NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Spring 2012

Instructor Details

Meng, Xiaojing




KMC 10-76


Course Meetings

MW, 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Tisch T-200

Final Exam:

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


Course Description and Learning Goals

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.


Course Outline

Topics Covered: A more precise schedule will be available a week or two prior to the first class.  A typical content outline of the course would cover the nature of financial statements, 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, stockholders’ equity,  financial statement analysis, and valuation.


Required Course Materials

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.


Assessment Components

Homework:   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 homework will be posted to Blackboard.

Exams:  There will be three exams, two during the semester and one during finals.  More information about the exams will be provided.

Grading:  Your grade will be based on 15% homework, 15% first exam, 20% second exam, 40% final exam, and 10% class participation.

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 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



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:




Classroom Norms


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.


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