Criteria For:

Standard Finance - Level 4 3CR

Standard Finance - Level 4 3CR

Program-of-Study Exam: Badge holder demonstrated an understanding of fundamental decision-making skills and knowledge needed to manage a financial business or finance department within an organization. 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, operations, professional development, selling, and strategic management.

Business Law (BL)

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 impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 on financial accounting (BL:088) (SP)

Compliance (CC)

Standard: Understands business's responsibility to know, comply with, and enforce laws and regulations that affect financial business operations and transactions

Performance Indicators:
Discuss the nature and scope of compliance in the finance industry (CC:003) (SP)

Customer Relations (CR)

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, CR LAP 1) (CS)
Demonstrate a customer-service mindset (CR:004) (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)
Handle difficult customers (CR:009, CR LAP 3) (CS)
Handle customer/client complaints (CR:010) (CS)
Identify company’s brand promise (CR:001) (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) (CS)

Economics (EC)

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

Performance Indicators:
Distinguish between economic goods and services (EC:002, EC LAP 10) (CS)
Explain the concept of economic resources (EC:003, EC LAP 14) (CS)
Describe the concepts of economics and economic activities (EC:001, EC LAP 6) (CS)
Determine economic utilities created by business and marketing activities (EC:004, EC LAP 13) (CS)
Explain the principles of supply and demand (EC:005, EC LAP 11) (CS)
Describe the functions of prices in markets (EC:006, EC LAP 12) (CS)
Explain the types of economic systems (EC:007, EC LAP 17) (CS)
Explain the concept of private enterprise (EC:009, EC LAP 15) (CS)
Identify factors affecting a business’s profit (EC:010, EC LAP 2) (CS)
Determine factors affecting business risk (EC:011, EC LAP 3) (CS)
Explain the concept of competition (EC:012, EC LAP 8) (CS)
Explain the role of business in society (EC:070, EC LAP 20) (CS)
Describe types of business activities (EC:071, EC LAP 19) (CS)
Explain the organizational design of businesses (EC:103, EC LAP 23) (SP)
Discuss the global environment in which businesses operate (EC:104, EC LAP 22) (SP)
Describe factors that affect the business environment (EC:105, EC LAP 26) (SP)
Explain the nature of business ethics (EC:106, EC LAP 21) (SP)
Explain how organizations adapt to today’s markets (EC:107, EC LAP 25) (SP)
Determine the relationship between government and business (EC:008, EC LAP 16) (CS)
Describe the nature of taxes (EC:072) (SP)
Analyze the impact of specialization/division of labor on productivity (EC:014, EC LAP 7) (SP)
Explain the concept of organized labor and business (EC:015, EC LAP 5) (SP)
Explain the impact of the law of diminishing returns (EC:023, EC LAP 31) (SP)
Discuss the measure of consumer spending as an economic indicator (EC:081) (SP)
Describe the economic impact of inflation on business (EC:083, EC LAP 28) (SP)
Explain the concept of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (EC:017, EC LAP 1) (SP)
Discuss the impact of a nation’s unemployment rates (EC:082, EC LAP 29) (SP)
Explain the economic impact of interest-rate fluctuations (EC:084) (SP)
Determine the impact of business cycles on business activities (EC:018, EC LAP 9) (SP)
Explain the nature of global trade (EC:016, EC LAP 4) (SP)
Describe the determinants of exchange rates and their effects on the domestic economy (EC:100, EC LAP 30) (SP)
Explain the concept of productivity (EC:013, EC LAP 18) (CS)

Financial Analysis (FI)

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

Performance Indicators:
Describe the need for financial information (FI:579, FI LAP 9) (CS)
Explain the concept of accounting (FI:085, FI LAP 5) (CS)
Explain the role of finance in business (FI:354, FI LAP 7) (CS)
Explain legal and ethical considerations for accounting (SP) Combined (FI:353) and (FI:351)
Explain legal and ethical considerations for finance (SP) Combined (FI:356) and (FI:355)
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)
Describe sources of securities information (FI:274, QS LAP 36) (CS)
Explain the use of technology in accounting (FI:352) (SP)
Describe the nature of cash flow statements (FI:091, FI LAP 6) (SP)
Prepare cash flow statements (FI:092) (MN)
Explain the nature of balance sheets (FI:093, FI LAP 10) (SP)
Prepare balance sheets (FI:393) (MN)
Describe the nature of income statements (FI:094, FI LAP 4) (SP)
Prepare income statements (FI:149) (MN)
Describe the nature of statements of equity and retained earnings (SP)
Explain cash control procedures (e.g., signature cards, deposit slips, internal/external controls, cash clearing, etc.) (FI:113) (CS)
Explain the nature of electronic funds transfer (EFT) (FI:399) (CS)
Explain the nature of the voucher system (FI:404) (CS)
Explain the impact of bank reconciliations on business activities (SP)
Explain the nature of accounts payable (FI:409) (CS)
Discuss controls for vendor files in accounts payable (CS)
Analyze purchase transactions (FI:411) (CS)
Analyze the impact of accounts payable schedules on working capital (SP)
Explain the nature of accounts receivable (FI:424) (CS)
Explain controls for customer files in accounts receivable (CS)
Analyze sales transactions (FI:426) (CS)
Analyze sales returns and allowances (SP)
Analyze uncollectible accounts (SP)
Analyze the impact of accounts receivable schedules on working capital (SP)
Explain the nature of payroll expenses (e.g., Social Security tax, Medicare tax, FUTA, SUTA, workers’ compensation, etc.) (CS)
Discuss the impact of employee benefits on business financials (SP)
Explain the nature of special journals (FI:407) (CS)
Discuss the impact of obsolescence on business expense (SP)
Explain methods used to account for inventory (e.g., FIFO, LIFO, average cost, etc.) (FI:586) (SP)
Discuss the nature of long-term assets (e.g., tangible assets, intangible assets, natural resources, etc.) (SP)
Analyze depreciation schedules (SP)
Describe the nature of budgets (FI:106, FI LAP 3) (SP)
Explain the nature of sales forecasts (MP:013, MP LAP 5) (SP)
Use the time value of money to make business decisions (e.g., projects, investments, etc.) (SP)
Discuss the nature of pro forma statements (FI:509) (SP)
Discuss the nature of working capital/cash flow management (FI:513) (SP)
Describe the nature of cost/benefit analysis (FI:357, FI LAP 11) (MN)
Develop company’s/department’s budget (FI:099, FI LAP 99) (MN)
Forecast sales (FI:096) (MN)
Analyze cash-flow patterns (FI:100) (MN)
Describe types of financial statement analysis (e.g., ratio analysis, horizontal analysis, etc.) (FI:334) (MN)
Calculate financial ratios (FI:097) (MN)
Interpret financial statements (FI:102) (MN)

Financial 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)

Human Resources Management (HR)

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 (NF)

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

Performance Indicators:
Assess information needs (NF:077) (CS)
Obtain needed information efficiently (NF:078) (CS)
Evaluate quality and source of information (NF:079) (CS)
Apply information to accomplish a task (NF:080) (CS)
Store information for future use (NF:081) (CS)
Discuss the nature of information management (NF:110, NF LAP 3) (CS)
Identify ways that technology impacts business (NF:003, NF LAP 4) (PQ)
Explain the role of information systems (NF:083) (PQ)
Discuss principles of computer systems (NF:084) (PQ)
Use basic operating systems (NF:085) (PQ)
Describe the scope of the Internet (NF:086) (PQ)
Demonstrate basic e-mail functions (NF:004) (PQ)
Demonstrate personal information management/productivity applications (NF:005) (PQ)
Demonstrate basic web-search skills (NF:006) (PQ)
Demonstrate basic word processing skills (NF:007) (PQ)
Demonstrate basic presentation applications (NF:008) (PQ)
Demonstrate basic spreadsheet applications (NF:010 (PQ)
Demonstrate basic database applications (NF:009) (PQ)

Marketing (MK)

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)

Operations (OP)

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)
Describe health and safety regulations in business (OP:004) (PQ)
Report noncompliance with business health and safety regulations (OP:005) (PQ)
Follow instructions for use of equipment, tools, and machinery (OP:006) (PQ)
Follow safety precautions (OP:007) (PQ)
Maintain a safe work environment (OP:008) (CS)
Explain procedures for handling accidents (OP:009) (CS)
Handle and report emergency situations (OP:010) (CS)
Explain routine security precautions (OP:013) (CS)
Follow established security procedures/policies (OP:152) (CS)
Protect company information and intangibles (OP:153) (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)

Professional Development (PD)

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, QS LAP 51) (CS)
Set personal goals (PD:018; QS LAP 22, PD LAP 16) (CS)
Explain the need for innovation skills (PD:126, PD LAP 18) (CS)
Make decisions (PD:017; QS LAP 2, PD LAP 10) (CS)
Demonstrate problem-solving skills (PD:077; QS LAP 26, PD LAP 17) (CS)
Assess personal interests and skills needed for success in business and marketing (PD:013) (PQ)
Analyze employer expectations in the business environment (PD:020) (PQ)
Explain the rights of workers (PD:021) (PQ)
Identify sources of career information (PD:022) (CS)
Identify tentative occupational interest (PD:023) (CS)
Explain employment opportunities in business (PD:025, PD LAP 15) (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)
Describe techniques for obtaining work experience (e.g., volunteer activities, internships, etc.) (PD:032) (PQ)
Explain the need for ongoing education as a worker (PD:033) (PQ)
Explain possible advancement patterns for jobs (PD:034) (PQ)
Discuss career opportunities in the finance industry (PD:152, QS LAP 51) (CS)
Discuss licensure and certification available to finance professionals (PD:082) (SP)
Discuss opportunities for building professional relationships in finance (PD:153) (SP)
Describe the nature of retail/business banking processes (PD:204) (CS)
Describe types of retail/business banking products and services (PD:154) (CS)
Describe the nature of the insurance industry (PD:157) (CS)
Describe how securities are traded (PD:236, QS LAP 47) (SP)
Explain causes of stock price fluctuations (PD:238, QS LAP 40) (SP)
Discuss the roles and responsibilities of accounting-standard-setting bodies (i.e. SEC, FASB, IASB, GSB) (SP)
Compare Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) (SP)
Explain the role of managerial accounting techniques in business management (PD:171) (SP)

Selling (SE)

Standard: Understands the concepts and actions needed to determine client needs and wants and respond through planned, personalized communication that influences purchase decisions and enhances future business opportunities

Performance Indicators:
Explain the nature of liability insurance (SE:405) (SP)
Describe components of automobile insurance coverage (SE:406) (SP)
Discuss components of homeowners/renters insurance (SE:407) (SP)
Discuss the nature of health insurance coverage (SE:412) (SP)
Discuss the nature of life insurance (SE:419) (SP)
Explain the nature of stocks (SE:421, QS LAP 34) (SP)
Explain the nature of bonds (SE:428, QS LAP 33) (SP)
Describe the nature of mutual funds (SE:429, QS LAP 35) (SP)

Strategic Management (SM)

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)