Acquiring the Fundamentals of Financial Statement Analysis

Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management

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Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management


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Who should attend

This programme is designed for professionals of various types (top management, heads of SMEs and micro-businesses, managers and employees) from all sectors of the economy. It will enable you to improve your understanding of the impact your decisions will have on the financial health of your professional activity, project or company, and simultaneously raise your efficiency as a manager.

Key admissions criteria

  • A university-level diploma or equivalent professional experience
  • Proof of motivation and a professional need to take the programme
  • English proficiency (language certificate or proof of studies/work experience in English)
  • Master the basics of Excel

About the course

Reinforce your managerial efficiency by acquiring the foundations of financial management.

A full grasp of accounting and financial operations

The programme will help you to hone your ability to take decisions by incorporating theories of financial planning. In addition, during the project assessment phase, you will learn to identify and manage risks as well as understand their potential ramifications for financial performance.

Complete command of financial language and concepts

The FNF programme provides the perfect way to raise your communication skills with the finance heads of your organisation, enabling you to identify more rapidly the key financial investment issues to be tackled.

Financial assessment of a project and company

You will learn to incorporate your skill for identifying the components that help create value for a project based upon clear financial analysis, thereby enabling you to assess with greater accuracy projects or companies carrying such projects.

5 modules. 5 key stakes. The programme is split into 5 modules of 2-3 days each. It provides a blend of theory and practice, via case studies analysed individually and in a group set-up.

Acquiring the Fundamentals of Financial Statement Analysis


Introduce managers and executives to the fundamental concepts of financial management.


Interpreting a company’s financial statements

  • The fiscal record, accounts and cash flow table
  • The working capital, working capital requirements and net liquidity balance
  • Critical analysis of commonly-used ratios

Financial planning and cash-flow statements

  • Assessing cash flow statements
  • Financial forecasting
  • Assessing to what extent a company generates cash (or not), as opposed to profit

Conducting financial analysis

  • Real-life company case studies
  • Understanding the difference between accounting and financial analysis
  • Why may a profitable project from an accounting perspective be cost-ineffective from a financial perspective?

Making Successful Investment Decisions


Understand, analyse and appreciate the value created by a project deploying the maximum amount of available information, regarding the investments to be made.


  • Accounting for the time value of money
  • Understand the basis of valuation of financial assets, projects and companies
  • Understanding investment decision rules and criteria (payback, internal rate of return, net present value etc.)
  • Understanding and avoiding traditional investment decision mistakes
  • Selecting among different financing proposals: how best to use investment decision rules and criteria
  • Choosing among different project opportunities when faced with constraints on financial resources
  • Understanding what your minimum return should be, either for your company projects or personal investment.

Company and Project Valuation and Financing


Understand how to evaluate and finance a project or company.


  • Assessing the components accounted for in company/project evaluation
  • Evaluating the financing requirements and impact of a financing structure
  • Understanding and valuating the fiscal benefits of various types of financing
  • Developing your awareness of typical mistakes made during company valuation

Using Managerial Accounting and Budgeting Tools


  • Acquire the key concepts in the field of management control and budgeting procedure.
  • Explore decision-making, especially within the contexts of investment, product portfolio outsourcing and price setting.
  • Review the tools generally made available to managers by their finance department.


  • Identifying the cost structure of a department
  • Analysing the impact on costs of increasing or decreasing activity levels
  • Estimating the value contribution of a product
  • Evaluating how customer behaviour can turn profitable products into loss-makers
  • Analysing the tools used to adequately price products and services
  • Handling and differentiating between management control and budgeting procedures

Benefiting from Risk Management Awareness


A bird's eye view of the main aspects of risk management that enables decision-makers to become cognizant of its benefits to their organisation.


Understanding and identifying the various types of risk

  • Understanding the scope of risk management
  • Identifying the main sources, impacts and levels of risk
  • Becoming familiar with fundamental tools for risk management

Risk management within a company

  • Risk management as a choice (appetite for risk)
  • Risk management as an integral part of running the business (risk governance):

    • Identifying the key benefits of appropriate risk management in your company
    • Identifying the roles and responsibilities of every person inside the organisation from the risk management perspective
  • Risk management as a state of mind (risk culture)


Mathias Schmit

Mathias Schmit has a PhD in Finance from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (Brussels), where he is a Professor of Finance and conducts research into banking and microfinance at the Centre Emile Bernheim (a Solvay Brussels School Research Centre). He is regularly invited at IN...

Carlos Desmet

Prof. Carlos Desmet teaches the MBA course in Business Ethics and Compliance Management at BSL. He founded in 2014 an international consultancy firm dedicated to Business Ethics and Compliance Management. He is also convinced that education of emerging leaders is key in that area and teaches main...

Laurent Gheeraert

Laurent started his career as Consultant with McKinsey & Company Benelux where he was involved in strategic, operational and organizational projects across various industry sectors. He took a leading role in some of the firm’s major assignments in South Africa (heavy industry) and the Middle ...

Jean-Philippe Michaux

Jean-Philippe Michaux is currently the CFO (Group Director of Finance, ICT & Legal affairs) at Puratos Group. He previously held the positions of Group Controller and Group Internal Audit Director within the same company. Prior to this, he was Senior Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, special...

Benjamin Lorent

TEACHING POSITIONS Finance Lecturer, Bachelor in Business Engineering, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université Libre de Bruxelles (since September 2016). Professor in the Online Executive Master in Management, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (ULB) wit...

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Acquiring the Fundamentals of Financial Statement Analysis at Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Finance

During Finance courses, you will get acquainted with a huge number of financial analyst tools and learn how to work with them. So, you will learn how to make and analyze financial reporting, calculate the main financial indicators of the company and ...

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