Understanding Company Accounts

Starting Price: £188.00

Price excludes VAT

This one-day course is aimed at fee earners, who wish to develop their ability to perform the fundamental analysis of published company accounts, make inter-company comparisons and understand the various ways of valuing a business.  The course encourages you to develop your understanding of the information available to shareholders, investors and professional advisors in a listed company’s annual report and to gain more confidence in using published financial information.


The course is targeted at trainee solicitors, who wish to understand and use the basic financial information that can be found in annual reports and accounts.  It is also suitable for newly qualified and qualified solicitors from 0-2 years PQE, who wish to refresh their knowledge, or are moving into a new practice area.  Generally, the course aims to ensure that you obtain more value from financial statements as a research tool.

Key Benefits

  • Improve your ability to perform fundamental analysis of published accounts and inter-company comparisons
  • Increase your confidence in navigating annual reports and detecting risk, through practical exercises, based on a set of financial statements of a well-known listed company
  • Improve your delivery of commercially relevant and client-focused advice to internal and external stakeholders.
Locations and Dates

TBC: Please contact us for future course dates

Format & Delivery
  • Knowledge

The course is predominantly knowledge-focused, with the inclusion of discussions, small-group and individual exercises.  This style will help to embed the practical application of knowledge learnt, ensuring that you are able to confidently interpret your clients’ accounts in the workplace.  The practical exercises will be based on a set of published financial statements of a well-known listed company, which you will have access to in advance of the course.  You will receive notes in a crib sheet format, together with a glossary of financial terms, at the course.

Please note that this is not a legal knowledge programme.  It is financial and commercial knowledge and application.

Topics Covered
  • What company accounts are and what they are used for
  • Basics of financial statements and how they are prepared
  • The regulatory environment – including the role of the Companies Act 2006 and the relevance of IFRS and UK GAAP
  • Accounting for groups of companies and how to construct, and analyse, consolidated accounts
  • Principles of financial statement analysis – including assessing the quality of information to identify fraud and key accounting metrics
  • Business valuations.
Prior Knowledge

You will require a basic understanding of company accounts and accounting principles prior to attending the course.



You will be required to complete (and, if necessary, submit) a preparatory exercise, in accordance with the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA)’s requirements.

The exercise will contain an annual report and a set of questions relating to financial information.  The completion of this work will help to set the scene for knowledge presented on the day and provide a common case for discussion and development by the group.  It will also enable the exploration of deeper concepts of the course, adding value to the overall experience.


The post-coursework for this course is completion of a Personal Development Plan.

By completing this exercise, you will reflect on the knowledge acquired from attending this course, and plan and record ongoing learning and development needs; as required by the SRA continuing competence regime.

SRA Competencies

A5        Apply understanding, critical thinking and analysis to solve problems

B3        Develop and advise on relevant options, strategies and solutions

D3        Apply good business practice.