Concepts of Financial and Management Accounting
Online Class - Syllabus
Instructor: Merle W. Hopkins, Ph.D.
Office: ACC B4a
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1. Financial Accounting by Stice, Stice & Diamond, South-Western Publishers, 2003 edition.
2. Selected chapters from Managerial Accounting by Garrison & Noreen, McGraw-Hill, 10th edition, 2003.
[Chapters 1, 6, 8 and 14]
1. Business periodical to stay abreast of current business developments
Accounting has often been called the 'language of business'. Concepts of Financial and Management
Accounting should help you to begin to understand and communicate in this language. The course should
also help you gain an appreciation for the uses of accounting information and limitations inherent in that
accounting information. Very few people achieve serous levels of success in a business environment without
a fundamental understanding of accounting principles and concepts.
Upon completion of Concepts of Financial and Management Accounting, you should:
1. Have a general understanding of the role of the accounting profession in our economic society, including
an awareness of the process of regulation and self-regulation of the profession (including the accounting
standard setting process) in the United States.
2. Have a basic understanding of how accounting is used in business, including an appreciation of the role
of financial and managerial accounting.
Concepts of Financial and Management Accounting focuses on relevant topics within two of the
functional areas in accounting: financial and management accounting. The other functional areas of
accounting are mentioned when appropriate to establish that accounting extends beyond financial and
Following is a brief overview of the course content.
Financial Accounting: This involves the study of the concepts, standards, and procedures that comprise
generally accepted accounting principles [GAAP]. GAAP covers the external reporting process and includes
the rules for the preparation of the basic financial statements. These financial statements have a wide
audience of users including present and potential investors, management, labor unions, employees,
creditors and governmental entities among others. The financial accounting section will cover these topics.
• An overview of the financial reporting process including the objectives of financial reporting.
• The underlying concepts, principles and conventions governing the financial reporting process. This
will include developing your ability to apply these concepts, principles and conventions in a wide
variety of situations.
• The accounting cycle involves analyzing, recording and summarizing an entity's transactions in the
books and records of an organization in order to prepare financial statements as well as other
financial information. The financial statements include classified balance sheets, multiple step
income statements and statements of cash flow.
• Revenue and expense recognition will be developed in some detail because these rules result in
revenues and expenses appearing in a particular year's income statement.
• Revenue recognition criteria will be examined to better appreciate how and when revenues appear
in an income statement. Uncollectible Accounts Receivable will be a part of this coverage as well
as related topics.
• Inventories and Cost of Goods Sold will be explored because of their significance in balance sheets
and income statements. Understanding financial statements of many firms will require an
understanding of accounting methods for Inventories.
• Operating assets (property, plant, and equipment) present significant accounting issues because of
their size in any enterprise. The variety of accounting methods for operating assets makes this area
• Inter-corporate and other investments can pose material accounting issues within the investors'
balance sheets. Financial statement users need an appreciation for the impacts accounting
methods have on this area.
• Capital sources, both debt and equity, will be developed appropriately. We will examine the
accounting issues surrounding the reporting on these capital sources in the financial statements.
II. Management Accounting: In this area of accounting, managers' skills are developed leading to better
business decisions through the use of accounting information. These skills will enhance a student's
capability of progressing into senior management positions [or becoming a better entrepreneur].
Statement for Student with Disabilities
Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability
Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be
obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to the instructor as early in the semester as
possible. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30 am - 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. The phone
number for DSP is 213-740-0776.
"Blue sheets' should be given to the instructor for any quiz/exam fir which the student intends to utilize the
testing services facilities to ensure timely delivery of the quiz/exam to STU 301.
Each week there are assigned readings in textbooks and the on-line discussions to be read before
attempting the assigned homework. Your performance over the entire semester will depend on the
preparation you have done before going through the on-line discussion, the energy you apply while going
through the on-line discussion and review/study that you do after finishing the on-line discussion.
Review the schedule portion of the syllabus to make sure that you have read the appropriate material for
each week. This will add value to your learning in the lecture and may shorten the total amount of time
necessary to perform well in the course.
The instructor and the instructional assistant [IA] will be available on-line through email each week. They are
available to you and appointments can be scheduled for telephone conversations if that is desirable. Make a
point to resolve any questions about the course or course content with the instructor or one of the IA. The
instructor and the IA can be a valuable source of information and you are encouraged to communicate with
them on a regular basis. Timely resolution of problems/questions should enhance your performance on the
exams. A typical week's assignments will include reading assignments and completion/submission of
assigned homework problems.
Working in Groups
You may wish to create informal groups to discuss on-line various class topics and/or homework. This can
be a valuable use of your time and energy.
Final course grades will be assigned depending upon cumulative course points accumulated by you and
your fellow students. Grading will be done on a curve that is responsive to the mean and median points
accumulated by all the students completing the course. I have no preconception of the number of points
needed to earn a particular letter grade. I will attempt to create exams where the average [mean] score will
be in the 70%-75% range. The average student completing the course likely will receive a B+ [3.3/4.0].
Points will be allocated as follows:
Mid-term I 450 points
Final 450 points
Homework 100 points
Total 1,000 points
The exams will be made up of problems/exercises of a computational nature. Some problems may involve
matching or true-false responses. There may be some discussion questions included on the exams.
Advance announcements will be made related to the nature of the questions/problems on a specific exam.
Your preparation on a regular basis throughout the semester should enable you to complete successfully the
exams. You will be expected to have learned the material thoroughly enough to efficiently adapt to different
assumptions or formats.
The final exam will not be cumulative over the entire semester. The final exam will generally cover material
discussed in class after the mid-term. A word of caution is appropriate: accounting is cumulative. The
ideas and concepts developed early in the course often become the basis for topics introduced later. The
nature of the accounting material in this class does not suggest that you pin your hopes for a good grade on
a strong 'second half performance'. Second-half 'comebacks' are more common on the football field [and
The course schedule contains homework assignments that are to be ready to be turned in during the
assigned week. An email address will be provided and this is how you should submit homework and other
questions to the IA. Your homework should be done in Word or Excel [or comparable programs] and
submitted as attachments to the IA. The IA will review your homework and reply to you confirming receipt of
the homework and providing any appropriate feedback. Homework will not be reviewed for correct answers.
Solutions and check figures for the assigned homework will be provided. Homework is part of the learning
process. To encourage that your learning occur on a continuous basis, there is homework component in the
grade determination process.
Mid-term I Week of February 20-24
Final Exam Week of May 1-5
Make-Up Exam Policy
Exams should only be missed in extreme situations that, in the opinion of the instructor, constitute a true
emergency. Any such situation must be supported by documentation deemed adequate by the instructor. If
circumstances permit, the instructor's prior approval is required. If an exam is missed without prior approval
of the instructor and that approval is not obtained subsequently, the student will receive a score of zero for
the missed exam. The instructor reserves the right to choose between two options if a student misses a mid-
term for an instructor-approved reason: (a) to administer the mid-term on a make-up basis or (b) to have the
final exam score serve as a relative proxy for the missed exam score. [In option (b), the student's
subsequent exam score relative to the mean score would be used as the student's score on the missed
exam. If a student scored 10% higher than the mean on the final exam, the student would get a score on the
missed mid-term exam that was 10% higher than the mean had been for the missed mid-term exam.]
Final exams must be taken by the student at the designated time unless an 'incomplete' [IN] contract has
been previously approved according to Leventhal School of Accounting regulations or an adequately
documented situation necessitates the exam to be completed later in the university's final exam period. The
instructor alone shall decide whether the situation warrants postponing the exam within the final exam period.
Advance requests by individuals for exceptions involving the time of a student's final within the university's
scheduled finals period will be evaluated by the instructor on a case-by-case basis.
Please review the Leventhal School of Accounting standards for receiving and clearing an 'IN' at the end of
this syllabus. Note that only the Dean of the Leventhal School of Accounting, not your instructor, may assign
an incomplete [IN] based on these policies.
Ethics and values are very important in accounting and in the business world. We will consider ethical issues
in accounting throughout this course. Ethics and values are also important in education. The instructor will
assume that you are an ethical person, unless there is evidence to the contrary. To help you fulfill your
ethical responsibilities as a student, the ethical standards for ACCT 509 are listed below.
Examinations are to be exclusive work of the individual student. If any class resources are to be used by
students there will have been a prior announcement authorizing such use. Students shall not seek to obtain
assistance from any other student during the exam nor shall any student provide assistance in any form to a
fellow student during the exam.
If you know that another student is violating [or has violated] these standards, it is your responsibility to
inform the instructor or the IA immediately. Student academic integrity enhances the moral environment of
this university. Each of us has an obligation to seek an environment where results are established on the
basis of individual efforts and abilities. If you become aware of a violation or a potential violation you have an
obligation to take some action. Failure to do anything about a possible violation places you in a situation
where you are aiding and abetting the violation [despite the lack of any improvement in your own grade].
Policies Regarding Returned Graded Work
Returned paperwork, unclaimed by the student, will be discarded after 4 weeks. After attempting to return
grades exams, quizzes and homework in the classrooms, these materials will be available in the IA office for
students with picture IDs to establish identities.
Policies on Reviewing Returned Exams
When mid-term exams are returned to students, an announcement will be made regarding a deadline for
reviewing the exam with the instructor by appointment. Before the expiration of that deadline and if a student
has been unable to communicate with the instructor by appointment, a written extension may be requested
by the student. If granted, the request will be for as many days as the instructor feels are warranted in the
circumstances and will apply only to those students whose requests for extension have been granted.
Leventhal School of Accounting Grading and Academic Standards
A summary of the most important grading and academic standards of the Leventhal School of Accounting is
attached to this syllabus. These pages contain information on grading matters such as the rules for
'incompletes' and information about the grade requirements for accounting majors
Advice for Achieving Success in this Course During this Semester
Make plans now to commit the appropriate resources [chiefly your time, attention and energy] to learning
accounting well enough to allow you to be successful after your 'student days' have ended. An important by-
product is a better grade in this course. Most of you will discover that you will work harder than you initially
expect in this class, that you will learn more than you initially expect, and that you'll enjoy the class more
than you initially expect. There is more enjoyment associated with earning an A [4.0] than with earning a B
Success is available to all in this course. Earn it!