Discover What's Behind the Numbers in Financial Statements

Financial Accounting teaches key accounting concepts and principles to illuminate financial statements and unlock critical insights into business performance and potential. Explore how managers, Wall Street analysts, and entrepreneurs leverage accounting to drive strategic decision-making.

Financial Accounting

Financial Accounting

Discover What's Behind the Numbers in Financial Statements

Financial Accounting teaches key accounting concepts and principles to illuminate financial statements and unlock critical insights into business performance and potential. Explore how managers, Wall Street analysts, and entrepreneurs leverage accounting to drive strategic decision-making.

What You'll Learn

  • Discover how balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements are developed and how each interact
  • Evaluate the financial health of a business using financial statements
  • Understand GAAP and IFRS standards
  • Prepare and evaluate financial forecasts to make strategic decisions
  • Value a venture, project, or investment opportunity and perform a sensitivity analysis

About the Professors

V.G. Narayanan is the Thomas D. Casserly, Jr. Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and chair of the MBA program's second-year elective curriculum. He has served as the course head for the first-year required accounting course for MBA students, Financial Reporting and Control, and chairs several executive education programs. His research in management accounting focuses on understanding how firms can use incentives and feedback to improve performance.

Who Will Benefit

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College Students and Recent Graduates

Learn the language of business through accounting as you gain the skills and knowledge to analyze financial statements.

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Those Considering an MBA

Prepare for the MBA classroom with the program Harvard Business School offers to incoming students.

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Mid-Career Professionals

Gain confidence in your ability to understand financial statements and communicate financial results.

Program Structure

Financial Accounting consists of approximately 60 hours of material delivered over an eight-week period. You can complete the coursework on your own time while meeting regular deadlines.

August 2020

Course Start Date: 05th August

Length: 8 Weeks

Regular Price $1,600

Enrolment process needs to be completed 2 weeks prior of the program Start Date

October 2020

Course Start Date: 14th October

Length: 8 Weeks

Regular Price $1,600

Enrolment process needs to be completed 2 weeks prior of the program Start Date

January 2021

Course Start Date: 13th January

Length: 8 Weeks

Regular Price $1,600

Enrolment process needs to be completed 2 weeks prior of the program Start Date

This course is also part of our three-course Credential of Readiness (CORe) program—consisting of Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting—available for $2,250.

Interested in mastering business essentials in CORe?

Note: Participants that enroll in the Economics for Managers course are not eligible to enroll in the CORe program. And if enrolling in the CORe program, participants are not eligible to enroll separately in the Economics for Managers course.

Syllabus

Financial Accounting will teach you the fundamentals of financial accounting from the ground up. You will learn how to prepare a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement, analyze financial statements, and calculate and interpret critical ratios. You will also learn the role of managerial judgment in choosing accounting estimates and methods. The course concludes with an introduction to forecasting and valuation.

Learning requirements: In order to earn a Certificate of Completion, participants must thoughtfully complete all 7 modules by stated deadlines and earn an average quiz score of 50% or greater.

Syllabus

Financial Accounting will teach you the fundamentals of financial accounting from the ground up. You will learn how to prepare a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement, analyze financial statements, and calculate and interpret critical ratios. You will also learn the role of managerial judgment in choosing accounting estimates and methods. The course concludes with an introduction to forecasting and valuation.

Learning requirements: In order to earn a Certificate of Completion, participants must thoughtfully complete all 7 modules by stated deadlines and earn an average quiz score of 50% or greater.

Modules Case Studies Takeaways Key Exercises
Module 1: The Accounting Equation
  • Cardullo's Gourmet Shoppe
  • Apple Inc.
  • Bikram Yoga Natick
  • Understand key accounting concepts, terms, and principles
  • Demonstrate how different transactions impact the accounting equation
  • Quiz
Module 2: Recording Transactions
  • Cardullo's Gourmet Shoppe
  • Bikram Yoga Natick
  • Understand where financial statement information originates
  • Record business transactions as journal entries
  • Construct a trial balance
  • Quiz
Module 3: Financial Statements
  • Hipzone
  • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
  • Understand the content and purpose of the income statement and balance sheet
  • See how the trial balance is used to create the balance sheet and income statement
  • Construct the balance sheet and income statement
  • Quiz
Module 4: Adjusting Journal Entries
  • PepsiCo
  • Understand complex accounting transactions and how they relate to accounting principles
  • Recognize the impact of judgment and bias on financial statements and accounting practices
  • Record advanced business transactions as journal entries
  • Quiz
Module 5: The Statement of Cash Flows
  • Morgan Stanley
  • American Red Cross
  • Understand how to construct and interpret the cash flow statement
  • Recognize the differences between GAAP and IFRS standards for cash flow statement creation
  • Use the statement of cash flows to evaluate the financial health and life-cycle stage of a business
  • Quiz
Module 6: Analyzing Financial Statements
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Evaluate company performance using profitability, efficiency, leverage, and other ratios
  • Analyze ratios and use the DuPont Framework to evaluate the financial state and strategy of a business
  • Team discussion
  • Quiz
Module 7: Forecasting and Valuation
  • American Red Cross
  • Metropolis Healthcare
  • Use financial forecasting to predict future revenue, expenses, and cash flow
  • Understand key concepts and metrics in valuation, including time value of money, terminal value, and net present value
  • Prepare pro-forma financial statements
  • Calculate and forecast free cash flows
  • Learn how to value a venture, project, or investment opportunity and perform a sensitivity analysis of key assumptions
  • Quiz

Stories from Our Learners

Earn Your Certificate

Enroll today in Harvard Business School Online’s Financial Accounting course.

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