Finance refresher 3 – introduction to accounts interpretation

Finance refresher 3 – introduction to accounts interpretation

This module is designed to help you deal with financial information with more confidence. Using case study data you’ll calculate some key accounting ratios then interpret the results.

Module 3 of our finance refresher course explores how to value a business, the pros and cons of debt and equity finance, and how to assess financial stability.
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Who is it for?

Recommended for fee earners who want to improve their financial awareness. 

Course content

Live training overview

This course is a practical session designed to develop your commercial awareness and understanding of company accounts.  

Using exercises and a short case study you will advise on investment options for an expanding tech company.

You’ll learn to deal with financial information with more confidence. The session will revise the most common key performance indicators. Using case study data you will be challenged to calculate some key accounting ratios and interpret the results.

The session looks at how to value a business, the pros and cons of debt and equity finance, and key areas to help you assess financial stability.

Dealing with unfamiliar information in simple terms is the key to the success of this course.

This module complements the content covered in Finance Refresher 1 – Introduction to Company Accounts and Finance Refresher 2 – Introduction to Analysis and KPIs

FR 1 covers the basic components of a set of company accounts.

FR 2 introduces analysis and the key accounting performance indicators.

This module includes a case study that gives you the chance to put new skills into practice.


  • Finding your way around
    • The format and key elements of the primary statements – a quick reminder
  • Valuation Exercise
    • Using a sample P&L and Balance Sheet can you value a company
    • Submit ‘sealed bids’
  • Introduce the case study
    • Expanding company needs funding
    • One team advise the company
    • One team advise the investors
  • Using analysis and interpretation of performance indicators to assess
    • Profitability and efficiency
    • Gearing
    • Liquidity and solvency
  • Company pitch
    • What makes them an attractive investment opportunity?
  • Investor’s response
    • Assessment of risk
    • Additional information required
    • Areas of concern
  • Wrap up – what form should the investment take?
    • Debt or equity?
    • Company’s preference
    • Investor’s preference


As a result of attending the sessions you will:

  • Improve your ability to read and understand published accounting information
  • Practise using financial interpretation techniques to develop understanding
  • Explore different approaches to valuing a company
  • Identify key areas to help you form a view of a company’s prospects
  • Appreciate the importance of developing your commercial awareness
  • Be encouraged to improve your knowledge of the economy, your clients’ businesses and financial reporting in a legal context


Live online – an interactive session using quizzes, polls and breakout rooms

This session is not a pre-recorded webinar.


90 minutes


Maximum 16

Face-to-face training overview

Covering the same content as the ‘live online’ course this session can be delivered as 90-minute modules or as a half-day course.


Maximum 16


"The final section is excellent for a novice like myself. It demystifies the jargon as well as providing a very useful summary of how to calculate the various ratios as well as what they tell you about a company. The earlier sections build up to it but can be worked through pretty quickly."
September 2018
"A well explained introduction to company accounts - thank you ”
"This course really helped me understand Company Accounts. In the past, I wouldn't have felt confident that my interpretation of accounts was correct. ”
"Very good online delivery – I found it engaging even though it was via Zoom and for quite a long length of time. I think it's difficult to be engaging for long periods of time via VC, but I found Doug very engaging and enthusiastic. ”
September 2020
"The quiz was fun and kept attendees engaged as everyone got a chance to attempt the questions. ”
September 2020
"Doug was a great trainer and the pace/level of detail was perfect. Thank you!”
September 2020

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