TR, 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Class will not meet on:
Class will meet on:
Overview: The objective of the course is for you to learn how to read, understand, and analyze the financial statements of most publicly-traded companies. The course is intended for students with no previous exposure to financial accounting. This course takes an external user’s perspective, as opposed to an accountant or internal user’s perspective. External users include investors, creditors, customers, suppliers, government regulators, and business school students. A solid understanding of the fundamentals covered in this course should enable you to do well in more advanced finance and accounting courses, as well as interview intelligently for jobs in finance and consulting.
The course begins with the basic concepts of accounting. We begin by looking at the main financial statements: balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows, and statement of stockholders’ equity. Particular attention is paid to how these four statements relate to each other and how they provide information about the financial health of a company. We then cover specific items from the financial statements and apply tools of analysis whenever possible.
Topics Covered:A more precise schedule will be available a week or two prior to the first class. My plan is to cover the following topics in order: how to account for economic transactions, revenue recognition, expense recognition, cash flow analysis, inventory accounting, current and long-term assets, margin analysis, time value of money, bonds, contingent liabilities, stockholders’ equity, inter-corporate investments, employee stock options, financial statement analysis, and valuation.
Textbook: Libby, Libby and Short, Financial Accounting, 7th Edition. The textbook covers the basic material in the course, including background information, accounting rules and conventions. I will assign the pages from the textbook that I expect you to read. Any material that I assign from the textbook is fair game for exams.
Lecture Slides: Most lectures will use the aid of Powerpoint slides, which will be available prior to each class on Blackboard. You should print your own copies prior to class in whatever format works best for you. Just like with the textbook material, any material included in the slides is fair game for exams.
Homework: There will be two types of homework assignments: textbook and non-textbook. I hand pick textbook problems that I think are useful to practice and that reinforce basic accounting proficiency, but they will not be submitted or graded. Conversely, non-textbook homework assignments will be submitted and graded. These assignments typically require you to gather information about a company (from the company or SEC website) and conduct the analyses that we discuss in class. You must submit a hardcopy of your completed homework at the beginning of class on the date due; late homework will not be accepted. Solutions to textbook and non-textbook homework will be posted to Blackboard.
Exams: There will be three exams, two during the semester and one during finals. All exam questions are based on actual financial statements from a publicly-traded company, and the questions can resemble questions from homework (textbook and non-textbook), lectures, and even prior exams. Prior exams will be made available for your practice.
Exam dates will not be rescheduled. If you miss the first or second exam, extra weight will be added to the exam that you did take. If you miss the final exam, you will receive zero for that exam. Do not schedule any travel plans before the final exam date.
Grading: Your grade will be based on 15% homework, 15% first exam, 20% second exam, 35% final exam, and 15% class professionalism. Class professionalism will be fully explained during the first class meeting, but in general, it is not the same as class participation. Professionalism means taking the course seriously and avoiding behaviors that are disruptive to the class.
Exam Re-Grading: If you believe your exam is incorrectly graded, submit the entire original copy of the complete exam to me within one week of the return of the exam. Include a memo which legibly and fully explains your contention. Exams which have been altered in any way will not be re-graded, the exam score will be changed to a zero, and the Student Disciplinary Committee will be notified. Only exams written in pen will be accepted for a re-grade.
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:
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 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 are important to us and to students who come after you. Please complete them thoughtfully.
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:
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.
Your class may be recorded for educational purposes
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.
Life after this course: I am often asked to provide letters of recommendation for students applying for internships, leadership programs, and even transfers to other colleges. I am happy to provide such letters. I base my evaluations on your course grade, but more importantly, your class professionalism demonstrated over the fourteen weeks of the semester.