NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Spring 2012

Instructor Details

Alex Dontoh



Tu/Thurs 12 noon=1pm

KMC 10-72


Course Meetings

TR, 2:00pm to 3:15pm

KMC 4-80

Tuesdays & Thursdays 8AM - 9:15AM

Final Exam: May 10, 2012

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on: Tuesday Mar. 13 and Thurs. Mar. 15 (Spring Recess)
    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

Class Schedule






Class Prep

Homework Assignments



Overview of Financial Statements and  Reporting Process

Course Pack Ch. 1

LLS Chapter 1&2


Assignment 1

Due  Fed 2



LLS Ch1 pp. 1-19

Prepare  qns. 3 & 8 on  p. 27

Extra practice Problems

S1-3, S1-6, S1-8



LLS Ch2 pp.43-50




Recording Transactions & Preparing Financial Statements

Course Pack Ch. 2

LLS Ch2 & 3



Partco Company

Planet of the Grapes

Homework Assignment 2

Due 2/14



Course Pack Ch. 2

LLS Ch2 pp. 50-60


Prepare  E2-5 on page 84

Extra practice Problems

S2-1, S2-2,S2-3



LLS Ch2 pp. 61-65

Prepare  E2-8 on page 84-85




LLS Ch3 pp. 102-115

LLS Ch4 pp183-185

Prepare qn. 11 on page 194 and M4-12 on page 198



Income Measurement and Accrual Accounting

Course Pack Ch. 3

LLS: Ch. 4


Village Appliance Shop



Assignment 3

Due 2/21



Course Pack Ch. 3

LLS: Ch. 4 pp. 162-168

Prepare qns. E3-6 on page 143




LLS: Ch. 4 pp. 169-175

Prepare  M4-2  on page 196

Extra Practice problems S3-1, S3-2



LLS: Ch. 4 pp. 177-182

Prepare E4-18 and E4-19 on page 208-209



Midterm Exam  1

Covers material in Ch. 1-3 of Course Pack and

LLS Ch. 1-4


Revenue Recognition and Accounts Receivable

Course Pack Ch  4

LLS: Ch. 6

pgs. 279-288


Assignment 4

Due 3/6



LLS: Ch. 6

pgs. 279-288

Prepare qn. 4 on page 307 and E6-2  on page 310




LLS: Ch. 6

pgs. 286-294

Prepare  E6-12  and E6-16 on page 313&314resp.

Extra Practice problems

S4-1, S4-2,



Inventory and Cost of Goods Sold

Course Pack Ch. 5

LLS: Ch7



Assignment 5

Due 3/22



Course Pack Ch. 5

LLS: Ch7 331-333;


Prepare qn. 4 on p. 363 and E7-1 on p. 366




LLS: Ch7 338-345


Prepare E7-5 and E7-10 on pgs. 367&369

Extra Practice problems S5-1, S5-2


3/12 -


Spring Break





Inventory and Cost of Goods Sold


LLS: Ch7 357-359

Prepare E7-20 p. 372








Valuation and Reporting  Long Lived Tangible and Intangible Assets

Course Pack Ch. 6

LLS: Ch8




Assignment 6

Due 3/29



Course Pack Ch. 6

LLS: Ch8 387-394


Prepare M8-3 on p. 424 and E8-1 on p. 426

Extra Practice problems S6-1, S6-2



LLS: Ch8 395-410


Prepare E8-15 on page 431





LLS: Ch8 411-419

Prepare M8-17 on page 431



Midterm Exam  2

Covers material in Ch. 4-6 of Course Pack and LLS Ch. 6-8


Statement of Cash Flows

Course Pack Ch. 7






LLS: CH13  637-645

Prepare qn. 1 on page 669

Assignment 7

Due  4/17



LLS: CH13  646-652

Prepare E13-1 on page 672

Extra Practice problems S7-1, S7-2



LLS: CH13  646-658

Prepare E13-15 on page 677









Reporting and Interpreting Long Term Liabilities: Bonds

Course Pack Ch. 8

LLS: Ch 9, Ch. 10





LLS: CH9  470-477;

Skim 457-469

Prepare E9-15 on page 492

Assignment 8

Due  4/26



LLS: CH9  506-523

Prepare E10-7 on page 538

Extra Practice problems S8-1, S8-2







Reporting and Interpreting

Owners' Equity

Course Pack Ch. 9

LLS: Ch 11





LLS: Ch 11 551-559

Prepare E11-4 on page 578

Assignment 9

Due  5/3



LLS: Ch 11 560-567

Prepare E11-11 on page 580

Extra Practice problems

S9-1, S9-2


Review Session





Submission of Annual Report Project




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.

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.


Assessment Components

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.


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.



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.


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.



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


Course Pre-Requisites

There is no pre-requisite for this course.


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