Would it be recommended for us to learn the calculations from this article ?

balance sheet
New answer on Apr 03, 2021
6 Answers
Lauriane asked on Feb 02, 2021

I'm currently applying for end-of-study internships and have an interview soon with Strategy&. I have no idea if this is the kind of knowledge that can be asked from me

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Content Creator
updated an answer on Feb 02, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Lauraine!

Yes and no...let me explain :)

This is all about tradeoffs. So, you want to learn as much as possible, but we all also only have limited time (and brainpower!).

So, of that list, here's what I view to be priority to learn (concepts as well as formulas, where applicable):

Tier 1




Fixed Variable Costs



Supply and Demand

Tier 2

Balance sheet (be able to read a basic one)

Income statement (be able to read a basic one)

Cash flow statement (be able to read a basic one)

SWOT analysis

Tier 3

The rest

Of course, this is not the full list. Feel free to PM me and I can help you make sure you have all the checkboxes covered!


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Content Creator
replied on Feb 02, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi Lauriane,

anything that can help you solving the case is worth taking a look at and eventually learning / knowing how to apply.

It makes more sense to concentrate on practicing the cases than on learning the calculations by heart.

Feel free to reach out for any further questions.


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replied on Feb 02, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Other coaches might disagree, but I don't recommend to do so. If you're a business major, you should know some of these (and even then not all).

If you're not a business major, you should aim at building a basic level of finacnce and accounting knowledge. Understanding the basic terms of the P&L and Balance sheet is sufficient to pass a case interview. But you don't need to know how to calculate a Cash Ratio or a Quick Ratio.

The much more important skill is to be able to deliver cases effectively (so the practical side of the interviewing).

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 02, 2021
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

I agree with Henning and would say it's particularly so in your case. Needless to say, Strategy& is the strategy consulting arm of PwC not audit or corporate finance.

Strategy consulting in reality, with a few small exceptions (e.g., working capital in restructuring), is largely about the P&L of a company and so I wouldn't worry about learning calculations related to a balance sheet or cashflow. Top consultancies like Strategy& will also avoid asking technical business and financial questions as it would create a bias towards business management or accoutning & finance students who have prior knowledge from the degree courses.

Good luck!

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Anonymous A replied on Apr 03, 2021

Hello can i ask you what question did you get during the case interview?

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 03, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Yes and no.

There are for sure mathemarical concepts that you should know:

  • Break even exercises
  • NPV in particular years and perpetuity
  • etc.

Knowledge in financial statements is not something you must know -I am an architect and had zero idea about this-, but it does not harm either.

Hope it helps!



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Ian gave the best answer


Content Creator
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
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