Finance Refresher 1 – Introduction to Company Accounts

Finance Refresher 1 – Introduction to Company Accounts

Live Online

Virtual classes –
tailored for your staff


At your office –
tailored for your staff


Anytime, flexible learning for indviduals and organisations

Commercial clients want lawyers who demonstrate commercial awareness. This course is a practical introduction to reading and understanding the Profit and Loss and the Balance Sheet.

Introduction to Company Accounts is part 1 of our 3-module refresher of the basics. It will help you find your way around a set of accounts.
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Course Content

Financial training for lawyers – to help you improve your commercial awareness and stand out from the crowd.

The full course is delivered over three 90-minute modules. You will learn to deal with financial information with more confidence.

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

This module complements the content covered in Finance Refresher 2 – Introduction to Analysis and KPIs and Finance Refresher 3 – Introduction to Accounts Interpretation

FR1 covers the basic components of a set of company accounts.

FR2 introduces analysis and the key accounting performance indicators.

FR3 includes a case study that gives you the chance to put new skills into practice.


Introduction to Company Accounts FR1 – 90mins

  • Quiz – what do you already know?
    • The key components
  • Finding your way around
    • The format and key elements of the primary statements
    • profit and loss account (operating profit, PBITDA and earnings)
    • balance sheets (capital employed, debt and equity funds) plus cash flows and the statement of other gains and losses
  • Key issues with reporting profits
    • Revenue recognition – when should a sale be reported?
    • Unusual, exceptional and extraordinary items – what can and should be excluded from operating profit?
  • Key issues with balance sheet items
    • Reporting goodwill and other intangible assets
    • Differentiating debt from equity funding
    • Providing for uncertain liabilities such as legal claim


As a result of attending the sessions you will:

  • Improve your ability to read and understand published accounting information
  • Recognise the key elements of a set of accounts
  • Appreciate how the information in a set of accounts can be manipulated
  • 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


Fee earners who want to improve their financial awareness. Trainees and fee earners who ‘know they should know this stuff’ but find it hard to get to grips with the numbers.  This course is the ideal starting point if they want to improve their commercial awareness.

Maximum 16

Introduction to Company Accounts - Finance Refresher 1 - Live Online

90 minutes

Fee earners


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


Delivered face-to-face onsite at your offices.


Trainees and fee earners who ‘know they should know this stuff’ but find it hard to get to grips with the numbers.  This course is the ideal starting point if they want to improve their commercial awareness.

Maximum 16

Introduction to Company Accounts - Finance Refresher 1 - Face-to-Face

90 minutes - 3 hours

Fee earners


Law firms tend to claim that their lawyers are commercially aware. However, not all law firms can deliver on that claim.  You can gain a real competitive edge if you can demonstrate to your clients that you really understand their finances and what makes their business tick.

We have two short e-learning courses available to help you consolidate your knowledge

  • Introduction to Understanding Company Accounts
  • Introduction to Financial Analysis and Interpretation

This course is a refresher of how businesses report financial performance.

It’s designed to give lawyers a basic introduction to financial reporting, concentrating on the two key statements in any set of accounts – the Profit and Loss (Income Statement) and the Balance Sheet (Statement of Financial Position). 

The second e-learning module, Introduction to Financial Analysis and Interpretation, builds on the knowledge from this course.

If you are interested in finding out more about how to read accounts using key performance indicators you can find more details of our live courses and e-learning

FR2 Introduction to Financial Analysis and KPIs
FR3 Introduction to Accounts Interpretation


Introduction to Understanding Company Accounts
  • Finding your way around a Profit & Loss account
  • Understanding the components of a Balance Sheet
  • The five key elements in every set of accounts
  • The difference between gross profit, operating profit and net profit
  • What are PBIT and EBIT?
  • Exercises to test your understanding


Once you’ve completed this introductory course to understanding company accounts, you will:

  • begin to conquer any fears you may have of accounts
  • understand the basic components of every set of accounts
  • know how they fit together
  • understand how they add up
  • start to develop a sense of what to look for


Trainees and fee earners who ‘know they should know this stuff’ but find it hard to get to grips with the numbers.  This course is the ideal starting point if they want to improve their commercial awareness.

Introduction to Understanding Company Accounts - E-learning Course

90 minutes

Trainee Solicitors

£30 + VAT


Doug Robinson website image
Doug Robinson
Rachael Davis-Stollar
Rachael Davis-Stollar
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Tanya Gass


"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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