Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Financial Statements

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Reading and understanding financial statements and financial ratios is a critical skill needed by investors, finance students, accounting students, and business students. Without this skill, investors are left with selecting stocks based on ‘water-cooler’ conversations or because they like the company name — not a great foundation to build a retirement portfolio. As for students, without a solid foundation with understanding financial statements, specifically, the income statement and balance sheet, and financial ratios, passing basic business courses will prove exceptionally difficult.This leads to the purpose of the book. This book was written to teach investors, business students, finance students, and accounting students about basic and advanced accounting and finance concepts and to apply the concepts in analyzing five consecutive years’ of financial statements and financial ratios.Book and Chapter StructuresThis book was structured to help investors and students quickly and efficiently learn to read, understand, and use a company’s income statement, balance sheet, and popular financial ratios for financial analysis and investment purposes. Financial Statements – The income statement and balance sheet sections start with a brief explanation of each financial statement. With this foundation set, I then define, graph, and offer analysis tips and examples for each financial statement line item, such as revenues and long-term debt. Financial Ratios – This section starts with showing formulas for popular financial ratios and also calculated financial ratios for five years, based on our example financial statements provided. Each financial ratio is then defined, formulas provided, calculations for the ratios illustrated, financial analysis tips offered, ratios graphed, covering a five-year time frame, in most cases, and brief analysis of the ratios.Important financial ratios defined, calculated, and analysis tips offered includes the current ratio, cash ratio, quick ratio, net working capital ratio, total asset turnover ratio, fixed asset turnover ratio, days sales outstanding, inventory turnover, accounts receivable turnover, working capital turnover, accounts payable turnover, return on assets, return on equity, profit margin, gross profit margin, and several more.In the end, hopefully, you will have a better understanding of financial statements and financial ratios in general.