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Guide To Analysing Companies, Fifth Edition by Bob Vause

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2 The balance sheet

T HE BASIS OF FINANCIAL ANALYSIS is the ability to read the accounts. This is a necessary skill for any manager and essential for those with ambitions for a seat on the board. The balance sheet is one of the key financial statements provided by a company in its annual report. It is sometimes called a statement of assets and liabilities or a statement of financial position (the IASB is keen on this title), but most usually a balance sheet. Those with little or no financial knowledge often view it as a puzzle, and one best left alone. Others see it as the pinnacle of the accountant’s necromantic art, with some spectacular effects but no real substance.

The balance sheet provides much of the data and information necessary ...

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