Introduction

This course will teach you the fundamentals of financial accounting. Starting with the basics of recording transactions as journal entries and posting them to T accounts, you will learn how to prepare a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. 

Equipped with an understanding of the building blocks of financial statements, you will learn how to analyze them and calculate and interpret critical ratios. The course concludes with an introduction to forecasting and valuation where you will learn to prepare forecasted financial statements and make capital budgeting decisions using tools such as Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return calculations.

Participating in Financial Accounting will allow you to:

  • Understand where the information in financial statements originates by recording transactions
  • Construct balance sheets and income statements
  • Use the statement of cash flows to evaluate the financial health of a business
  • Analyze ratios and use the DuPont Framework to evaluate a business
  • Prepare and evaluate financial forecasts used to make strategic decisions
  • Learn how to value a venture, project, or investment opportunity and perform a sensitivity analysis

Course Structure

Financial Accounting consists of approximately 60 hours of material delivered over an eight-week period with a flexible program structure. There is no set time to log in. You complete the coursework on your own time while meeting regular deadlines. All course material is delivered through the innovative HBX online platform.

The HBX Learning Model centers around the Harvard Business School case method, featuring interviews with business leaders and executives from companies around the world who candidly discuss challenges they've faced or obstacles they've overcome. We ask you to step into their shoes and engage with your peers to work through these real-world business scenarios.

Topics covered include:

  • Recording Transactions
  • Financial Statements
  • Analyzing Financial Statements
  • Forecasting & Valuation

 

Participants in Financial Accounting are eligible for a Certificate of Completion from HBX and Harvard Business School. To earn the certificate, you must successfully complete all coursework, including satisfactory performance on quizzes, by the stated deadlines and actively contribute to the vibrant HBX learning community.

For those interested in learning business fundamentals more broadly, the 3-course HBX CORe program—Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting taken in tandem—is available for $1,950. Learn more about the different pathways to earn the CORe credential


Who would benefit from taking Financial Accounting?

Financial Accounting is designed for anyone who needs to be able to build or interpret financial statements and communicate financial results regardless of job function. There are no prerequisites for the program. Financial Accounting is intended for individuals at all stages of their careers—college students and recent graduates without a background in accounting, those considering an MBA or other graduate program who would like to strengthen their understanding of accounting, or professionals seeking to understand financial statements and communicate financial results.

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What are HBX certificate programs?

HBX certificate programs are focused on one essential business topic. They combine the flexibility of online programming with the rigor and quality of a Harvard Business School education to give participants a unique edge in their careers.


 

Meet The Author

V.G. Narayanan

V.G. Narayanan

Thomas D. Casserly, Jr. Professor of Business Administration; Chair, MBA Elective Curriculum

V.G. spent many years thinking about what he would do if he had the opportunity to create an online course. Watching how his kids learned on the computer inspired him to rethink the possibilities; his Financial Accounting course is the result. V.G. has been teaching accounting at HBS for last 20 years and is currently the Chair of MBA Elective Curriculum. He has chaired the pre-MBA summer program at HBS and taught introductory accounting to incoming MBA students in the summer Analytics program for the past several years. He has also served as the course head for the first-year required accounting course for MBA students - Financial Reporting and Control. In addition, he chairs several executive education programs and serves on the boards of companies and non-profit organizations.

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