This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of financial statements with an emphasis on the income statement. Building on the foundation formed in the first course, you will learn about the third of our three measurement questions and how the income statement helps to answer this final measurement question. Returning to the real business people introduced in the first course, this second course describes the basic content of income statement in a simple yet relevant context.
The course ends by summarizing many of the lessons learned in both courses to leave you with a lasting impression about what financial statements are and how accounting can work for you. We all know that accounting is “the language of business”; let’s make learning this language engaging, and perhaps even fun!
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
• Describe the purpose of an income statement.
• Define the basic components of an income statement.
• Recognize and understand the meaning of several items typically presented on an income statement.
• Explain the broader purpose of financial statements and the role of accounting in producing the financial statements.
• Read and, to some extent, interpret real-world income statements.
Accounting is the “language of business.” Being able to understand this language allows individuals both inside and outside of an organization to join the “conversation” about how the organization is performing and how it can improve future performance. Financial accounting focuses on the reports that managers generate to provide interested external parties a summary of the firm’s financial position and operations. Managerial accounting focuses on the information and the analytical tools and techniques that help managers and employees make the right business decisions. In this Specialization, you will learn the fundamentals of both of these purposes of accounting. More specifically, you will understand the financial statements that managers create, and be able to interpret and analyze these statements to assess the financial position of the organization. You will also identify and understand the nature, purpose, and importance of different types of decision-useful accounting information, and use analytical tools and techniques to use this information to make business decisions. Via the capstone, you will apply these fundamentals via the lens of a new business, creating a business plan, forecasts and budgets, and anticipated information needs for decisions made by you as owner and manager, your employees, and external parties such as future shareholders, creditors, and other constituents.
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