Businesses and other organizations must regularly measure their financial performance and health in order to make operational and strategic decisions affecting the organization’s future. Management professionals utilize income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and a limitless variety of other reports and techniques to evaluate an organization. They also work closely with professionals from departments across the organization—including marketing, human resources, and operations—to ensure that the business runs smoothly and that financial decisions are not made in isolation.
For this project, you will use the accounting and finance skills you learned in the course to review the past and current financial performance and health of a global, publicly traded company. Based on that analysis, you will create initial financial projections that forecast the company’s performance under different scenarios and identify internal risks and opportunities in order to begin planning future activities.
This assessment addresses the following course outcomes:
Assess organizations’ underlying financial performance and health by analyzing relevant financial statements, variances, ratios, and other financial information Draw connections between accounting and financial information and the broader organizational context for making integrated business decisions Assess critical factors driving financial risks and opportunities for informing management priorities Forecast business performance under different assumptions about inputs and processes using simple financial models Evaluate the internal costs and benefits of business opportunities for their impact on budgeting and business decisions Communicate financial analyses clearly and coherently for persuading internal stakeholders of the validity of observations and conclusions
Imagine you are a newly hired manager at a publicly traded, global corporation of your choosing. (Your instructor must approve your choice. You may also choose a non-publicly traded organization, if your instructor verifies that the organization has sufficient financial information available to complete the project.)
You have been asked to review the company’s past and current financial performance and health and make initial financial projections in order to begin planning for the upcoming year. Your supervisor is particularly interested in a fresh perspective on what your analysis reveals about potential risks and opportunities, as well as recommendations for next steps. Because you will eventually need to convince internal stakeholders, including senior management, of the feasibility and desirability of your suggested activities, it is important that you justify your projections and recommendations, explaining how they were informed by existing information and modeling different scenarios
Your financial analysis and projection report will include several financial tables, along with a comprehensive narrative describing the organization’s context, financial performance and health, and your analytical approach and conclusions. Your report should be geared toward an executive audience with basic accounting and finance knowledge and should be well organized, clear, concise, convincing, and free of distracting errors. Note that, in addition to the organization’s financial statements and website, other authoritative news sources—such as annual reports and external sites like Bloomberg.com—may offer insights that facilitate analysis or provide information on the organization’s priorities, challenges, and geographic distribution
Specifically, your financial analysis and projection report must include the following critical elements:
I. Executive Summary. Clearly and concisely summarize your principal findings, projections, and recommendations with an eye to persuading busy executives to support your ideas and to read further.