Advanced Financial Analysis

Why Attend

This course brings together the key elements of financial statement analysis to help participants improve their financial analysis skills, enable them to ask the right questions, and see the real risks facing businesses and investors. In addition, this course helps participants feel more confident in their ability to comment on business activities and performance and analyze financial health for management. These skills and the required technical knowledge will be put into practice throughout the course using interactive examples and case studies, putting theory and technique into context.

Course Methodology

The course uses a mix of interactive techniques, such as brief presentations by the consultant, group exercises and case studies using Excel to apply knowledge acquired throughout the course, followed by presentations by the participants of the results.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • List and differentiate between the important components of basic financial statements
  • Explain financial statements’ ratios and formulate Excel sheets and graphs for financial statements analysis
  • Illustrate creative accounting schemes and critique the validity of accounting rules used
  • Assess the quality of financial reports and evaluate quality of earnings and cash flows reported
  • Analyze the financial position and performance of a company over a period of time and draw conclusions regarding its sustainability

Target Audience

Chief accountants, accounting managers, senior accountants, finance directors, finance managers, financial analysts, financial controllers, financial accounts managers, heads of finance departments, credit controllers, corporate financiers, credit risk analysts, bankers, and relationship managers.

Target Competencies

  • Understanding financial statements
  • Reading annual reports
  • Processing financial data
  • Financial analysis
  • Credit analysis
  • Risk management
  • Criticizing financial reporting standards used
  • Applying professional skepticism
  • Identifying financial fraud


South Africa

Training Dates:

Each course starts every Monday of each week. Please book your training on a date that is a Monday.

Course Duration:

Unit Standard:

NQF Level:

Number of Credits:

Course Fees

Note: Please fill in the online application form on the left or bottom if this page to receive a quotation with detailed pricing from AATICD.

How to Apply:

To Apply Simply Fill in the Online Enquiries / Applications form on the Right Sidebar or Bottom of this website


When filling the online application form; please take note of your desired Training Month, Duration in Weeks and Training Session. This will give us the exact dates you will be attending your classes.

Also note that Tuition Fees must be paid upfront on or before training start date. This is to ensure that all resources are made availabe for you before you start. You will not be allowed into training if fees are not paid and verified.

Also note that Tuition Fees Cancellations must be made 14 business working days before the starting date of training. This will allow us to do a 50% refund of the total amount paid. If cancellations are made thereafter note that no refund will be made to delegates.

Tuition Fees include teas and lunch as well as either a laptop or tablet which a delegate will take home free of charge.

Tuition Fee DOES NOT include Accommodation, Dinners and other Extra Curricular Activities or Incidentals. Delegates are expected to fund this on their own. AATICD will not be held accountable for any incidents to delegates.

In-House Trainings are also available for 3 or more delegates for any duration. Please consult with our Administration for such In-House training bookings.

Course Outline

  • Introduction to advanced financial analysis
    • Users of financial data
    • Content of the annual financial report
      • Regional versus global standards
    • Non-financial elements of the annual financial report and their importance
      • Emotional and cognitive biases affecting analysts’ judgment
    • Understanding the income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement
    • Other comprehensive income components
  • Basics of industry analysis and analyzing ratios using Excel
    • Top-down approach for analysis
      • Macroeconomic factors to assess country exposure
        • Indicators of GDP, unemployment rates, inflation and interest rates
        • Deficit-to-GDP, debt-to-GDP and GDP growth rates
      • Industry analysis: understanding Michael Porter’s five forces shaping industry’s long term profitability
        • Starbucks, Apple Inc., Nike and McDonald’s cases
    • Common size analysis to improve comparability
    • Calculating trends and growth patterns
    • Ratio analysis to assess key aspects of company performance:
      • Profitability
      • Liquidity
      • Efficiency and working capital management
      • Financing structure and risk
    • Altman Z-score to assess potential bankruptcy
    • Using graphical representation
  • Financial cosmetics and creative accounting
    • Last In First Out (LIFO) versus First In First Out (FIFO) and the effect on profits and taxes
    • Explaining LIFO reserve and LIFO liquidation
    • Converting reported inventory from LIFO to LIFO for purposes of comparison
    • Valuing inventory at net realizable value: looking for signals of obsolete inventory
    • Analyst’s consideration when examining inventory
    • Evaluating how capitalizing versus expensing costs affect financial statements and ratios
    • Effect of different depreciation methods on financial statements
    • Impairment and revaluation of property, plant and equipment
    • The choice of operating lease or finance lease
    • Using special purpose vehicles for balance sheet manipulation
    • Joint ventures: using equity method
    • Consolidation: inflating goodwill by using full goodwill instead of partial goodwill method
    • Employees’ compensation: completeness of end-of-service indemnity obligation
    • Stock options and stock grants instead of bonuses
    • Case study: creative accounting scandals of Enron, Worldcom, Parmalat
  • Assessing quality of financial reports
    • Framework for assessing company’s quality of financial reports
    • Potential problems that affect quality of financial reports
    • Defining concept of sustainable and persistent earnings
    • Beneish model: M-score to describe degree to which earnings are manipulated
    • Recommending adjustments to improve quality and comparability
    • Evaluating the earnings quality of a company
    • Evaluating the cash flow quality of a company
    • Indicators of balance sheet quality
    • Sources of information about risk
    • Case study: investment decision at Nestle