Reading Financial Statements Course

Learn how to read financial statements. In this 2-part free course, we use a company's financial statements and annual report to understand the financial strength of a company and help us make informed decisions.

Reading Financial Statements Course

Reading & Understanding the Balance Sheet

In this first module, we learn how to read the balance sheet and its related notes using a company case study, Espresso Software. This will help us understand the financial strength of the company and help us make informed decisions. By the end of this module, you will have a solid understanding of the specific accounts in a typical balance sheet and the related notes to the financial statements.

  • Navigate successfully through the notes to the financial statements.
  • Read and interpret the various items in a published balance sheet.
  • Understand complex balance sheet concepts (e.g. deferred taxes, goodwill, investments, etc.)

Free Accounting Course - CFI

Reading & Understanding the Income Statement and Cash Flow

In this second module of this free course, we continue reading Espresso Software's financial statements. We look at the company's income statement and statement of cash flows and conclude by covering the key contents of an annual report. By the end of this module, you will have a solid understanding of a typical income statement, statement of cash flows and annual report.

  • Understand the different ways to present an income statement and cash flow statement.
  • Read and interpret the various items in a published income statement.
  • Identify the operating, financing, and investing activities of a company.
  • Determine what is contained in an annual report and where to find it.

How to read financial statements free course

More About this Free Financial Statements Course

This accounting course is highly interactive with many different applied exercises and case studies. Sophisticated search and navigation tools allow you to go at your own pace while pop quizzes test what you have learned. The reading financial statements course also includes two PDF reference guides – a financial statements glossary and an accounting factsheet. These can be used while taking the course and downloaded to your computer for future reference.

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What You'll Learn


How to Read Financial Statements - Free Course

Free Enroll For Free

Approx 1.5 hrs to complete


From $847.00
CFI Full Immersion Bundle & FMVA® Certification
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Path to Certification

Prerequisite Courses

5 courses from beginner to intermediate level.


Core Courses

9 courses from beginner to intermediate level.


Elective Courses

Take 3 out of 9 courses at an advanced level.


Get Certified

Submit your FMVA®️ checklist and order your certificate.


Join Our Community

Get access to the Global Corporate Finance Society.


How the Certification Works

FMVA® Financial Analyst Certification courses are offered 100% online, allowing you the flexibility to start the financial analyst program anytime and learn when it’s most convenient for you.
Students must complete all core and elective courses (12 in total) and demonstrate mastery of the topics through successful completion of course materials, quizzes, and assessments.
Within 48 hours of program completion, your Blockchain Verified FMVA Certification will be emailed to you.

What Our Students Say

Jacinta Njuguna
Reading Financial Statements
The course is very informative, I learnt a lot and the descriptions are very easy to understand.
Bello, Olalekan Asodiq

This course has been an amazing and inspiring course to me because it has tremendously added value to my knowledge and make me gain confidence as regards reading, preparation and presentation of financial statements.
George Cracan
Excellent for a begginer
Excellent information, excellent documentation, excellent explanations for a beginner like me !
Pha Pha Nguyen Ngoc

It is such a nice course to update my knowledge!!!
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Ali Zahoor
Its is best for improve the skills, easy to understand. Great team work of CFI Regards Ali Zahoor
Very articulate and elaborate. Job well done by the instructors.
The course was very useful for me. It is well organized and gives u a lot of information regarding the financial statements.
Rizwan Karim
I would to thanks team CFI for providing such a great platform for Finance professionals to grow and take the next career step. I am very much satisfied with CFI's efforts.
Andriette le Grange
This course guides you where to look for information and how information can be used to make various decisions.
Natasha Gunn
Really enjoying the course. Information is presented in a clear and logical way. Resources are of high quality. Thanks for making this!
wilfred agyei
The course content is great. However, the instructor was speeding which makes it difficult to follow through. The speed 0.5x is extremely slow while that of 1x is also really fast. Therefore I suggest you include a speed of 0.75x as well. Thanks
Tushar Dev
I really appreciate to team CFI for making this course. I acquired so much of knowledge regarding Balance sheet and other financial statements. Thank you so much.
Aaron Christian
Very good course. Please cover annual report a bit more in detail if possible. The financial statements were explained very well. Thank You
Ankita Shirodkar
I have started with this course as I believe this would help in adding value to my resume. The course is very simplified and the inclusion of exercises helps a lot. Thank you
Nay Zaw Soe
It is beneficial course to finance learners . I am on cloud nine to join CFI.
Hart Chukwuemeka
The course was well presented and very explanatory, I will recommend that every student studying Accounting to take this course
Brenden K
Excellent 2-3 hour crash course over the basics of financial statements that companies issue and how to understand and interpret them. Well worth going over the material for a refresher on foundational material related to the financial analyst or business analyst job title. Does an excellent job at reviewing the annual report and what it includes.
Nkosingiphile Langa
This course is extremely beneficial, educating and fun altogether.
Mohamad Azhar Hashim
The course is really fantastic. The instructors presented the course in a simple yet effective manner.
Abhishek Arora
It is fine. I love it. This course is absolutely fine.
Rebecca Benjamin
This course was very helpful to me and could get a certificate without any hassle. Recommended to all.
Ayobami Olarinde
This course is very insightful.
Shafici Abdullahi Hirsi
I'm happy to be apart of this amazing course. I just wanna say thank you guys for giving us this amazing opportunity. Now I understand how to read financial statements.
Tumwine Micheal
CFI you really doing a great service because your videos are so precious to the point and really understood the necessary information that was disturbing in really life
ibrahim abdirahman
This course has opened my eyes and i would to like to further my knowledge on accounting and finance to the next level with corporate finance institute. And let me say to corporate finance institute thank you. However, my rate to this course is very satisfying.
Taimur Zulfiqar
Excellent course on reading financial statements at a beginners level.......well presented.
Danna Hunter
This course has open up my eyes in reading financial statements. It gave me a more advanced idea of what belongs within the THREE top financial statements. Thanks CFI!!!!
Dave Runyan
I thought this was a reasonably good overview of Financial Statements and material to understand an Annual Report. The youtube portion was, I thought, was thoughtfully and succinctly put together.
Dennis Amponsah Baidoo
Karan Bhadane
superb course , thank's for their initiative of such free online course
Omotayo Habeeb
The course is really an eye-opener, educative and very interesting. I really gained and learned a lot. Thanks to the CFI team for this great opportunity to refresh my brain!!!!!
Fernando Marquez
I liked the course. It is essential for Financial Annalists. I would add some more exercises to strengthen the most challenging concepts to make sure the basic is really solid to move forward. Thanks for the chance to access to such a good experience.
Aicen Auman
These videos are so informative.
Anwar Khan
It's really very helpful. The way of teaching is perfect and easy to understand. Thanks to you and your team k
Sulabh Chokhani
Text was good. Testability should be more stringent.
Severin Haemmerl
Great overview and nice examples using real-world financial statements. Only the solutions of the exercises could be explained in more detail.
Matthew Johnson
Helpful in explaining the basic components of financial statements. Downloadable resources are very helpful.
Javed Ahmed
I really appreciate the work your team has done. The way of teaching is perfect and understandable to a prudent minded person. Stay blessed the team of CFI. Profound Regards, Javed Ahmed
Alexander Korkor
It is very necessary to read Financial Statements. Financial Statement help managers make good decisions for a business/corporate institution, the stipulate the flow of cash, the value of assets, business income, and the development aspects of a corporation/business entity. Financial Statement reading is also advised for a manager as to how to run day-to-day expenditures and how to minimize losses and increase the owner's capital.
Teka Derick Tikum
This course brings you familiar with finance and accountIng terms and transactions in Financial Statements and how to interpret them. Was of great help during my studies. Thanks CFI
Prem Shrestha
The course is quite simple. It is very useful for beginners. In reality, we have to deal with much more complicated financial statements. It could be useful for practicing individuals to have complicated examples as well.
tin aung
Great course!!
Kajal Poddar
Good !
Bienvenido Jesus B. Castro Jr., CPA, FMVA
Very helpful & informative, the method is very simple but it works well !!
peter kimera
This course has been of great value to me and it has enabled me to acquire more knowledge
Dr.Vijaya Venkateswari Krishnasamy
The Course was interesting and informative
Faysal Hossain
It is great to get such experience and helps
Przemyslaw Janus
If possible there could be a reference to the statement of changes in equity (as part of FS) and perhaps a short note on IFRS / US GAAP and main differences in treatment.
Edwin Wangila
Richard Hastings
Cuts to the meat of the matter, and expresses financial statements in logical and sensible formats. Understands need for not going in to too much detail.
Elie Haddad
This course is so informative !
Swan Aung
Reading Financial Statements is very useful for those who are working in both the banking industry and business sectors.
Chris Wang
This course is a great overview of the basics and is easy to follow. It was well paced , although I repeated several of the chapters which was easy thanks to the good interface. All in all a very solid course.

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FMVA® Financial Analyst Certification

Become a Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® by completing all required courses in accounting, finance, modeling, Excel, presentations, and strategy. From beginner to advanced courses you will have the complete training you need to become a world-class financial analyst.


From $847.00
CFI Full Immersion Bundle & FMVA® Certification
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From $497.00
CFI Self-Study Bundle & FMVA® Certification
Buy Now