Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Diagnosing the Financial Health of a Business

Macquarie Graduate School of Management via Open2Study

This course may be unavailable.


This course shows how financial reports provide a wealth of information into the performance of a business, and how they can be used specifically to identify early warning signs of potential future problems.

We will see that a profitable business may not necessarily be performing well or taking the right steps to build for its future. Just as a doctor conducts a diagnosis of a patient and recommends a course of treatment, we will use simple and yet powerful tools to analyse a business and identify where and how things can be improved.

What will I learn?
  • How to evaluate the performance of a business with reference to its financial reports.
  • How to conduct financial analysis by integrating information across its balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement (as opposed to viewing data in isolation).
  • How to identify early warning signs of potential financial difficulties in a business and thus be forward-looking in your approach.
  • How to assess risks in a business by reference to its financial reports.
  • How to identify the assumptions and estimates that are made by managers in constructing their financial reports and assess the implications for interpreting the performance of a business.
  • How to measure and interpret the sustainable growth rate of a business and identify implications for its future heath.
  • How to distinguish between the income statement and the statement of comprehensive income of a business.
  • How to measure the operating cash cycle of a business and assess the implications for the funding needs of the business.
  • How to determine if a firm is generating appropriate returns on its assets and for its owners.

This course requires approximately 2 - 4 hours of study per week, but can vary depending on the student. This includes watching videos, and taking quizzes and assessments.

If you pass this course you'll receive a Certificate of Achievement. While this certificate isn't a formal qualification or credit, you can use it to demonstrate your interest in learning about this area to potential employers or educational institutions.

Where could this lead me?

If you're wondering what your future could look like in this area, here are some potential careers you could head towards.

  • Management
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Investment analysis



Taught by

Guy Ford


4.0 rating, based on 6 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Diagnosing the Financial Health of a Business

  • Swap
    Very good course. Specially focused on financial analysis of balance sheet in annual report of any company. You will get knowledge of Rates and ratios used in Financial analysis.
  • Very solid course, I found the lectures to be informative and clear, and the quizzes were perfectly tuned to the material. I do wish there was more than just quizzes though.
  • Robb MacKinlay
  • Alan Salsac

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.