Online course in Business & Management

Introduction to Financial Accounting

Refresh your knowledge of basic accounting processes and discover recent changes in International Financial Reporting Standards.

  • Duration 4 weeks
  • Weekly study 5 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $74 Find out more

Develop your pre-existing accounting skills and knowledge

On this course, you will discover how the decisions and operations of an organisation are translated into numbers. You will cover fundamental financial accounting concepts to help you develop in your accounting career or prepare yourself for more advanced study.

This course features a range of conceptual and practical activities. You will understand the different purposes of accounting information, the role of accruals, and learn how to read financial statements. You will also address myths of accounting and separate fact from fiction.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 secondsMany experts say that accounting is the connection between present and the past. The way we know accounting today was invented by Fra Luca Pacioli a Franciscan mathematician in late 15th century not far away from here, in Venice. Since then nothing much has changed in terms of how companies record the transactions. At least in the technical side of. Venetian merchants developed accounting to keep track of their purchases and sales the debits and credits with customers and suppliers. Accounting sparked not too far away from here.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 secondsAnd nowadays high tech firms, banks, large conglomerates that shape our daily lives, still rely upon the accounting information to showcase what they do and how they perform to many parties that use this information to make important decisions. I am Anna Alexander and I am Amedeo Pugliese and in this course we will lay down the foundations of accounting the language of business financial statements our company's business card when dealing with all their stakeholders and their interested parties. Financial statements cannot say everything. That's that's better you know them and get familiar with them The more you understand the nuances of the business world. Why some firms have a lot of cash but low profitability.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 secondsHow can we tell whether firms are profitable or not. Can we predict whether companies would face distress or bankruptcy. How much should a manager earn and why do some firms pay dividends. With our help you will be able to answer all of these questions. The complex financial world will no longer be so intimidating. If you're considering a career as a consultant auditor or you will launch your own business, then you will need financial accounting schemes and your journey starts here.

What topics will you cover?

  • The accounting cycle: translating companies’ operations and decisions into numbers;
  • Understanding accounting as the language of business: users of accounting information and its different purposes;
  • The role of accounting equation in ensuring recording integrity and keeping track of the transactions;
  • The role of accruals in making sense of financial accounting information;
  • The package of Financial Statements: balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement;
  • Debunking myths about accounting as a fact: the role of valuation, assumptions and forecasts;
  • Reading and interpreting financial statements with a ‘sceptical’ eye.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 14 Oct 2019

What will you achieve?

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

  • Interpret companies’ transactions (e.g. financing, sale, acquisition of goods/services) through accounting numbers;
  • Assess the financial structure of the company and its implications in terms of profitability;
  • Appreciate the difference between book value of equity and market value of equity;
  • Apply proficiently the double-entry bookkeeping system to record/verify transactions and accounting;
  • Discern between cash-based accounting and accrual-based income.

Who is the course for?

The course is designed for those who have already completed an introductory course in financial accounting and need to refresh their understanding. It will suit those looking to take an intermediate or advanced financial accounting course in the future, dealing with business groups, M&A, and consolidation.

Junior professionals (e.g. Chartered Accountants and Certified Financial Accountants) can also familiarise with recent changes in International Financial Reporting Standards.

Who will you learn with?

Amedeo Pugliese

Amedeo Pugliese

I teach introduction to financial accounting courses since 2007 and I enjoy it thoroughly. Beyond teaching, my research interests span across company disclosure and corporate governance.

Anna Alexander

Anna Alexander

I teach financial accounting both at the introductory and more advanced level. Currently, my research interests revolve around different topics: from corporate tax avoidance to criminal firms.

Trang H. Dao

Trang H. Dao

I am a PhD candidate in Financial Accounting at University of Padova. My research focuses on the role of accounting rules and discretion in financial stability and banking supervision.

Who developed the course?

The University of Padova is one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious seats of learning; it aims to provide its students with both professional training and a solid cultural background.

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