Get an overview of how accounting work, and which statements can be generated for your company. Learn what measures of your company can be derived from financial statements.
Jacob Frenkel, Vice Chairman of the world biggest insurance company AIG mentionned 2008, at the peak of the big financial crisis:
The left side of the balance sheet has nothing right and the right side has nothing left.
But they are equal of each other. So accounting-wise we are fine.
But why are they equal? And what does that mean? Your financial statements must not be a closed book.
Understand the structure of annual reports - it's not only about balancing! And choose your legal system (EU, US). Firstly you will soon understand the structure and the meaning of the major financial statements. Further on you will be able to measure your financial performance, that is the profitability and liquidity of your company. And sure, Cash Flow matters for you, doesn't it?
What are IFRS and US-GAAP?
GAAP is short for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, a large compendium of accounting standards.
Similar to the European Legal Basis of Accounting, the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), one of the reasons using such a group of standards is that anyone interested in is able to read and analyze the financial statements of different companies. GAAP is mainly intended for American companies, whereas the IFRS have been introduced in all member states of the European Union and some other countries like Australia. Specialists in accounting consider methodology to be the main difference between the two systems. GAAP is rules-based and IFRS is principles-based. Therefore, the IFRS leave more room for interpretation.
Are your Key Performance Indicators somewhat fuzzy for you?
A lot of companies use ratios, evaluating the business performance. Often even employees and managers are measured by these figures. Therefore, they so called KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are very significant in business, but many poeple have great difficulties in understanding them. How to interprete the KPIs? And how to apply them to the last financial report? And overall: How to improve them?
The focus of operational controlling is the guidance of the company, mainly in cost measurement and management. They deliver an important support to project controlling and product development as well as to the related investment planning.
Despite the obvious necessity of a general overhead, the costs incurred by selling or staff are the real hurdle that reveals often a conflict between the producing and managing departments. Watch the video and inform yourself about what we are talking when focusing SG&A's. May be useful to deepen the subject later on by attending a specialized training.