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Financial Statements for Non-Finance Professionals

Self-Directed Online Program


Online, asynchronous

Image of financial statements

Time to complete: 8 hours, self-directed
Access to content: 3 months (1 year for Certificate participants)
Content includes: Lesson videos, activities, reflections, and learning resources
This program is for non-finance professionals at all levels

The ability to navigate, interpret, and understand a company’s financial picture is valuable, no matter your role or industry. Whether you want to broaden your specialty, participate in strategic discussions, or start a new venture, understanding the language of financial statements is extremely beneficial.

This program is designed for professionals with limited finance knowledge who want greater familiarity with financial statement analysis. Guided by a real-world practitioner and expert, this program will orient you to the world of financial statements and introduce the most important basics. Though relevant concepts will be touched upon as they pertain to the preparation of financial statements, this is not a financial theory or accounting program.

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Find key financial statements prepared by public companies
  • Examine the inner workings of an income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement
  • Recognize what salient information really matters to a company’s financial health
  • Identify questions to uncover valuable financial health

About the Instructor

Headshot of Gail smilingGail Zauder, Smith ’79, has spent her career as an investment banker, strategic advisor, board member and operating executive specializing in the luxury goods, beauty, retail, apparel and consumer products sectors. When she graduated from Smith with a self-designed major in Urban Environmental Studies, she didn’t even know the difference between debt and equity or an income statement and balance sheet. A career in investment banking hadn’t even entered her mind. 

Over the years, she has gained an exceptional amount of financial literacy on the job and during her time at Yale’s School of Management. Today, she is the Audit Committee Chair at Allurion Technologies and a qualified financial expert. 

Ms. Zauder serves as the Managing Partner of Elixir Advisors, an advisory firm she founded in 2002 following sixteen years at Credit Suisse First Boston., Ms. Zauder was the first woman promoted to Managing Director in the history of Credit Suisse’s M&A Group and created and ran its Luxury Goods Investment Banking Group. At Elixir, she has advised companies and individuals such as Bono, Burt’s Bees, Donna Karan, Harry Winston, LVMH, Neiman Marcus, Oscar de la Renta, Soap & Glory and Versace. She also served as CEO for Soap & Glory, the UK beauty company founded by Marcia Kilgore, the serial entrepreneur behind Bliss, FitFlop and Beauty Pie. 

Experience level
Non-finance professionals
Program Contact

Group enrollment rates are available. For registrations support and questions, email Joy McGaugh, 

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