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NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Fall 2010

Instructor Details

Dontoh, Alex



T 12:30-1:45p

MKC 10-72


Sindhu Sameer





Course Meetings

TR, 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Tisch T-200


Course Description and Learning Goals

This course provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts of financial accounting.  Its purpose is to help students become intelligent readers of the main financial accounting reports (balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement).  The perspective taken is that these reports provide information that is useful for resource allocation decisions in a broad sense.  The informativeness of these reports is determined both by the cash and accrual accounting methods used to generate the reports and by the market and institutional settings in which resource allocation decisions are made.

Generally, the course will provide an overview of cash and accrual accounting measures, financial reports, and the market and institutional settings in which resource allocation decisions take place.  Also, specific accounting methods and use of accounting information in valuing firms will be briefly discussed as well.  A typical content outline of the course would cover the nature of financial statements, the balance sheet and the income statement, analysis of transactions, revenue and expense recognition, cash flow statement, concepts of present and future values, inventory and cost of goods sold, long lived assets and depreciation and amortization expense, marketable equity securities, debt financing and interest expense, stockholders equity and leases.

A copy of the textbook is on reserve in the periodicals sections of  Bobst Library.  You may also purchase the student study guide to accompany the text at the bookstore or you may borrow my copy for limited time periods.


Course Outline







Homework Assignments

9/7, 9/9

Overview of Financial Statements and  Reporting Process

LLS: Ch. 1 

Lettuce Eat Restaurant

E1-3, E1-5, E-8

Due  9/14

9/14, 9/16, 9/21

Recording Transactions & Preparing Financial Statements

LLS: Ch. 2 &3

Goal Systems,

Planet of the Grapes

E2-4, E3-13,


Due 9/28

9/23, 9/28, 9/30

Income Measurement and Accrual Accounting

LLS: Ch. 4

Village Appliance

E4-7, P4-9

10/5, 10/7

Revenue Recognition and Accounts Receivable

LLS: Ch. 6 pgs. 282-299

E6-18, Greentech Solutions

E6-13, P6-4,


Recap Session




Mid-Term Exam  1




10/19, 10/21, 10/26

Inventory and Cost of Goods Sold

 LLS: Ch7


Pedro Soda,  E7-5, E7-16


 P7-4, P7-6

10/28, 11/2

Valuation and Reporting  Long Lived Tangible and Intangible Assets

LLS: Ch8.

Joe Swifty, P8-9

M8-7, E8-11,  E8-17

11/4, 11/9, 11/11

Statement of Cash Flows


 E13-14, P11-6

E13-7, P13-1


Recap Session





Mid-Term Exam 2 




11/23, 11/30


Reporting and Interpreting Long Term Liabilities: Bonds and Leases

LLS: Ch 9,

Skim Ch. 10


E9-10,  P9-12

12/7, 12/9

Reporting and Interpreting Owners' Equity

LLS: Ch 11

E11-24, P11-1

E11-11,  P11-5


Review Session





Required Course Materials


There is no required book for this class. All required materials are included in the lecture notes. However, you may find the following introductory financial accounting text to be a useful reference for this class or future accounting and finance courses: Financial Accounting 6th Ed. McGraw-Hill 2009  by Libby, Libby and Short (LLS). The lecture notes, solutions, and other course documents are available on Blackboard.


Assessment Components

Grading Policy

Midterm Exam                                     30%

Final Exam                                          45%

Homework                                          20%

Class Participation                              5%


If you feel that an exam has been incorrectly graded, submit a written analysis of why you believe you were improperly graded within one week of the announcement of the grades.  Requests made after that will not be considered.  The entire exam will be re-graded.


Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education.

Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole:   its different components will not be graded separately. Your exams may contain questions that are based on aspects of your group projects.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of each project. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.



At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter.  In general, students in undergraduate core courses can expect a grading distribution where: 

  • 25-35% of students can expect to receive A’s for excellent work
  • 50-70% of students can expect to receive B’s for good or very good work
  • 5-15% of students can expect to receive C’s or less for adequate or below work 

Note that while the School uses these ranges as a guide, the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well you actually perform in this course.



The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. Students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted. You must submit such requests in writing to me within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course


  • Class attendance is essential to your success in this course and is part of your grade. An excused absence can only be granted in cases of serious illness, grave family emergencies, or religious observance and must be documented. Job interviews and incompatible travel plans are considered unexcused absences. Where possible, please notify me in advance of an excused absence.



In-class contribution is a significant part of your grade and an important part of our shared learning experience. Your active participation helps me to evaluate your overall performance.
You can excel in this area if you come to class on time and contribute to the course by:

  • Providing strong evidence of having thought through the material.
  • Advancing the discussion by contributing insightful comments and questions.
  • Listening attentively in class.
  • Demonstrating interest in your peers' comments, questions, and presentations.
  • Giving constructive feedback to your peers when appropriate.



  • Late assignments will either not be accepted or will incur a grade penalty unless due to documented serious illness or family emergency. Exceptions to this policy for reasons of religious observance or civic obligation will only be made available when the assignment cannot reasonably be completed prior to the due date and you make arrangements for late submission in advance.


Classroom Norms

  • Arrive to class on time and stay to the end of the class period. Chronically arriving late or leaving class early is unprofessional and disruptive to the entire class.  Repeated tardiness will have an impact on your grade.
  • Turn off all electronic devices prior to the start of class. Laptops, cell phones and other electronic devices are a distraction to everyone.


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

  • Exercise integrity in all aspects of one's academic work including, but not limited to, the preparation and completion of exams, papers and all other course requirements by not engaging in any method or means that provides an unfair advantage.
  • Clearly acknowledge the work and efforts of others when submitting written work as one’s own. Ideas, data, direct quotations (which should be designated with quotation marks), paraphrasing, creative expression, or any other incorporation of the work of others should be fully referenced. 
  • Refrain from behaving in ways that knowingly support, assist, or in any way attempt to enable another person to engage in any violation of the Code of Conduct. Our support also includes reporting any observed violations of this Code of Conduct or other School and University policies that are deemed to adversely affect the NYU Stern community.

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


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