Understanding Financial Statements and Financial Reporting for Legal Professionals (eCourse)

Legal work often involves providing advice that requires analyzing or interpreting financial statements.  To protect your clients’ interests effectively, you need to develop a sound understanding of financial statements and accounts, along with how such financial reports are used.

Leveraging the latest technology and best practices in e-learning, this eCourse breaks down complex financial concepts in a clear and concise manner.

Comprised of short, practical multi-media modules referencing real-world examples, you will walk through sample financial reports and complete online exercises that test your understanding, analysis and interpretation of critical issues. Topics include:

  • Comprehensive overview of the financial reporting framework in Canada and its key components
  • Overview of the roles and responsibilities of the key players in the financial reporting process
  • An in-depth examination of key financial statement components
  • Clarification of accounting jargon and terminology
  • Red flags: tips and techniques to uncover hidden assets and liabilities
  • How to determine key financial ratios and evaluate a company’s performance
  • Understanding off-balance sheet items
  • How to interpret and analyze the Notes to Financial Statements

This self-paced program allows you to learn on your schedule and gives you the flexibility to revisit and repeat more challenging concepts.  Led by John Friedlan, live, online virtual office hours will be made available during the course access period.

Access includes downloadable, searchable materials comprised of valuable templates and precedents.


Dr. John Friedlan has devoted more than 20 years to training future managers and accountants. As an award-winning teacher at York University’s Schulich School of Business and Associate Professor at Ontario Tech University, Dr. Friedlan’s goal is to get students and professionals to think critically about balance sheets, net income, and how accounting numbers can often be managed to turn losses into profits and vice versa. At York University, he was awarded the Educator of the Year Award for undergraduates in 1992 and a Seymour Schulich Award for Teaching Excellence in 2000. He has also worked at Nabisco Brands as well as at the Board of Examiners at the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.  Dr. Friedlan has led continuing legal education programs with Osgoode Professional Development for over 10 years.

His articles have been published in top accounting journals including:

  • Contemporary Accounting Research (1994)
  • Issues in Accounting Education (1995)

His work has appeared in practitioner journals such as:

  • CGA Magazine (1994)
  • CA Magazine (1996)

He has also presented papers at meetings of:

  • American Accounting Association
  • Canadian Academic Accounting Association
  • Canadian Finance Association

He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1980.