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Weatherhead School of Management

Analyzing Financial Statements for Non-Financial Managers

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Financial statement reports provide the informed reader with a powerful external perspective on a firm's performance. In this introductory course, managers develop an understanding of financial statements and the critical information the statements provide for the firm's investors. In addition, managers will better understand the financial results of internal decisions. This course covers the fundamental definitions, concepts and structure of accounting; an overview of standard financial statements; and basic tools for analyzing financial information.


Basic accounting structure

Operating, investing and finance functions

Overview of financial reports

  • Balance sheet
  • Income statement
  • Cash flows statement

Introduction to financial statement analysis and information usage techniques

  • Examples including returns, liquidity, solvency
  • Introduction to economic value added

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, participants will:

  • Evaluate overall financial performance of an entity
  • Analyze return or profitability of an entity
  • Evaluate the short-term and long-term stability of the firm

Who should attend

Non-financial managers of for-profit firms who make or contribute to decisions that have significant financial implications. Those considering this course should also consider Financial Decision Making for Non-Financial Managers. Together, these introductory courses provide a fundamental understanding of the relationship between internal financial decision-making and external financial reporting.


Thomas D. Schultz is an Assistant Professor of Accountancy in the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University. Tom received his doctoral degree from the School of Accountancy & Information Management at Arizona State University, an MAS. from Northern Illinois University, and a ...

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