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Understanding Financial Statements

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Course Description

Accounting is the language of business. However, the real language of business lies within accounting--inside the financial statements and financial reporting system. The purpose of this course is to provide a business financial communication tool. Financial statements such as the balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flow, and the statement of stockholders' equity are all used as communication tools to answer questions about the state of a company's financial well-being; they provide insight into the financial position and the financial health of a company over a defined period of time.

This course walks the learner from the beginning stages of accounting and GAAP principles, through the balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flow, and statement of stockholders' equity. Next, the course discusses applied financial statement analysis involving the movement of cash flow through a company and its effects, along with financial ratio analysis which greatly helps stock investors make investment decisions. Finally, the course covers accounting fraud, the mechanisms of fraud, how to spot fraud, and even the methods that are used by unscrupulous accountants and business managers to commit fraud or "cook the books".

This course provides learners with a solid understanding of financial statements. This financial knowledge is used by accountants, managers, and investors to make smart and strategic business decisions.

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Course Lessons

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Lesson 1: Understanding GAAP and FASB

The best way to understand accounting is to think of it as a language. Accounting is the language of business and it allows people to communicate with the operations and transactions of a business, or even an entire industry. 10 Total Points
  • Review 3 Articles: General Accepted Accounting Principles or GAAP: What does it mean?; The Four Basic Financial Statements: An Overview; Elements of the Income Statement
  • Complete: Exam 1

Lesson 2: The Financial Statements Included in an Organization's Financial Reporting Structure

In order to keep an accurate and efficient record of ongoing financial activities, every enterprise will prepare standardized documentation known as financial statements 10 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: The Four Basic Financial Statements: An Overview; Complete Guide To Corporate Finance
  • Complete: Exam 2

Lesson 3: How to Itemize and Interpret the Information Provided in the Income Statement

An income statement, also commonly called a profit and loss statement, reflects a businesss expenses and revenues over a specified period of time. 10 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Understanding The Income Statement; Income Statement Format Example
  • Complete: Exam 3

Lesson 4: The Balance Sheet

The simplest way to understand a balance sheet is to think of it as a snapshot of a company's financial position at a particular point in time. 10 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Breaking Down The Balance Sheet; What balance sheet formats are available?
  • Complete: Exam 4

Lesson 5: The Statement of Stockholders' Equity

The statement of stockholders' equity can help investors, managers, and accountants get a clear picture of a business's ownership profile. 10 Total Points
  • Review Article: Format and Example of Statement of Stockholders Equity
  • Complete: Exam 5

Lesson 6: The Statement of Cash Flows

The main goal of the statement of cash flows is to provide information regarding how a business generates cash, the cash receipts, and cash payments of the business during a given time. 10 Total Points
  • Review 3 Articles: Cash Flow Statement- Explanation; What is cash from operating activities?; What are cash flows from investing activities?
  • Complete: Exam 6

Lesson 7: The Impact of Working Capital and Business Activities on Cash Flow

Cash is generally regarded as the most liquid of all assets that a business can own, so many managers and business owners have a particular interest in exactly how much cash is available to their business at any given time. 10 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: How do changes in working capital affect a company's cash flow?; Understanding Cash Flow Analysis
  • Complete: Exam 7

Lesson 8: Financial Ratio Analysis and Its Objectives and Limitations

The term financial analysis refers to collecting the financial data for a business, and then making comparisons among different variables in either the same financial statement, across multiple financial statements, or across the business, as a whole. 11 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Ratio Analysis: Using Financial Ratios; Four Basic Types of Financial Ratios Used to Measure a Company's Performance
  • Complete: Exam 8

Lesson 9: The Different Types and Categories of Financial Ratios

Financial ratios are a type of quantitative analysis for financial statements. 10 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Categories of Financial Ratios; Financial Ratio Tutorial
  • Complete: Exam 9

Lesson 10: Performing Calculations Using Financial Ratios

Financial ratios are used to measure a company's productivity in terms of how well it is using assets, profits generated from each unit of sale, rate of inventory turnover, etc. The ratios are indicators for current financial health, as well as a company's potential. 10 Total Points
  • Review 3 Articles: Financial Ratios Based on the Income Statement; Trend Analysis; 16 Financial Ratios for Analyzing a Company?s Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Complete: Exam 10

Lesson 11: Financial Statement Fraud, Reasoning, and Consequences

As technology increases and the world becomes more reliant on financial data for global interaction, there is a greater risk for financial fraud to occur. 10 Total Points
  • Review 3 Articles: Detecting Financial Statement Fraud; Examples of Corporate Fraud Investigations; Warning Signs of Fraud on an Income Statement
  • Complete: Exam 11

Lesson 12: What Does Cooking the Books Mean?

This lesson is designed to show you methods of cooking the books -- not to facilitate you in preparing fraudulent financial reports, but rather to help you spot signs of fraud in a business and its financial reports. 70 Total Points
  • Take Poll: Course Completion Poll: Your Thoughts
  • Complete: Exam 12
  • Complete: Final Exam
Total Course Points
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Course Title: Understanding Financial Statements
Course Number: 8900343
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: Professional Development
CEU Value: 0.7 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: UniversalClass Staff Instructor
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $60.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $85.00

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