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Financial Statements Unlocked: How to Understand Corporate Finance and Financial Management

Learn how to make better, more informed business decisions with in-depth understanding of financial accounting information.

721 enrolled on this course

A group of colleagues around a white board with a large graph on display.

Financial Statements Unlocked: How to Understand Corporate Finance and Financial Management

721 enrolled on this course

  • 2 weeks

  • 5 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    5 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Unlimited subscription

    $244.99 for one whole yearLearn more

Every company maintains financial records that help you to understand how well it’s doing. How can you make sense of this information and use it to the strategic advantage of your business?

On this course, you’ll have the chance to find out everything you need to know about reading and making sense of financial statements.

You’ll have the opportunity to explore a range of financial statements – focusing on income statements, statements of financial position and cash flow statements. You’ll look at their qualitative characteristics and learn about the relevance and reliability of financial statements.

You’ll also get to know who else in the business uses this accounting information by investigating the different branches of accounting.

Learn how to prepare cash flow statements

This course will introduce you to the importance of the cash flow statement – one of the three key financial statements that report the cash generated and spent during a specific period of time.

You’ll look at how these statements break down into three sections: operating, investment and financing activities.

Discover the statement of financial position

A statement of financial position, or balance sheet, will reveal if a company is thriving – and if it’s worth investing in.

You’ll get to grips with the key terms of a balance sheet, learn the importance of balancing the books and carry out exercises to increase your knowledge of, and familiarity with, these statements.


  • Week 1

    The purpose of accounting and financial statements

    • Getting started

      Welcome to Understanding Financial Statements. Find out what we'll cover this week and share your initial thoughts on our big question.

    • Introduction to accounting

      Let's begin our learning journey by introducing what accounting is and its different branches. You'll also identify different users of accounting information and their requirements.

    • Financial statements

      You'll now explore what financial statements are and their qualitative characteristics. You'll also look at a case study and focus on reliability and relevance, two core characteristics of financial statements.

    • Income statement

      We'll move on to examine the income statement, one of the major financial statements. You'll explore its content and purpose and discuss the key principles and issues when interpreting the information it contains.

    • Weekly wrap

      Reflect on what you've learned this week and find out what's coming up next week. This is also your chance to ask any questions you might have.

  • Week 2

    The statement of financial position and the cash flow statement

    • Welcome to Week 2

      Welcome to Week 2 of Understanding Financial Statements. Find out what we'll explore this week.

    • Statement of financial position

      We'll now look at the statement of financial position, the second major financial statement in this course. You'll explore its content and purpose. You'll also have the opportunity to produce a statement of financial position.

    • Cash flow statement

      In this activity, we'll focus on the cash flow statement, the third financial statement. You'll get familiar with its items and purpose. You'll reflect on financial statements and compare them to draw conclusions on their role.

    • Bringing them all together

      Let's now combine and practise all the financial statements and new accounting concepts we explored in this course through a final exercise.

    • Closing thoughts

      As we bring this short course to a close, you now have the opportunity to reflect upon your learning experience and check your understanding through a quiz. What are your key takeaways?

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

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...

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

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone looking to build their financial data analysis and interested in using data for business decision making.

It will be of particular interest to people in senior management and leadership roles who lack an accounting background, especially if you wish to learn the skills to help you make better decisions and advance your career.

You can enhance your learning experience by following related courses, designed by Coventry University:

Who developed the course?

Coventry University

Coventry secured 5 QS Stars for Teaching and Online Learning in the QS World University Ranking 2020 and has received No. 1 in the world for Massive Open Online Courses in MoocLab’s World University Ranking 2021.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$244.99 for one whole year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 12 Mar 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 4 March 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 4 March 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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