An ideal introduction to financial journalism, this course will give you the skills and tools to confidently report on the performance of companies you cover.

Using a range of examples, tools and exercises, it will show you how to use financial data to tell compelling stories.

Learn how to spend ten minutes reporting the numbers and enrich every story you write.

This course is available with a discount if booked alongside financial journalism (intermediate), a follow-up one-day course for those who want to take their knowledge to the next level. For more information please contact us.

What will the course will cover?
  • What can accounts and financial statements tell us?
  • Why financial data matters
  • What is a profit and loss (P&L) account?
  • What is a balance sheet?
  • Types of companies and organisations (public, private, charities etc.)
  • The disclosure regime: what companies are obliged to tell us
  • Reporting tools: How to track performance of public and private companies
  • What is equity? (Including the role of investors and the share price)
  • What is debt? (Including how companies get into trouble with debt and ways of analysing debt)
  • Inside the boardroom: how public company boards operate
  • The corporate lifecycle: from start-up via IPO to going private
  • On deadline: How to deal with earnings announcements
  • Features, profiles and interviews: Using financial tools to enrich your copy
  • Ethics and the law: Insider trading and conflicts of interest
What will I learn by the end of the course?
  • Know the difference between a balance sheet and a profit and loss account
  • Understand the warning signs that suggest a company might be in trouble
  • Understand how to recognise a company that's performing well
  • Know how to diagnose which bits of a large business are under-performing
  • Know the types of information that public, private and other types of company have to disclose, and what they can keep secret
  • Have access to a range of tools that allow you to plan and manage the way you report on company financials
  • Know how to use financial data to enrich the vast majority of interviews, features and analysis pieces
  • Understand how decision-making occurs inside boardrooms
  • Feel more confident about writing up corporate financial results on deadline
What do I need to bring?
  • A laptop and calculator. You will also need a Google Drive account for sharing documents.

Getting there

The nearest Tube station to MSN UK is Victoria, on the Victoria, Circle and District lines.



About Peter Kirwan

Peter Kirwan Peter Kirwan has been a business journalist for 20 years, having written for the the Guardian, Wired, Media Briefing and Press Gazette, where he wrote the Media Money blog between 2007 and 2011.

He also spent four years working at Computing, the trade weekly for IT professionals, as editor and later as publisher.

Over the years he has been on the receiving end of sufficient reaction to know that few things animate our leaders more than informed analysis of their financial dealings and performance.