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About the course
The goal of every business is to be successful, and the primary measure of this success tends to focus on the ‘numbers’; identifying the consequences for the bottom line or the capital value. Whatever our role within the business there is no escape from the need to understand the consequences of our actions for these metrics. IT managers need to understand the data that their systems to capture, the sales team need to recognize that revenues earned do not automatically bring profits and every employee should appreciate the significance of cash and how it is generated.
Unfortunately, the language of accounting is jargon-heavy, and straightforward principles are made to sound complex and unwieldy. This leads to a mismatch where everyone needs to understand and discuss the figures, but this exercise is perceived negatively and so often fails to bring the desired outcomes.
This course will enable participants to bridge the understanding gap between the finance team and the rest of the business, thereby side-lining the jargon, identifying what drives the numbers and providing an insight to the metrics that are used to interpret them.
Key Learning Outcomes
- Explain the format and use of the three primary financial statements
- Examine the annual report of a FTSE 100 company and explain the uses of non-financial information
- Identify the importance of accounting choice and its impact on the financial statements
- Compute and interpret widely-used financial KPIs
- Be aware of creative accounting techniques and assess their validity
- Demystify the language of accounts and break down barriers of understanding
Types of accounting
- Financial vs. management accounting
What is GAAP and does it matter to me?
- The link to window dressing and creative accounting
Primary financial statements
- A first look at the language of accounting
- Case study: Understanding how commercial events are captured within financial statements
- Balance sheet
- Income statement
- Cash flow statement
Blue sky financial statement navigation
- Individual company or group numbers
- Income statement
- Revenue manipulation
- Cost of sales and gross profit margins
- Understanding the cost base (fixed vs. variable; direct vs. indirect)
- Operating costs and operating profit margins
- Key jargon (EBITDA, ROCE)
- Getting to the bottom line
- Finance costs and interest cover red flags
- Why tax really matters
- Long-lived tangible assets
- The capitalization decision
- Tangible vs. intangible
- Cost vs. valuation and why a balance sheet never tells us true worth
- What is goodwill? The hidden value of the business
- Working capital
- The working capital cycle - cash generation
- Accounting for 'failure to pay'
- Understanding why profitable companies sometimes fail
- Long-term funding
- The advantages of debt and equity
- Key jargon (gearing, net debt, enterprise value)
Who should attend
Non-finance managers from junior up to top-level looking to enhance financial understanding to improve managerial skills. Prior finance background is not required.