Reading, Understanding and Analyzing

Financial Statements

Being able to read and understand financial statements is a fundamental business skill. It’s how we keep score in business. Financial statements are the end product of accounting and understanding them provides the context for understanding accounting. The amazing thing is you already know most of this and apply it every day but you are probably not familiar with the terminology and the parallels to your day-to-day life.

Mastering this skill will help you become a better manager and business person. Whether you are an entrepreneur planning a start up, running a small business, or working for a large corporation, understanding financial statements is critical for your career and success. You will gain insight into how well, or poorly, your business is doing and how to target areas for improvement. It will also enhance your credibility as you meet with accountants, auditors, angel investors, bankers, and venture capitalists.

Being able to read financial statements will also help you make better investment decisions in the stock market because you will be able to get meaningful information out of an Annual Report or a 10K. Every publicly traded company is required to report financial statements quarterly and your ability to understand them will provide you with the decision making tools to invest wisely and lucratively.

Topics we will cover include:

  • What does accounting do? What’s the point?
  • Balance Sheet
    • How its structured and what it means
  • Income Statement
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • The difference between Cash and Accrual accounting and why Accrual is the way to go
  • Cash and profit: knowing how these terms differ
  • How the three main financial statements are linked and flow together
  • How to prepare them and talk to your accountant, banker and investors
  • Financial literacy and transparency: recognizing how they can boost performance
  • The mechanics of analysis: calculating ratios, return on investment, and working capital
  • The history of financial statements and reporting in the stock market
  • How to read a 10K and Annual Report
  • Value Investing: be like Warren Buffett

This seminar is accessible, jargon-free, and filled with entertaining stories from real companies.  It will help non-financial managers add substantially more to their companies’ – and their own – success.  If you have ever wanted to “talk numbers” confidently with your colleagues, this is the seminar for you.


This is seminar based on my book Reading and Understanding Financial Statements available on Amazon