The overall objective of the course is to help participants to develop the technical skills and the judgment to use accounting information appropriately according to the context and the purpose of their analysis.
The course takes its cue from the clear statement in the IASB’s 2010 revised conceptual framework document:
General purpose financial reports are not designed to show the value of a reporting entity; but they provide information to help existing and potential investors, lenders and other creditors to estimate the value of the reporting entity.
The trainer regularly covers the entire spectrum of topics under the general headings of financial accounting, reporting, management, analysis and communication. His interests range from the technical detail of IFRS and GAAP accounting to the ‘dark arts’ of impression management in the ‘front half’ of company reports. He has a special interest in the use of KPIs and of alternative ‘underlying’ or ‘pro forma’ performance measures for communication with investors. He also provides specialised training in financial modelling and valuation, and in the effective presentation and communication of financial information. Prior to becoming a trainer, he had worked as a group finance manager for one of the UK’s leading industrial and commercial real estate investment companies, and then subsequently as the treasurer of a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank.
The Financial Statements course begins with an overview of the fundamental accounting principles which, individually or in combination with each other, account for most problems of financial analysis. The course then discards the ‘logical’ order of a conventional accounting course in favour of a practice-driven approach, in which the commonly used valuation metrics and performance measures (EBITDA, RoE, RoCE, RoNA, asset turnover, working capital and cash flow ratios etc) are used as ‘pegs’ on which to hang a more searching examination of the problems and uncertainties lurking behind the accounting figures.
The Financial Statements course is based primarily on IFRS as in force at the time that the course is delivered, but reference to significant national GAAP is made as and when this sheds useful light on the topic under discussion.