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Basics in Financial Literacy Program (Self-Paced)

Designed for professionals tackling the early stages of financial literacy, our 4-week program gives the confidence you need to understand your organization's reports, such as your income statement and balance sheet.

The Basics in Financial Literacy Program gives board members, governance professionals, directors, managers, business owners, and investors the independence in understanding financial reports, and in asking great questions about them.

Learn how to keep score:

  • The Growth Score: gain a deeper understanding of revenue and the statement of income
  • The Profit Score: explore various types of expenses, the bottom-line profit, and how to know when enough is enough
  • The Cash Score: delve into the concept of assets in their various types and forms and how to recognize them in the statement of financial position
  • The Capital Score: recognize the nuances of liabilities and equity and their place in the statement of financial position

4 videos (80min per video)
Continuing Education Credits: 5.5 hours 

Video 1 – Keeping Score Through Growth: Revenue and the Statement of Income 

  • Keep score through growth
  • What an income statement is
  • What revenue is
  • How to increase our income/growth
  • What the difference between volume and price variances is

 Video 2 – Keeping Score Through Profits: Expenses, Profits, and the Statement of Income 

  • Keeping score in profits and productivity
  • Earning analysis
  • Productivity analysis
  • What expenses are
  • Difference between cost of goods sold and operating expenses
  • What gross margin is
  • Profits – the Bottom Line
  • Difference between profit and cash
  • Increasing income vs reducing expenses

Video 3 – Keeping Score Through Cash: Assets and the Statement of Financial Position 

  • Keeping score with cash
  • Enough cash vs too much cash
  • What a balance sheet is
  • What a fiscal year is
  • What an asset is
  • Types of assets
  • What accounts receivable are
  • Income statement vs balance sheet

Video 4 – Keeping Score Through Capital: Liabilities, Equity and the Statement of Financial Position 


  • Keeping score in shareholder value
  • What liability is
  • What debt is
  • Current and long-term liabilities
  • Deferred revenue


  • What capital is
  • What reserves is
  • Difference between capital and working capital
  • Retained earnings and equity/net assets

These highly interactive sessions will familiarize you with practical tools, and then engage you in board simulations to gain experience in using them.

Where do you fall on the financial literacy spectrum?

There are 5 levels of financial literacy:

Level 1 - Knowledge of mathematics

Level 2 – Knowledge of basic statements

Level 3 - Knowledge of the Notes, Cash Flow Statement and MD&A

Level 4 - Knowledge of the assumptions behind the financial statements

Level 5 - Knowledge of GAAP and Auditing

This program is aimed at an audience that is early in the financial literacy spectrum; people seeking to be confident at level 2.


Available Resources:

By joining this course, you will have access to curated materials from Governance Solutions.

- Publication: Financial Literacy at the Board Level
- Publication: How to Read and Understand Income Statements
- Publication: A Manager’s Guide to Finance & Accounting
and more.

Related Products:

Governance Solutions
The Ultimate Guide to Competency and Confidence in the Boardroom. This is not just a book "about governance," it tells you how to "do governance." By Authors David A. H. Brown and Dr. Debra L. Brown. Available on Amazon

Governing in Scary Times 
In Governing in Scary Times, authors Dr. Debra L. Brown, David A.H. Brown, and Rob DeRooy offer a step-by-step plan to prepare your board to provide direction for your company and reinforce your stakeholders’ confidence. Available on Amazon