Introduction to Financial Accounting (Tuck 001)
Professor Anup Srivastava
According to Jonathan Swift “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” A firm’s financial statements tell its story. Our goal is to use the information presented in firm’s financial statements to evaluate its performance and to interpret its story.
This course is an introduction to financial accounting. The course gives students the necessary background to: (1) understand the concepts and measurements that underlie financial statements, (2) develop the skills needed to analyze financial statements effectively, and (3) gain an understanding of the choices enterprises make in reporting the results of their business activities. The course begins by viewing the financial accounting system as a language, and familiarizes students with the structure, usage, conventions, and the grammar of accounting as a business language. We examine how financial statements such as the Income Statement, the Balance Sheet, and the Statement of Cash Flows are inter-related. Finally, we learn how to interpret information presented in financial statements, explicit or implicit, to understand the firm performance, both on a standalone basis as well as relative to other peer firms in the industry.
Understanding and analyzing actual annual reports and other corporate disclosures constitute an integral part of this course. We will analyze (excerpts from) corporate financial statements almost every class. The course highlights the links between accounting information and management planning, decision-making and control, and also examines ethical issues such as earnings management and fraudulent reporting.
The course uses a combination of pre-class preparation, lectures, weekly quizzes, and an assignment. Pre-class preparation is essential to understand the lecture material. Weekly quizzes ensure that student keep up with the pace of the class to and to create learning base for the next week’s topics. Quizzes and assignment must be individually prepared. Grades will be based on performance in class participation, quizzes, assignment, and a final exam.
The course has no prerequisites and is open only to seniors, juniors, and sophomores with priority given by class year. Students enrolled in the course are eligible to elect the Non-Recording Option.
“Financial Accounting” by Dyckman, Hanlon, Magee, and Pfeiffer, fifth edition, published by Cambridge Business Publishers (ISBN: 978-1-61853-165-0), is the textbook for the course. It is available in two formats. A physical copy of the text can be purchased from the Wheelock Books or from any other source at a cost of $225. Alternatively, an e-book version of the text is available for a six-month rental from myBusinessCourse.com at a cost of $120. The e-book is accessed through the internet, so you don’t actually download the book.
myBusinessCourse.com provides additional electronic resources that accompany the text – e-lectures, guided problem solutions, and extra practice problems. It’s like an enhanced study guide. If you purchase a new physical text or the e-book, you will receive access to this material for six months at no additional cost. If you purchase a used copy of the text, then you can purchase six-months access to these materials for $65 through myBusinessCourse.com. Access to myBusinessCourse.com is required for the course.