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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Leslie Breitner
PB AF 522
Seattle Campus

Financial Management and Budgeting

An introduction to financial and management accouting, and an overview of public and nonprofit budgeting systems. Covers tools and techniques for budget analysis and the use of financial information in managerial decision making.

Class description

The financial management and budgeting course provides an introduction to financial and management accounting, and an overview of public and nonprofit budgeting systems. In addition to learning about the meaning and behavior of costs, the course will cover specific processes, tools and techniques for budget analysis and the use of financial information in managerial decision-making. The course involves a variety of pedagogical techniques, primarily using case method instruction but including the use of spreadsheets and class exercises. This is a required course in the MPA program but is open to non-Evans School students on a space available basis.

Student learning goals

Read and interpret a set of financial statements, including the balance sheet, the operating statement and the statement of cash flows.

Distinguish accrual accounting from cash flows and recognize that not all revenues are cash inflows and not all expenses are cash outflows.

Use appropriate costs for managerial decision-making.

Understand cost behavior to recognize the relationship between costs and volume. Distinguish a fixed cost from a variable cost.

Use cost data for budgeting and analysis of variances from budget.

Understand the difference between a nonprofit organization's financial statements and a comprehensive annual financial report of a municipality.

General method of instruction

Students will prepare cases for most classes, which usually consist of a mechanical exercise and the integration of conceptual material. The instructor will lead a class discussion of the material and give brief lectures and explanations of the concepts and issues.

Recommended preparation

This course is foundational in that one session prepares the basis for the next, throughout the quarter. Students must not fall behind with the material. Regular and steady work with the readings and exercises will prepare the student for success in this course. It is not a "math course". In fact, very few math skills are involved in learning the concepts of financial and cost accounting and the use of financial data.

Class assignments and grading

The written assignments will reflect the nature of the course. They will usually have a mechanical component as well as an analytic one so the student can demonstrate understanding of the underlying conceptual material.

Grades will reflect performance on all written assignment, both graded and ungraded, as well as contribution to the class discussions.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Leslie Breitner
Date: 04/02/2009