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Financial Analysis for Business Performance: Reporting and Stakeholder Management

Communicate and report to key business stakeholders and use your financial knowledge to aid decision making.

Person looking at a screen with a chart on it.
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

Strong financial analysis is just part of the story - you need to be able to communicate your insights to stakeholders to help them use your data for their decision making. Being able to tell stories with data is a key, and highly desirable skill, within the finance sector and across a range of industries.

This course will show you how you can use various tools - such as Tableau and Excel - to prepare visualisations that speak to a diverse audience and ensure that your insights are used throughout your organisation.

Communicate finance insights to all of your stakeholders

You’ll explain and compare the reporting needs of various stakeholders, and build your understanding of how you can meet those needs with the data and tools you have available. Put that theory into practice by creating repeatable reporting systems that save you time and resources with weekly or monthly tasks.

Create financial reports that support business needs

You’ll learn to build reports that reflect business performance and identify and analyse varying cost types within a business. Then you’ll explore how to recommend optimised cost structures that contribute to business objectives.

Use Tableau and Excel to tell stories with data

Grow your Excel expertise and learn to use it to streamline your work, support analysis, and create meaningful data visualisations that speak to your audience. You’ll learn how to make the most of this market-leading software to make sure that your reports and presentations have maximum impact within your organisation.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to the course and to financial reporting

    • Welcome to the course

      Introduction and welcome to the course.

    • Performance monitoring and reporting processing

      In this activity, you will develop the ability to identify reporting needs and tailor organisational communication to achieve the required business objectives.

    • Week 1 wrap-up

      To complete the week, let’s discuss and recap the learning outcomes for the week.

  • Week 2

    Financial performance reporting

    • Introduction

      Welcome to week 2!

    • Creating performance reports

      In this activity, we will explore the different aspects of creating performance reports.

    • Presenting performance reports

      In this activity, you will develop the ability to prepare tailored presentations to communicate critical insights to relevant business stakeholders.

    • Week 2 wrap-up

      To complete the week, let’s discuss and recap the learning outcomes for the week.

  • Week 3

    Cost types

    • Welcome to Week 3

      Introduction to this week's content and learning outcomes.

    • Introduction to cost management

      This activity introduces cost management and associated costing factors that support decision-making and creating profit and shows how business elements are strategically weighed and accounted for.

    • Costing methods

      In this activity, you’ll learn various cost types can be calculated using different costing methods to give decision-makers insights into the progress of their company.

    • Week 3 wrap-up

      To complete the week, you are encouraged to complete the knowledge check and recap on the learning outcomes for the week.

  • Week 4

    Cost structures

    • Introduction

      Welcome to Week 4!

    • Standard costing and variance analysis

      In this activity, we’ll explore the fundamentals of standard costing and variance analysis that will provide you with an understanding of the role and function of operating leverage and its role in decision-making.

    • Week 4 wrap-up

      This is the last activity for the week 4 of your course. Well done!

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain and compare the reporting needs of varying stakeholders
  • Create repeatable reporting systems to support ongoing business decision making requirements, using Tableau and Excel to prepare common visualisations or data stories to support ongoing performance reporting
  • Identify and analyse the varying cost types of a business
  • Examine and recommend optimised cost structures to support a business' performance

Who is the course for?

This course is designed to support learners who need to engage with large volumes of financial data. This includes entry-level finance or accounting professionals who would like to progress to higher-skill positions, and current finance professionals. It would also be useful for new managers and leaders, as well as business workers and entrepreneurs.

What software or tools do you need?

During this course we’ll be using Excel. If you don’t have Excel, you might find this online version useful.

We recommend you use a computer to access this course.

Who will you learn with?

Commercially focused Finance Director / CFO with experience working with fast growth online SMEs in different sectors, including two successful exits (Amazon acquisition & Funding Circle’s IPO)

Who developed the course?


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

In collaboration with

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Endorsers and supporters

endorsed by

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Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: