ALS 350 is a half course survey of Financial Accounting. Accounting is frequently referred to as the “language of business,” and thus, is an essential tool for all managers who strive to be effective communicators. ALS 350 involves the study of accounting from the perspective of the data user (an investor, manager, or lender), not the data provider (controller, CPA, etc.). Because of the breadth of this course, it is not reasonable to expect a student to master the subject matter. Instead, the goal of the course is to gain an appreciation and understanding of the topics covered. This does not mean that the technical aspects of accounting will be ignored, but rather that they will not be the central focus of learning. The educational goal of ALS 350 is for each student to become a competent user of accounting information. Students will learn how to interpret, understand, and use the basic financial statements. As part of this learning process, we will investigate the various rules utilized in the preparation of financial statements, the flexibility that exists in the application of these rules, the possible incentives that corporate managers face when selecting the various rules to apply, and the alternative outputs that result from these accounting policy choices.
Mandatory first-year MBS students. No prior background in accounting or finance is assumed.
After completing this course, students should be able to:
1.) develop income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements from raw data
2.) use basic accounting concepts to evaluate a firm’s financial strength
3.) assess the impact of various business events on a firm’s financial statements
4.) correctly calculate and interpret financial ratios