Financial Analysis: A Business Decision Guide

19 Credits: Finance


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Financial Analysis: A Business Decision Guide

Course Level
CPE Credits

19 Credits: Finance

Course Description

Most companies are constantly confronted with situations that require a detailed review of available options and a decision to proceed in a certain direction. These decisions can be supported by different types of analysis tools. Financial Analysis: A Business Decision Guide describes how to extract meaningful information from the financial statements of a business. The course delves into a number of analyses that can be used to improve business decisions such as price optimization, constraint management, and credit granting. In addition, the course material addresses financial leverage, capital structure, and foreign exchange risk, and contains coverage of financial forecasting, discounted cash flow analysis, and the valuation of acquisitions as well.

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Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Specify the situations in which different types of financial analysis could be used.
  • Specify the issues to consider when making recommendations as the result of financial analysis.

Chapter 2

  • Identify the financial statements, their contents, and how they are formatted

Chapter 3

  • Cite the key accounting concepts that can alter the information presented in the financial statements

Chapter 4

  • State the methods used to interpret the information in the financial statements

Chapter 5

  • Identify the components of the cost-volume-profit relationship, and how they are used

Chapter 6

  • Identify the advantages of the various pricing methodologies

Chapter 7

  • Cite the issues that can impact the cost of a cost object, and whether that cost is recognized

Chapter 8

  • Identify key constraint concepts and how they can be used to improve profitability

Chapter 9

  • Specify the concepts under which credit is granted to customers, as well as indicators of possible future delinquency

Chapter 10

  • Identify the financing choices available to a company

Chapter 11

  • Cite the impact and risks of financial leverage on a business as well as when leverage is more likely to be used

Chapter 12

  • State the issues impacting the capital structure of a business, as well as situations in which the capital structure should be reviewed

Chapter 13

  • Identify the measurements used by investors to track the adequacy of dividend payments

Chapter 14

  • Identify the risks and mitigating actions associated with foreign exchange

Chapter 15

  • Cite the risks and mitigating actions associated with interest rates as well as the terms of the various interest rate hedging instruments

Chapter 16

  • State the elements of a system of forecasting and budgeting

Chapter 17

Identify the issues impacting the rate of growth of a company

Chapter 18

  • Identify the elements of the cost of capital, and note how the cost of capital is calculated

Chapter 19

  • Cite the basis for the use of discounted cash flows, the types of annuities, and how discounted cash flows can be used

Chapter 20

  • State the methods available for analyzing requests for capital projects, and the issues to be reviewed when examining such requests

Chapter 21

  • Specify the concepts involved in the lease or buy decision process, the information to include in or exclude from the decision, and the circumstances under which different lease types would be used

Chapter 22

  • Identify the techniques used to place a value on a target company

Chapter 23

  • Cite the methods used to measure and improve shareholder value, and the situations in which certain methods are more applicable
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Course Specifics

Course ID
Revision Date
February 3, 2023

There are no prerequisites.

Advanced Preparation


Number of Pages

Compliance Information

NASBA Provider Number: 103220

CMA Notice: Western CPE makes every attempt to maintain our CMA CPE library, to ensure a course meets your continuing education requirements please visit Insitute of Management Accountants (IMA)

CFP Notice: Not all courses that qualify for CFP® credit are registered by Western CPE. If a course does not have a CFP registration number in the compliance section, the continuing education will need to be individually reported with the CFP Board. For more information on the reporting process, required documentation, processing fee, etc., contact the CFP Board. CFP Professionals must take each course in it’s entirety, the CFP Board DOES NOT accept partial credits for courses.

Meet The Experts

Steven M. Bragg Headshot

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, is a full-time book and course author who has written more than 250 business books and courses. He provides Western CPE with self-study courses in the areas of accounting and finance, with an emphasis on the practical application of accounting standards and management techniques. A sampling of his courses include the The New Controller Guidebook, The GAAP Guidebook, Accountants’ Guidebook, and Closing the Books: An Accountant’s Guide. He also manages the Accounting Best Practices podcast. Steven has been the CFO or controller of both public and private companies and has been a consulting manager with Ernst & Young and …

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