Financial Analysis


Units: 12


This course provides an overview of how managers, investors, creditors, donors, foundations, and other parties use financial information to make decisions in organizations. It includes tools of both financial and managerial accounting.  Unit 1 focuses on the financial reports and analysis of the financial position and the operating results of business organizations. You will learn several techniques such as common sizing, trend analysis and ratio analysis to help you analyze an organization for which you have no information except the annual published financial report. Exam #1 will be given at the end of Unit 1.  The second part of the course, Unit 2, looks at the financial reports of organizations in the private (non-government) not-for-profit sector. We will compare and contrast the reporting and analysis of these NPOs with that of businesses, and discuss the needs for different information and performance measures in the private not-for-profits. Exam #2 will be given at the end of Unit 2.  In the last unit, Unit 3, we look at organizations not as an outsider (investor, donor, creditor), but instead as a manager inside the organization. You will learn how to use several financial tools available to managers such as budgets, decision making tools, and break even analysis, and how to predict or measure the financial impact of different alternatives. This is often referred to as managerial accounting. The final exam covers the material in Unit 3.

Learning Outcomes:

After completed this course, you should be able to (a) explain clearly the concepts and techniques of accounting and finance; (b) develop and sharpen analytical skills via the application of analytical techniques on financial data and financial reports information; and (c) to use the financial information to make important decisions, such as approving, terminating, or deferring projects; in private (both nonprofit and for-profit) as well as public organizations.