Executive Education

Understanding Financial Statements

This one day course is part of the 3 day Financial Management Certificate and the 12 day Management Essentials Program. While the course is designed to be independent in nature, please consider whether maximum value can be obtained by taking it as part of a broader program.

Program Overview

The session will cover the content, meaning and interrelationship of each of the following statements:

  • Income Statement
  • Balance Sheet
  • Statement of Retained Earnings
  • Statement of Cash Flow

Practical in-class examples and problems are used to illustrate the use of each financial statement and to illustrate the kind of management enquiry and decisions that result.

Learning Outcomes

  • Determine the purpose of each of the financial statements and their use in assessing the operational and financial health of a business
  • Appreciate the interrelationship between the various financial statements
  • Determine cash versus book income, and the critical role of cash flow in operations
  • Comprehend the concept of working capital and why it is so critical to lenders.
  • Understand leverage and its role in increasing return and risk.

Who Should Attend?

  • Mid-level to senior managers in non-financial areas or those needing a refresher on current financial tools and concepts
  • Small business owners and entrepreneurs


Peter Flynn

Peter Flynn held a series of technical, management and executive roles in Canada’s energy industry over 25 years. In 1999 he returned to the University of Alberta to hold the Poole Chair in Management for Engineers, a position he held through 2011. In this role, he reactivated the Engineering Management program in the Faculty of Engineering, revamped the Faculty’s undergraduate financial education, and conducted an extensive research program focused on the economics of renewable energy and deregulated power price patterns. Peter has held a wide variety of Board positions in non-profit, government-related and for profit Boards. These include EPCOR, Capital Region Housing Corporation, Fort Edmonton Foundation, Plutonic Power Corporation, and the Balancing Pool of Alberta, part of the Alberta electricity system. He also served as the interim CEO of the Balancing Pool of Alberta for a ten month period. Peter is a Professional Engineer and received the APEGA Summit Award for Community Service in 2009.