Stephan E Sefcik
Nature and social setting of accounting; uses of accounting information; introduction of basic accounting concepts and procedures; interpretation of financial statements. May not be repeated. Offered: AWSpS.
Financial accounting is the study of basic accounting concepts and methods and examination of current principles and practices relating to published financial statements from the point of view of decision makers external to the firm.
Student learning goals
The role of this course is to acquaint you with this dual function of financial accounting and to establish a minimum level of technical proficiency.
In Accounting 215, you will learn to create balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements from the underlying transactions.
You will learn accounting jargon and some of the limitations of the basic accounting model.
By examining the political process by which accounting standards evolve, you will gain insights into why these limitations exist and why they are likely to persist.
We will go beyond simply learning and applying the rules to the "art" of using and interpreting accounting information.
General method of instruction
Lectures and Quiz Sections: There are two separate parts to this course: a lecture section (twice a week for 1 hour and 20 minutes with your Professor) and a quiz section (twice a week for 50 minutes with your TA). Both are absolutely essential!!
Class assignments and grading
There is far too much material (even in an introductory financial accounting class) for your professor or TA to cover it all. Therefore, you must rely on your instructors to emphasize what is most important. While we do not promise to cover everything that you will explicitly be tested on, we will certainly cover the vast majority. In essence, we will "value-weight" the topics and issues from the text to "signal" to you what is most important. Thus while attendance is not mandatory (at least to the mass lecture), it is essential. Let us make this material easy for you.
Homework, Quizzes, Cases, etc.:
Although the focus of this course will be one of using, not preparing financial accounting information, a certain level of technical understanding and competence (i.e., nuts and bolts) is necessary. Consequently, to ensure that a minimum level of proficiency is attained by the student, PREPARATORY HOMEWORK assignments should be completed before each class. This is the absolute key to success in this course and it can not be over emphasized. KEEP UP!!
In addition, as a learning device, quizzes (announced and/or unannounced) and cases may also periodically be used by your quiz section instructor. There will also be a written assignment.
Two one and a half-hour mid-term examinations will be given during class. Exams will be closed book. Bring your calculator. If you disagree with the grading of an exam, state the disagreement in writing and submit the entire test for re-grading. Exams will NOT normally be rescheduled for individual students. See me on an individual basis. No excused absences will be granted for the mid-terms unless you have spoken with your TA or the Professor in advance. No makeups will be given, so consequently an excused absence causes the FINAL EXAM to receive a weight of 50% (30% (see above) plus 20%).
A two hour final examination will be given during finals week. It will be a comprehensive exam over the entire term's course work with emphasis on the material covered since the second mid-term exam. Exams will be closed book. Bring your calculator. If you disagree with the grading of an exam, state the disagreement in writing and submit the entire test for re-grading. Exams will not normally be rescheduled for individual students. See me on an individual basis. You must attend the FINAL for the section that you are officially registered in. In order to pass the course, you must pass the final.
Your final course grade will be calculated based on the following approximate weightings:
TA Discretionary Component 30 Two mid-term examinations (1 ½ hours each) 40 Final examination (2 hours) 30