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Understanding Company Accounts 1-4

This mini-course taught by a journalist-friendly forensic accountant 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 the 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 prerequisites for this course are numeracy and an interest in financial matters as the theory will be taught in the first class and applied to real-life examples in the following sessions.

You must attend all the classes in this strand to benefit from it fully.

It will include the following topics: motivation to massage earnings; profit and loss account; balance sheet; funds flow statement; notes. The course will finish with putting it all together, an interactive session building up a sample set of accounts or case study questions.

Participants are actively encouraged to ask questions throughout.

Part 1: Motivation to commit corporate fraud – Why are businesses motivated to commit accounting fraud and how do they do it.

Part 2: The Profit and Loss account (also known as the Income Statement) – what a business makes and spends.

Part 3: The Balance Sheet – What a business owns and what it owes. Source and Application of funds.

Part 4: The fine print – the devil’s in the detail. Probably the most important and practically useful session BUT assumes knowledge from sessions 1-3.

See also Companies House as a Tool for Investigative Journalism by Diogo Augusto.

4 July 2024 – Understanding Company Accounts

11:50–12:50
Part 1: Motivation to commit corporate fraud
14:00–15:00
Part 2: The Profit and Loss account (also known as the Income Statement)
15:10–16:10
Part 3: The Balance Sheet
16:30–17:30
Part 4: The fine print - the devil's in the detail.

Raj Bairoliya

Raj Bairoliya is a well-known expert forensic accountant and has been teaching Understanding Company Accounts at the CIJ for 15 years. Raj frequently helps journalists and broadcasters to decipher the accounting/business aspects of a story.
  • 4 July 2024 11.50–17.30
Location: PSH 326
Course
All levels
Financial
4 July 2024

Companies House as a Tool for Investigative Journalism

This session will focus on how to find information on Companies House, how to use its search tools to find meaningful data and how to interpret the information you come across. Companies House isn't a tool meant to be used by journalists, therefore, when used that way, it's important to look out for the relevant bits while being aware of the potentially misleading or even false information.

The Investigative Journalist’s Guide to Company Accounts

by Raj Bairoliya

An introduction from the author, Raj Bairoliya A little history is in order. A dozen or so years ago, I was complaining to my friend Michael Gillard about the standard of financial investigative journalism in the UK – it was a matter of serious concern to me as I make my living from investigating wrongdoing.

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