Challenges to analyzing financial statements

Analysis of financial statements, or Financial Statement Analysis or FSA, as the discipline is called, is the application of one’s analytical ability into understanding the financial statements of a company. This analysis is made to get insights into how the company has been performing financially over a defined period of time. Based on this understanding, financial analysts make forecasts of how the company is expected to perform in the future, based on certain parameters.

Financial experts get down to understanding the way in which one of the company’s most vital ingredients, finance, is performing. FSAs are the most truthful indication of not just how the company has been performing, but also how its performance is going to lead the company in the future. Being an important tool in analyzing the financial health of the company; FSAs reflect the financial state of the company. These statements help the management decide on the company’s future decision-making relating to investment.

Viewed by many stakeholders

Financial statements are critical statements from a company. They are viewed and analyzed by a number of internal and external sources. While the company’s board of directors, management, and employees belong to the group of people who analyze FSA’s internally; customers, shareholders, banks, lending institutions, the general public and the government are some of the external analysts of FSAs.

Financial experts analyze FSAs in two important manners: Horizontal and Vertical. At their barest, horizontal analysis represents the history of the company’s financial performance over a varied period of time, while vertical analysis is made of a fixed period of time.

Types of Financial Statement Analysis 

Ratio analysis

Ratio analysis is one of the important techniques of Financial Statement Analysis. It is the analysis of how the company has performed in core areas of its business.

DuPont analysis

Another important analysis tool of Financial Statement Analysis is what is called DuPont analysis. It extends the ratio analysis method by taking note of the areas of strengths and weaknesses in the company’s financial statements. It breaks up the aspects of the company’s financial statements into the sources, such as equity, investments or others, from which the company is earning its revenues.

Challenges in Financial Statement Analysis

Financial Statement Analysis comes with its challenges. Financial Statement Analysis works in a vacuum. There is no theory or point of reference to which the Financial Statement Analysis is made. It is based purely on each situation, and is thus vulnerable to extreme volatility in the analysis. The fact that a company’s Financial Statement Analysis is positive in a certain situation under certain factors is no indication of how it would be in the future, in different situations. There are too many large variables involved in Financial Statement Analysis.

When a company is operating a number of businesses; it is difficult to evaluate the performance of each of the businesses, especially if the businesses are diverse. There are no fixed parameters to judge the performance of each of them.

Also, when accounting practices change; the whole character of Financial Statement Analysis undergoes a metamorphosis. This makes it necessary to completely redraw the practice of Financial Statement Analysis.

Financial Statement Analysis is not always accurate in analyzing the strengths or weaknesses of many of the company’s intangible resources.

Get to understand the ways in which Financial Statement Analysis works

A complete understanding of Financial Statement Analysis, with a clear definition of the challenges involved in this practice, will be given at a webinar that is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance. At this webinar, Kevin Chenoweth, who has expertise in designing project plans for multi-million dollar Oracle R12 financial leading to under budget and on-schedule projects, will be the speaker.

To get insights into the challenges involved in Financial Statement Analysis; please enroll for this webinar by visiting Financial Statements & Valuation

Kevin Chenoweth will cover both the telecommunication and technology industries at this session, and will show how company operations can be improved. He will also offer recommendations on trend and ratio analysis as applicable to diversified industries. He will also help participants evaluate sales trends and develop ways to increase sales.

He will deconstruct financial statements and help identify key drivers of organic and inorganic growth. This session is of high value to those involved in Financial Statement Analysis, such as Accounting Staff, Finance Staff, IT Staff, Sales & Development Staff, Business Directors, Auditors, Company/Business Owners, and Finance Managers.

The following areas will be covered at this webinar:

o  DuPont Analysis

o  Cash to Cash Cycle

o  Real Options for Decision Making

o  Understanding organic and inorganic growth

o  Ratio and Trend Analysis

o  Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis.

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