Financial reporting provides a window into the operational and financial workings of a company. However, translating this information into actionable insights is anything but straightforward. It requires an understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), the quality of financial information, and the adjustments and analyses required to accurately measure and evaluate profitability, risk, growth prospects, and value. This course is devoted to a systematic study of these topics. In addition to discussing GAAP, we will analyze many actual financial disclosures and cases of accounting abuses. We will also cover standard and not-so-standard financial analysis techniques, and incorporate insights from practitioner and academic research. The primary objective is to acquire a deep understanding of accounting information and how to intelligently use it in making investment, credit, and similar resource allocation decisions. Such knowledge is required of executives, bankers, analysts, investment managers, and other users of financial information.
Gil Sadka was a Columbia Business School faculty member from 2005 to 2014.