Understanding Company Accounts - Beginners

    Goldsmiths, University of London SE14
    27 June 2014 - 28 June 2014

    Examine the accounting procedures. 
    Study the notes. 
    Talk to people in the same business.

    Cost for each two-day course:
    Full price: £300 NUJ member: £250

    Important Note
    This course will only run if we have a minimum number of delegates, however, we have had enough interest to make it highly likely that this course will be going ahead, so if you would like to attend, please book your place.
     

    Course Outline

    Please note: These courses are built on the principles of managment schools and requires a minimum number of delegates for it to work as attendees are split into groups to analyse case studies.  The courses are for practising journalists or NGO researchers only. Acceptance on the course is at the trainers discretion, if you have any doubts as to your eligibility please contact us.

    Course Outline

    This two-day intensive course will show you how to understand company accounts and get beyond the corporate PR spin. The emphasis will be on teaching practical skills rather than a series of lectures. The objective of this course is to ensure that all participants feel comfortable with a set of accounts and know where and how to look for relevant information.

    The only pre-requisites for this course are numeracy and an interest in financial matters as the theory will be taught on the first day and applied to real life examples on the second day.

    Day One

    The first day will cover the theory and explain how to understand the profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow statements plus those all important accounting policies such as revenue recognition – the key to unpicking many suspect accounts – and which notes to the accounts to focus on and why.

    9.30-10.30 Motivation to massage earnings.

    10.30-11.15 Profit and loss account

    Break: 10-15 mins

    11.30-12.30 Balance sheet

    12.30-13.30 Funds flow statement

    Lunch: 1 hour

    14.30-15.30 Notes

    Break: 10-15 mins

    15.45-17.00 Putting it all together, interactive session building up a sample set of accounts or case study questions.

    17.00-17.30 Questions

    Day Two

    A simulated profit and loss account will be used to show the interaction between this and the balance sheet. The second day will give the opportunity to apply the knowledge from the first day to three - four case studies, where participants will work in small teams and identify pertinent issues. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion. The case studies will be sent out to participants shortly before the course.

    9.30-10.00 Arrival and recap

    10.00-11.15 Case study 1

    Break: 10-15 mins

    11.30-13.00 Case study 2

    12.30-13.30 Funds flow statement

    Lunch: 1 hour

    14.00-15.15 Case study 3

    Break 10-15 mins

    15.30-17.00 Case study 4

    17.00-17.30 Questions

    Further Reading
    Financial Shenanigans: How To Detect Accounting Gimmicks and Fraud In Financial Reporters (Howard M. Schilit and Jeremy Perler)
    Quality of Earnings: The Investor's Guide to How Much a Company Is Really Making (Thornton L. O'Glove)
    Principles of Fraud Examination, 3rd edition (Joseph T. Wells)
    Forensic Analytics: Methods and Techniques for Forensic Accounting Investigations (Mark J. Nigrini). This book focuses on using MS Excel and Access in a forensic setting.

    The Art of Short Selling (Kathryn F. Staley) together with David Einhorn’s book on Allied Capital are a good accompaniment to Quality of Earnings.