Financial Accounting Course


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

Build, interpret, and analyze financial statements to drive business decision-making

This course will teach you the fundamentals of financial accounting. Starting with the basics of recording transactions as journal entries and posting them to T accounts, you will learn how to prepare a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.

Equipped with an understanding of the building blocks of financial statements, you will learn how to analyze them and calculate and interpret critical ratios. The course concludes with an introduction to forecasting and valuation where you will learn to prepare forecasted financial statements and make capital budgeting decisions using tools such as Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return calculations.

Participating in Financial Accounting will allow you to:

  • Understand where the information in financial statements originates by recording transactions
  • Construct balance sheets and income statements
  • Use the statement of cash flows to evaluate the financial health of a business
  • Analyze ratios and use the DuPont Framework to evaluate a business
  • Prepare and evaluate financial forecasts used to make strategic decisions
  • Learn how to value a venture, project, or investment opportunity and perform a sensitivity analysis

Program Structure

Financial Accounting consists of approximately 60 hours of material delivered over an eight-week period with a flexible program structure. There is no set time to log in. You complete the coursework on your own time while meeting regular deadlines. All course material is delivered through our innovative online platform.

Our learning model centers around the Harvard Business School case method, featuring interviews with business leaders and executives from companies around the world who candidly discuss challenges they've faced or obstacles they've overcome. We ask you to step into their shoes and engage with your peers to work through these real-world business scenarios.

Topics covered include:

  • Recording Transactions
  • Financial Statements
  • Analyzing Financial Statements
  • Forecasting & Valuation

Participants in Financial Accounting are eligible for a Certificate of Completion from Harvard Business School Online. To earn the certificate, you must successfully complete all coursework, including satisfactory performance on quizzes, by the stated deadlines and actively contribute to our vibrant learning community.

For those interested in learning business fundamentals more broadly, the 3-course CORe program—Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting taken in tandem—is available for $2,250.

Who Would Benefit?

Financial Accounting is designed for anyone who needs to be able to build or interpret financial statements and communicate financial results regardless of job function. There are no prerequisites for the program. Financial Accounting is intended for individuals at all stages of their careers—college students and recent graduates without a background in accounting, those considering an MBA or other graduate programs who would like to strengthen their understanding of accounting, or professionals seeking to understand financial statements and communicate financial results.


It is free to apply and applications are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis, so early application is encouraged. All applicants must be 18 years of age and demonstrate proficiency in English.

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Harvard Business School Online teaches vital business concepts in a unique and highly engaging way that enables committed learners to transform their careers, their organizations, and their lives.

Harvard Business School Online teaches vital business concepts in a unique and highly engaging way that enables committed learners to transform their careers, their organizations, and their lives. Read less