Online course

Understanding Financial Statements

Learn how to make better business decisions with financial information.

See what your financial statement is trying to tell you.

Every business maintains financial records that help us to understand how well it’s doing. In this course, you’ll learn how to read them.

You’ll explore a range of financial statements - focusing on income statements, statements of financial position and cash flow statements. You’ll also investigate the different branches of accounting and learn to identify who else in the business uses this accounting information.

What do these statements contain? What do they reveal? Who makes use of them? This course will help you to answer these questions.

What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction to accounting and its branches
  • Identifying different users of accounting information and their requirements
  • Overview of financial statements
  • Introduction to income statement
  • Introduction to statement of financial position
  • Introduction to cash flow statement

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

What will you achieve?

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

  • Investigate the different branches of accounting
  • Identify the main users of accounting information and their requirements
  • Explain the purpose of financial statements (income statement, statement of financial position and cash flow statement)
  • Explore items typically included in each of the financial statements and their meaning
  • Interpret financial statements for decision-making purposes

Who is the course for?

This course would suit anyone looking for additional basic accounting skills. These are skills that can help you make better decisions and advance in your career. It may be of particular interest to people in senior management and leadership roles, who lack an accounting background.

Who will you learn with?

Who developed the course?

Coventry secured a gold rating in the UK government’s 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and is the country’s top modern university in the Guardian University Guide 2018.

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.

Free
$0

Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 4 weeks

Upgrade
$74

Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible
New

Unlimited (New!)
$269 $199 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep the content of any of the courses you've gained a digital Certificate of Achievement on
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.
Introductory offer. Available until 11 May 2019. T&Cs apply.

Advance your career with a degree

What's different about this course?

Since 2017 you have been able to take a degree on FutureLearn. This free course is a bit like a starter course for a degree — it should give you a flavour of the degree subject but can also be your first step towards a degree qualification.

If you enjoy this course you can apply to join the program it’s part of to start working towards a degree on FutureLearn.

Don’t worry, you can still take the course without doing a full degree!

How do degrees work on FutureLearn?

Do the free course
Join and complete the program
Get academic credit for an online degree from Coventry University

Which program and degree is this course part of?