Independent Valuation

The aim of this course is to provide participants with a practical and pragmatic approach to managing independence whilst interacting with Investor Relations and to extracting maximum value from company reports.

The course will be presented in the context that the analyst is writing an initiation report giving a high conviction recommendation on the stock and has a meeting in the near future with the CFO to discuss any contentious matters.


For individuals new to the financial markets with a basic understanding of accounting and valuation, or more experienced analysts wishing to go into more detail.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, you will:

  • Understand the environment in which annual reports are published and the relationship to other company announcements
  • Understand the subjective nature of the numbers and data provided
  • Understand how the different statements each give insight
  • Be able to review for governance red flags
  • Be able to identify inherently risky aspects of reporting
  • Follow a process that draws out the maximum insight from an annual report

Course Content

  • The environment of the annual report
  • Annual reports’ relationship to company announcement cycle
  • C-suite, IR, auditors, press, analysts, shareholders, government, and their motivations
  • The unique status of the annual report and the role of the auditor and the audit expectation gap
  • The subjective nature of annual report numbers and data
  • Understanding the level of discretion within accounting standards and policies
  • Big questions: legitimate discretion, technicalities with big consequences or outright fraud?
  • Is cash really king?
  • Differentiating and analysing the statements
  • Corporate governance
  • Red flags
  • Poor governance leads to poor performance
  • Using third party governance and ESG reports
  • Inherently risky topics for independent analysis
  • Identifying situations where accounting is inherently more subjective e.g.
    • Project accounting, M&A & consolidations,
    • Tier 1-3 valuations, extractive industries
    • Negative NWC, provisions, debt covenants, pension liabilities
  • The step-by-step guide to a set of accounts (Case study)
  • Methodology for assets and liabilities (current and non-current)
  • Summarising findings and handling clarifications
  • Forming an opinion


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Why study with Alpha?

Innovation and creativity born from experience

We are thought leaders in instructional and learning journey design and holistic solution architects. We have extensive finance and investments experience combined with skills application to deliver performance improving results. We develop immersive learning environments that maximize time to productivity, support talent retention and added value to improving quality of hires.

Knowledge Exchange Evangelists

We are focused on mining the embedded organisational intellectual capital for the benefit of the next generation. We create and curate best in class practice gathered from our experience with the leading financial institutions. We design our programmes with the end in mind – what results are you trying to achieve with this intervention? What metrics will we set ourselves to achieve that?

Generation Proof

Quality and innovation, using current market and industry best practices, have made us a trusted partner in delivering dynamic and motivating training for the financial and capital markets. Our programmes are generation proof and responsive to evolving learner needs and styles. Our solutions use a multi-stakeholder engagement strategy that expands beyond relationships between the learner and learning provider. We create connections with managers, peers and the wider business to drive impactful return on investment..

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