Financial Analysis Essentials

Learn Financial Analysis by doing it!
This experiential learning course puts you in a challenging, real-world situation: Your employer, a consulting firm, has been engaged by a struggling winery. You are one of several financial analysts who will be working as a team on the project. The team will analyze the winery's past and current situation to identify what the major problems are.

The work that you do in this course will provide the foundation for the financial strategy work for the same winery in the follow-on course, Financial Strategy Essentials. 

Your project team for the course will meet weekly online with a faculty mentor.


  • Format: Online collaboration

    Hours: 96 hours / 9.6 CEU's

    When: 2015 dates coming soon!

    Cost: $2,400


Scenario overview
Your firm has a standard discovery process that you and your colleagues will follow. First, you will build a financial analysis template and gather key data from a comprehensive review of audits, quarterly balance sheets, and profit-and-loss reports from the last three years. In addition, you’ll use several resources to help build a fundamental understanding of the winery’s day-to-day operations and general trends in the wine industry.

As a result of this work, the project team expects to uncover the true nature of the winery’s financial condition — and specifically, why the business is facing a severe cash crisis.  With these insights, you can prepare a report on a company’s current financial state. Also, you can begin to analyze the company’s three options—raising additional equity, acquiring more debt, and selling assets

Your job
In this course, you will be working as if you are a member of a team of financial analysts employed by the consulting firm.  You and your colleagues will produce the same deliverables a client company would expect from its consulting firm — and you will be evaluated on the work you produce.   


What you will learn

The skills you will develop and practice in this course can be applied to analyzing any organization’s financial condition — focusing either on the whole enterprise or on critical functions within the business. You will learn a framework for assessing a company’s stability and profitability, which provides a basis for analyzing and solving a wide range of financial and business problems.  

Conducting this assessment will help you build job-ready skills for critically examining two primary areas of a company’s operations:

  • How company managers make decisions for allocating resources to achieve business goals.       
  • How a company obtains the funds required to maintain its activities, and the compensation that it must provide to lenders and investors in return.


What you will do

You and your colleagues will:

  • Prepare a financial analysis summary of the client’s profit -and-loss (P&L) statements
  • Use the  P&L analysis summary to identify financial and operational problems
  • Prepare a financial analysis summary of the client’s balance sheets
  • Use the balance sheet analysis summary to identify financial and operational problems
  • Prepare a report on the company’s current financial state

Course Information

Course Date Info: 

2015 dates coming soon!

Experiential learning. Your team will meet weekly in an online environment with your faculty mentor. Mentors are seasoned professionals who facilitate group discussions and help you solve complex problems on your own. The mentors are available by phone, text and email to answer questions, point you in the right direction, and provide in-depth feedback on every deliverable you produce. Supporting materials and resources are provided online. 

Course Fee(s): 


Continuing Education Information: 

96 hours/9.6 CEU's
Visit the University of Georgia CEU policies for more details. 

Dr. Chris Riesbeck.  Dr. Riesbeck is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1974. His dissertation was on natural language understanding, and he has done research on case-based reasoning, memory-based language understanding, and intelligent interfaces for knowledge acquisition and teaching.

Dr. Riesbeck has been a visiting scholar at the Institute for the Study of Semantics and Cognition in Switzerland and at the Center for Human Information Processing at the University of California in San Diego, and was a research scientist in computer science at Yale University for 15 years.