The corporate financial accounting course at LBS has been going okay so far. Even though there are some times when I believe I am not following, I have been able to grasp most of the concepts. The first few classes were anchored around us understanding what the basic types of financial documents are and other fundamentals. Some of these fundamentals included: understanding the difference between credit and debit; double-entry accounting; knowing what counts as an asset, liability, and equity; and much more. So far the learning experience has been enlightening. This second part of the course has been more relevant for me. During the second half of the course, we have focused on interpreting the data. In reality, as MBA graduates, we should be able to interpret what is going on in a company just by looking at certain financial documents. The balance sheet can be seen as a snapshot of a company at a particular point in time. From this balance sheet, we are also able to use different types of liquidity ratios to better analyze a company’s performance. From these ratios, we can then do a trend analysis.
Once we started the second half of the CFA course, I was very excited. The problem was that I was doing these classes virtually. Our EMBA course is hybrid which means that students can attend either virtually or in person. Ever since the Covid 19 pandemic, many organizations and educational institutions have had to adapt. LBS is one of the many schools to have done this. About half of the class is able to attend the class in person most of the time. To be honest, learning virtually is not as much of an issue if everyone is online – including the lecturer. The problem is when some of the class is online whilst the rest is in person. This raises a couple of problems. The first is that the students that are in class get to have more hands-on attention. The second is that it is sometimes not easy to see what the lecturer is pointing at on the board. The third is that it is hard to hear the lecturer sometimes.
My experience with the second half of the CFA course is that I have suffered from all three of the problems. The worst is not being able to hear everything the lecturer is saying. By the time, I get the point he is making, the lecturer has already moved on to the next point. The lecturer we have is quite entertaining which makes the learning a more pleasurable experience but sometimes I wish I could attend all the classes in person so I do not miss anything. I guess it comes with the territory. If I wish to learn online, I have to live with the consequences. I would still rather be doing what I am doing right now than not do this course at all.
All in all, I am enjoying learning how to interpret these financial documents. They are very important skills that I will need as a manager and investor. After the course is over, I will do some more reading to catch up on what I missed.