The financial statements prepared by companies yield the same benefits as the financial disclosures provided by mortgage applicants. Financial statement information provides potential lenders and investors with a reliable basis for evaluating the past performance and future prospects of a company. Because financial statements are used by so many different groups (investors, creditors, managers, etc.), they are sometimes called general-purpose financial statements. The three primary financial statements are the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flows.  These statements provide answers to the following questions:

1. What is the company’s current financial status?

2. What were the company’s operating results for the period?

3. How did the company obtain and use cash during the period?

To adequately answer the question of how a company is doing, one must have a working knowledge of financial statements. In this course, you learn that the financial statements are summary reports that show how a business is doing and what its successes and failures are. The financial statements covered in this course are the same as those used every day by millions of business owners, investors, and creditors to evaluate how well or poorly organizations are doing.

Hopefully, you come away from this course convinced that the purpose of accounting is not to fill out dull reports that are then filed away in dusty cabinets, but rather to prepare summary financial performance measures to be used as the basis for thousands of economic decisions every day.

Learning Objectives
  • Discover the purpose of accounting, and recognize its role in business and society. 
  • Identify the primary users of accounting information. 
  • Explore the basic elements, uses, and limitations of the balance sheet. 
  • Explore the basic elements and uses of the income statement. 
  • Explore the categories and uses of the statement of cash flows and see how the primary financial statements tie together. 
  • Describe the purpose of an audit report and the incentives the auditor has to perform a good audit. 
Last updated/reviewed: March 23, 2024
51 Reviews (189 ratings)

Reviews

5
Anonymous Author
I liked the course and how the professor simplified the financial statements in such a way that I understood the substance and the big picture. For example, I liked how he explained the substance behind the operating, financing, and investing sections.

5
Member's Profile
I love professor Stice’s courses. I am not certain that I learn anything as I am a CPA and this course is very foundational. But, it is great to hear him speak about the importance of the profession and what we do with such passion.

4
Anonymous Author
This was a basic class but good overview. Jim Stice is succinct and repeats key concepts allowing the listener to grasp fundamental issues easily. This creates a good foundation to take other courses on financial statements.

5
Member's Profile
Professor Stice, like other courses I've taken of his keeps it energetic and moving throughout. The course itself gives a thorough understanding of what is included in the financial statements and what to look for.

5
Anonymous Author
Although the course is pretty foundational for a CPA - it is delivered in an engaging manner and for me personally it was a good example of how to teach accounting 101 - as I sometimes do teach it as an adjunct.

4
Anonymous Author
Basic refresher of the key components of the financial statements. The instructor is interesting and thorough. Uses real-life examples in slides. I wish he had more courses on the platform.

5
Member's Profile
The instructor did a great job at explaining the difference between all the financial statements and the importance of each statement. This is a great course for accountants and non-accountants

4
Anonymous Author
Great course explaining the different parts of financial statements and what they mean. Includes an explanation of the purpose of accounting. And also uses a lot of real world examples.

4
Anonymous Author
Administrator was engaging, however sometimes the usage of the pen on screen was a bit distracting and covered up information. Overall, this was a fine course.

5
Member's Profile
Instructor was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. Would recommend as a refresher course for Associates as well as a course for all new hires.

5
Anonymous Author
Top-notch instructor. The presentation was well organized and sufficiently detailed. Great review of financial statement structure and content.

5
Anonymous Author
Jim has a great teaching style making it easy to grasp the key concepts for this course. This was a very good refresher for me. Thank you Jim!

5
Anonymous Author
One of my first courses and an excellent one taught by Jim Stice. He did a good job explaining and capturing attention, even adding humor.

4
Anonymous Author
Succinct and easy to follow. Would recommend to anyone looking to gain foundational knowledge of the principles underscoring accounting.

4
Member's Profile
A good course on the basics of accounting. The instructor does a good job of illustrating the components of the financial statements.

5
Anonymous Author
Very good, clear explanation of basic accounting statements. The pen writing on the screen was a little distracting at times.

5
Anonymous Author
Excellent overview of basic accounting concepts. A great reminder of the basics to help me as an accounting instructor.

5
Member's Profile
Mr. Stice has provided a great overview in understanding purpose and function. Like the way he presents. Thank you.

5
Anonymous Author
High level course to familiarize user with various financial statements. It's as effective as it can be in 2 hours!

5
Member's Profile
The course layout was logical and easy to follow. The teacher was clear and concise and had useful examples.

5
Member's Profile
This course was a good review of accounting. I thought it was good they mentioned the external audit.

4
Member's Profile
Great class. Presenter was upbeat and made everything easy to listen to and follow along with.

5
Member's Profile
Jim is a very straight forward and easy to understand instructor. Thank you for the review!!!

4
Anonymous Author
good basic refresher for business professionals currently not practicing accounting or finance

4
Anonymous Author
excellent review of the financial statements. I liked how the instructor presented the course.

5
Anonymous Author
Excellent and knowledgeable instructor. Topic was a good refresher on financial statements.

5
Member's Profile
Love this instructor, really easy to follow, slides are on point and delivery is great.

5
Anonymous Author
pretty simple material but helpful for beginners. Bit lengthy could do it in less time.

4
Member's Profile
A very good beginner's course! I recommend this to anyone needing a broad overview.

5
Anonymous Author
very useful course and had good overviews of the financials and what went into each.

5
Anonymous Author
Excellent Professor !! This is a fun way to learn ! A great learning experience.

5
Member's Profile
Perfect review with many real examples! Will take other courses from Mr. Stice.

5
Member's Profile
Such a good refresher and great techniques to remember certain key take-aways.

5
Anonymous Author
Great entry level course. Helped me refresh on the accounting fundamentals.

5
Member's Profile
Great instructor and delivery. Enjoyed the material and all examples.

4
Anonymous Author
Very good content and very good trainer. I recommend this training.

4
Member's Profile
I enjoyed the presenter. A little sense of humor on a dry subject.

5
Anonymous Author
I love the accounting classes on this platform. They are amazing.

4
Anonymous Author
This course provided a good overview of financial statements.

5
Anonymous Author
Very good course, good engaging professor. Would take again.

5
Member's Profile
Clear explanations and energy level for optimal learning!

5
Member's Profile
Clear and slow explanations help grasp concepts easily

5
Anonymous Author
Thank you very much for the excellent presentation!

5
Member's Profile
Great course! Very informative and helpful.

5
Anonymous Author
Clear and fast review of basic accounting.

5
Member's Profile
Good refresher course..

5
Member's Profile
The course itself

5
Anonymous Author
Very Informative

5
Anonymous Author
Great refresher

4
Member's Profile
Informative

5
Member's Profile
Good

Prerequisites
Course Complexity: Foundational

No Advanced Preparation or Prerequisites are needed for this course. 

Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
  The Purpose of Accounting8:29
Financial Statements
  Who Uses Accounting Information?11:53
  Introduction to Financial Statements11:47
  Balance Sheet11:47
  Balance Sheet Vs. Income Statement 11:18
  Income Statement 8:44
  EPS, Retained Income, and The Accounting Equation 8:35
  Statement of Cash Flows12:17
  What Else is There to Know?7:11
CONCLUSION
  The External Audit10:34
Continuous Play
  Financial Statements: An Overview1:42:36
SUPPORTING MATERIALS
  Slides: Financial Statements: An OverviewPDF
  Financial Statements: An Overview Glossary/IndexPDF
REVIEW and TEST
  REVIEW QUESTIONSquiz
 FINAL EXAMexam