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


Financial Statement Basics Course (How To)

via Treehouse


Limited-Time Offer: Up to 75% Off Coursera Plus!
7000+ certificate courses from Google, Microsoft, IBM, and many more.

Understanding how to read the story that financial statements tell is a really useful skill and an important part of career development. In this course, we’ll give a basic overview of the 3 main financial statements: the Profit and Loss Statement, the Balance Sheet, and the Cash Flow Statement. We’ll teach what they show you, why it matters, and give you a bunch of practice problems to help retain that knowledge. After completing this course, you will be able to read, understand, and use financial statements and build on that knowledge as you continue to learn about them.

What you'll learn

  • Overviews of the Profit and Loss, Cash Flow, and Balance Sheet financial statements
  • What the most common line items on these statements mean and how they are used
  • The difference between profit and cash


Introducing Financial Statements

In this stage we introduce what financial statements are, how they are prepared, some very basic background about accounting principles, and the difference between cash and accrual accounting.

Chevron 4 steps
  • Welcome


  • Accounting Principles


  • The Concept of Recognition


  • Introducing Financial Statements Review

    3 questions

The Profit & Loss Statement

In this stage we introduce the Profit and Loss statement ("P&L")by explaining the different line items one can expect to encounter when reading a P&L.

Chevron 6 steps
  • What is the Profit & Loss Statement


  • Cost of Goods Sold (“COGS”) and Gross Profit


  • Selling, General & Administrative (“SG&A”) and EBITDA


  • Depreciation, Amortization and EBIT


  • Interest, Taxes, Other Gains and Losses, and Net Profit


  • Profit & Loss Statement Assessment

    7 questions

The Balance Sheet

In this stage we introduce the balance sheet covering all the major sections and line items one will typically find on a balance sheet.

Chevron 5 steps
  • What is the Balance Sheet?


  • Assets and Liabilities


  • Fixed Assets


  • Shareholder Equity & Retained Earnings


  • Balance Sheet Assessment

    5 questions

The Cash Flow Statement

In this stage we introduce the Cash Flow Statement, and the three subsections that it consists of.

Chevron 5 steps
  • What is the Cash Flow Statement


  • Operating Cash Flows


  • Investing and Financing Cash Flows


  • Free Cash Flow and Net Cash Flow


  • Cash Flow Statement Assessment

    5 questions

Bringing It All Together

In this stage we'll show you how to retrieve financial statements online, how the teacher likes to read 10-k statements, the distinction between EBITDA and Net Profit as measure of profit, the difference between Book Value and Market Value, and some example of how the financial statements relate to one another.

Chevron 6 steps
  • Retrieving Financial Statements


  • Reading a 10-k filing


  • EBITDA vs Net Income


  • Book Value vs Market Value


  • How the 3 Financial Statements Relate


  • Financial Statement Basics Final Assessment

    6 questions


Start your review of Financial Statement Basics Course (How To)

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.