Creative Accounting & How to Spot It | A guide for analysts | Skillfully

Creative Accounting and How to Spot It

  • Trainer: Mark Graham
  • Hours of instruction: 14
  • Course duration: Two full days (timing can be flexible)
  • Course cost: R9,200 incl. VAT per delegate. Best price guaranteed

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“I think Mark is excellent, extremely knowledgeable, and entertaining. He is meticulously prepared and uncompromising in his desire to help students learn."

“I can highly recommend this training for all investment analysts!"

This course offers all you need to know to be able to recognise the indicators of outright fraud or the bending of the accounting rules to misrepresent an organisation’s financial statements. The instructor, Prof Mark Graham, is an accounting expert who has followed with great interest (and disappointment) the many corporate scandals where fraudulent and creative accounting have been used to embellish corporate results. Using real world examples accumulated from long experience, Mark will give you practical guidance on how to spot the dodgy stuff in financial statements. 

This course will be especially useful to anyone who:

  • Needs to be on the lookout for outright fraud or creative accounting when analysing financial statements
  • Wishes to understand the ways in which accounting can be used to misrepresent results
  • Serves on the board of a company and needs to know what questions to ask before approving financial statements 

Some basic knowledge of accounting would be useful. If you are concerned that your accounting knowledge may be too weak for this course, you could consider first doing one of Mark’s other courses listed on Skillfully, Understanding Financial Statements.

Delivery method

  • Live, online sessions with Prof Mark Graham, who strongly encourages interaction and participation
  • Real-world, in-depth case studies based on the financial statements of well-known local and international companies that have used fraudulent or creative accounting 
  • Pre-reading for those who wish to prepare
  • Constant emphasis on how to apply the course material in your own working life

Course outline

The course starts with the big picture of accounting and the areas where creative accounting can be used to misrepresent the financial performance and financial position of a business. Thereafter, we look in detail at the areas where financial trickery is most frequently employed in the statement of comprehensive income, statement of cash flows and the statement of financial position. Each creative accounting technique is illustrated with authentic examples, with emphasis placed on identifying the ‘red flags’ which signal that something is amiss. Delegates will learn the details of many past accounting scandals, and be given a chance to apply this knowledge to two comprehensive case studies about high-profile local examples.   

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  • Hours of instruction: 14
  • Timing information: Two full days (timing can be flexible)
  • Note: Click "Contact me" to find out more; or "Book now" to arrange an exclusive course for your team.
  • Course fee: R89,543 for up to 10 delegates + R4,277 per additional delegate. Prices include VAT. Best price guaranteed
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I think Mark is excellent. Extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. The course was engaging and interactive, which was quite refreshing. Thanks for a great course.

- Anonymous feedback from Coronation Fund Managers

Mark Graham is by far the best lecturer at the GSB in my experience. Very knowledgeable, and so comfortable in front of the camera. I thoroughly enjoyed all his classes because he made the work simple, fun and interesting. He coached us along the way on how to approach analysing any company, what to ask and expect, and how to interact with them.

- Hex Novea

Mark's "Big Picture" diagram makes complete sense of the annual financial statements. He never gets lost in the weeds of detail. In the class, he is meticulously prepared, uncompromising in his desire to help students learn. And he takes his work seriously, but never himself.

- Paul Maughan

I can highly recommend this training for all investment analysts, especially if you’ve spent a couple of years away from your IFRS handbook or do not have a finance undergrad.

- Runé Fernhout, Coronation Fund Managers

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