How to read an annual report? It sounds like a daunting task for many, especially if you have little or no experience with financial vocabulary and financial analysis. This course encourages you to pick up an annual report, of the company you work for, a company you have invested in, or any other company that you would like to learn more about. We go through an approach to reading the annual report, how to balance your focus between the numbers and the narrative, what each of the financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement) is telling you, what the key financial acronyms mean and why they are important, how to analyze the information in the annual report, and how to dig in deeper and deeper to uncover what you are looking for in the annual report.


This course provides you with the concepts and context to get started on your journey of reading and understanding an annual report, and shows you in detail (through an insightful case study of the financial statements of Alphabet Inc (Google's parent company)) what the key financial terms mean and how to analyze them.


Upon finishing this foundational course on how to read an annual report, you can expand your financial analysis skills by taking the related comprehensive courses by the same instructor: “Preparing and Understanding a Cash Flow Statement” and “Balance Sheet Tour”.


Learning Objectives
  • Explore the content of the annual report
  • Identify the purpose of the income statement, the cash flow statement, and the balance sheet, the key terms used in these financial statements, and the main equations in each
  • Discover how reading the Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) can help you understand the key operational drivers of a company’s performance
  • Discover how the sections that most people skip when reading an annual report can actually provide you with a better understanding of how the company operates
  • Recognize how reading and understanding an annual report is a mix between the numbers and the narrative
Last updated/reviewed: May 13, 2022
12 Reviews (57 ratings)


Anonymous Author
Very good course to understand the layout and mechanics that drive the 10-K report. The slides are effective and include numerous company-specific examples, which help to grasp the concepts. Also, the review and final test are effectively composed to maximize learning and understanding.

Anonymous Author
Excellent course! Great overview of the various aspects of a company's 10-K with very useful examples. The handout slides are also very thorough and useful as well. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a refresher or overview course on financial statements.

Member's Profile
Great presentation - Clear, concise and informative. This is worthwhile for new readers and a good refresher for others. Phillip has a knack for keeping the audience focused. I'd recommend all of his courses.

Anonymous Author
The instructor was lively & easy to follow however I didn't think that the slides were informative of the narrative. There were just too many slides & most of them just cartoon drawings.

Anonymous Author
I like the way Finance is explained by the instructor. It sounds easy even though the content is super relevant and practical approach for reading Annual Report.

Anonymous Author
this course was a good overview of the financials, I found the 10K section most helpful since that is a report I have done before.

Anonymous Author
Not the first time I managed to pass the test, but this once again draws your attention to the content of the material

Anonymous Author
Good beginner level review outlining a logical and efficient method in reading annual reports.

Member's Profile
I like Philip's drawings and how he boils down complex topics to the required nuts and bolts.

Member's Profile
Excellent overview- thought tough more time should have been allotted-bit crammed

Member's Profile
Good Course. i recommend all users to go through this course.

Member's Profile
this is a great course for anyone with a cpa designation.

Course Complexity: Foundational

No advance preparation or prerequisites are required for this course. Expand your financial analysis skills by taking the related comprehensive courses “Preparing and Understanding a Cash Flow Statement” and “Balance Sheet Tour”.


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 - How to Read an Annual Report8:26
  Relationship Between Financial Statements2:07
  Gross Margin and Operating Margin Explained7:35
  Income Statement Analysis Walmart12:06
  Income Statement Analysis Alphabet Inc12:33
  Cash Flow Statement Analysis Alphabet Inc10:37
  Balance Sheet Analysis Alphabet Inc11:05
  10-K Table of Contents8:05
  Annual Report MD&A6:57
  Auditor Report in the Annual Report6:03
  How to Read an Annual Report – For Beginners (Case Study) 1:27:40
  Slides: How to Read an Annual Report PDF
  How to Read an Annual Report Glossary/IndexPDF
  3M 10-K 2017PDF
  Alphabet Inc 10-K 2017PDF
  Walmart Annual Report PDF