FI:099) (MN)
Forecast sales (FI:096) (MN)
Describe types of financial statement analysis (e.g., ratio analysis, trend analysis, etc.) (FI:334) (MN)
Discuss limitations of using financial statements to assess business performance (FI:655) (MN)
Calculate financial ratios (FI:097) (MN)
Interpret financial statements (FI:102) (MN)
Spot problems in/issues with financial statements (FI:335) (MN)
Explain the nature of managerial cost accounting (e.g., activities, costs, cost drivers, etc.) (FI:647) (SP)
Describe the scope of costs in managerial accounting (e.g., direct cost, indirect cost, sunk cost, differential cost, etc.) (FI:658) (SP)
Describe marginal analysis techniques and applications (FI:659) (SP)
Explain the role of managerial accounting techniques in business management (FI:660) (SP)
Discuss the use of variance analysis in managerial accounting (FI:661) (SP)
Discuss the nature of cost accounting budgets (FI:662) (SP)
Discuss the nature of cost allocation (FI:663) (SP)
Discuss the nature of annual reports (FI:388) (SP)
Analyze transactions and accounts (e.g., purchase, sales, sales returns and allowances, uncollectible accounts, depreciation, debt) (FI:449) (SP)
Prepare income statements (FI:149) (MN)
Prepare statements of changes to equity (FI:392) (MN)
Prepare balance sheets (FI:393) (MN)
Explain valuation models used in finance (FI:656) (MN)
Describe the financial needs of a business at different stages of its development (FI:339) (MN)
Discuss factors to consider in choosing between debt and equity capital (FI:340) (MN)
Explain the significance of a firm's capital structure (FI:341) (MN)

Financial-Information Management

Standard: Understands tools, strategies, and systems needed to access, process, maintain, evaluate, and disseminate financial information to assist business decision-making

Performance Indicators:
Explain the nature and scope of the financial-information management function (FM:002) (SP)
Explain the role of ethics in financial-information management (FM:003) (SP)
Describe the use of technology in the financial-information management function (FM:011) (SP)
Demonstrate budgeting applications (FM:013) (SP)
Demonstrate financial analysis applications (FM:014) (SP)
Describe techniques used to analyze customer financial information (FM:009) (SP)
Discuss non-traditional uses for financial information (e.g., lean, sustainability reporting, activity-based costing [ABC], six sigma) (FM:016) (SP)

Human Resources Management

Standard: Understands the tools, techniques, and systems that businesses use to plan, staff, lead, and organize its human resources

Performance Indicators:
Discuss the nature of human resources management (HR:410, HR LAP 35) (CS)

Information Management

Standard: Understands tools, strategies, and systems needed to access, process, maintain, evaluate, and disseminate information to assist business decision-making

Performance Indicators:
Discuss the nature of information management (NF:110, NF LAP 3) (CS)
Describe the nature of business records (NF:001, NF LAP 1) (SP)
Maintain customer records (NF:002) (SP)
Describe current business trends (NF:013) (SP)
Monitor internal records for business information (NF:014) (SP)
Conduct an environmental scan to obtain business information (NF:015, NF LAP 2) (SP)
Interpret statistical findings (NF:093) (SP)
Translate research findings into actionable business recommendations (NF:216) (SP)
Explain the principles of data analysis (NF:139) (SP)
Explain the nature of tools that can be used to access information in the database system (NF:140) (SP)
Access information in the database system (NF:141) (SP)
Discuss the nature of data mining (NF:148) (CS)
Describe data mining tools and techniques (NF:149) (SP)
Discuss the importance of ethics in data mining (NF:150) (SP)
Demonstrate basic data mining techniques (NF:151) (SP)
Interpret data mining findings (NF:152) (SP)
Demonstrate advanced database applications (NF:124) (SP)


Standard: Understands the tools, techniques, and systems that businesses use to create exchanges and satisfy organizational objectives

Performance Indicators:
Explain marketing and its importance in a global economy (MK:001, MK LAP 4) (CS)


Standard: Understands the processes and systems implemented to monitor, plan, and control the day-to-day activities required for continued business functioning

Performance Indicators:
Explain the nature of operations (OP:189, OP LAP 3) (CS)
Explain the nature and scope of purchasing (OP:015, OP LAP 2) (CS)
Explain the concept of production (OP:017,OP LAP 4) (CS)
Explain the nature of overhead/operating costs (OP:024) (SP)
Explain employee’s role in expense control (OP:025, OP LAP 5) (SP)
Conduct breakeven analysis (OP:192) (MN)

Professional Development

Standard: Understands concepts, tools, and strategies used to explore, obtain, and develop in a business career

Performance Indicators:
Discuss career opportunities in the finance industry (PD:152, LAP-PD-020) (CS)
Utilize job-search strategies (PD:026) (PQ)
Complete a job application (PD:027) (PQ)
Interview for a job (PD:028) (PQ)
Write a follow-up letter after job interviews (PD:029) (CS)
Write a letter of application (PD:030) (CS)
Prepare a résumé (PD:031) (CS)
Use networking techniques to identify employment opportunities (PD:037) (SP)
Discuss opportunities for building professional relationships in finance (PD:153) (SP)
Discuss the importance of corporate governance in business (PD:213) (CS)
Ascertain employee’s role in achieving governance objectives (FI:301) (CS)
Identify the factors that impact governance structures (PD:302) (SP)
Describe the components of a well-governed company (e.g., board of directors, reporting, transparency, internal and external audit functions) (PD:214) (SP)
Describe the impact of governance processes on decision-making and management functions (PD:303) (SP)

Risk Management

Standard: Understands risk-management strategies and techniques used to minimize business loss

Performance Indicators:
Explain the role of ethics in risk management (RM:041) (SP)
Describe the use of technology in risk management (RM:042) (SP)
Discuss legal considerations affecting risk management (RM:043) (SP)
Discuss the nature of risk control (i.e. internal and external) (RM:058) (SP)

Strategic Management

Standard: Understands tools, techniques, and systems that affect a business's ability to plan, control, and organize an organization/department

Performance Indicators:
Explain the concept of management (SM:001, SM LAP 3) (CS)
Discuss the nature of enterprise risk management (ERM) (SP)