NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Summer 2011

Instructor Details

Dontoh, Alex



MW 12 noon-1pm

KMC 10-72


Javier Cobo (Teaching Assistant)


Tu/TH 8-9am



Course Meetings

MW, 9:00am to 11:55am

Tisch T-UC25

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals


Course Description

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


Overview of Financial Statements and  Reporting Process

    LLS: Ch. 1 

Lettuce Eat Restaurant

E1-3, E1-5, E-8

Due  5/25


Recording Transactions & Preparing Financial Statements  

    LLS: Ch. 2 &3

Goal Systems,

Planet of the Grapes

E2-4, E3-13,


Due 6/1


Memorial Day No classes


Income Measurement and Accrual Accounting

    LLS: Ch. 4

Village Appliance

E4-7, P4-9



Revenue Recognition and Accounts Receivable

    LLS: Ch. 6 pgs. 282-       299

E6-18, Greentech Solutions

E6-13, P6-4,



Review Session &

Term Exam  1





Inventory and Cost of Goods Sold

    LLS: Ch7


Pedro Soda,  E7-5, E7-16


 P7-4, P7-6



Valuation and Reporting  Long Lived Tangible and Intangible Assets

   LLS: Ch8.

Joe Swifty, P8-9

M8-7, E8-11,  E8-17



Statement of Cash Flows

   LLS: CH13

 E13-14, P11-6

E13-7, P13-1



Reporting and Interpreting Long Term Liabilities: Bonds and Leases

   LLS: Ch 9,

   Skim Ch. 10


E9-10,  P9-12



Reporting and Interpreting Owners' Equity

   LLS: Ch 11

E11-24, P11-1

E11-11,  P11-5



Review Session & Final





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                                                                         25%

Final Exam                                                                               55%

Homework                                                                               15%

Class Attendance and 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.  


Honor Code

As is true for all courses at Stern, adherence to the Stern Honor Code is expected of all students in this course.  Students may not work together on graded assignments and exams unless the instructor gives express permission. (Graduate Programs Honor Code, Undergraduate College Code of Conduct)


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: 

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


E--mail policy: (adontoh@stern.nyu.edu)

You may ask the TAs or myself any questions by e-mail.  Your message MUST include a subject and your name, clearly identifying yourself as my student (If we think it might be junk mail or a virus, we will have to delete it unread).  Please make sure your Email queries are self contained, and can be answered in a reasonably short way. That is, please pretend that we are on a desert island when we receive your email, with no books or documents in sight. Thanks. Otherwise, we may not be able to answer you.

Teaching Philosophy

I believe the most efficient use of class time aims at reinforcing what the student has tried to achieve on an individual basis before entering the classroom.  In the classroom learning is achieved by (a) whole-hearted and serious studying of the assigned readings and solving the assigned problems or cases; (b) discussions of the material by the students and teacher in class; and (c) my underscoring of important points via short lectures.  In light of this, adequate preparation for the class and participation during class are essential. 


The readings and assignments for the course are attached.  All homework assignments should be completed by the due date listed in course schedule.  They need be completed online and submitted online through digital drop box on Blackboard.


There will be a midterm and a final.  The first midterm will be conducted in class in lieu of one of the sessions. It will be closed-book but you can bring in one 8 ½" x 11" page of notes (both sides). Due to the cumulative nature of the course material, all exams will be cumulative only in that concepts studied in the first part of the semester will be necessary in order to understand and adequately respond to the questions posed. 

Class Attendance/ Presence

Class Attendance is required and part of grade. Absences may be excused only in the case of documented serious illness, family emergency, religious observance,  civic or important work obligation. If you will miss class for religious observance or civic obligation, you must inform your instructor no later than the first week of class. Recruiting activities and business trips are not acceptable reasons for absence from class.You are responsible for knowing what goes on in class, which may include material not covered in the readings, modifications to the syllabus, and announcements concerning exams.  Most course announcements will be made as announcements on blackboard. Sometimes E-mail will be sent, but to the Blackboard e-mail address only. It is your responsibility to ensure that this is correct, to check the e-mail and/or make sure that it is correctly forwarded to an address that you do check.  Also, it is your responsibility to check the blackboard frequently.  From past experience, here is my advice:  do not plan on missing classes on a regular basis.  Class material is often not covered in the course pack or textbook. In-class participation is essential in getting a good grade in the course. 

Arriving Late, Leaving Early, Coming & Going

Students are expected to arrive to class on time and stay to the end of the class period. Arriving late or leaving class early will have impact on the course grade. Students may enter class late only if given permission by the instructor and can do so without disrupting the class. (Note that instructors are not obliged to admit late students or readmit students who leave class or may choose to admit them only at specific times.)


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. 


Digital Drop box on Black board:  Use Digital drop box on NYU Stern Blackboard to submit HW assignments.


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:

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.


Printer Friendly Version