Comprehensive course analysis
Who should attend
- Individuals seeking to enter the field of accounting or auditing
- Managers involved in financial forecasting and investments
- Entrepreneurs seeking investors and/or investment opportunities
- Pre-MBA students interested in gaining an accounting background
About the course
Accounting is one of today’s fast-growing professions, with numerous career path options. This certificate program will help you establish an in-depth understanding of foundational accounting principles and how to apply them in practice. In the courses, you will construct and interpret accounts of revenue, accounts receivable, inventory, assets, long-term debt, and equity. You will have the opportunity to examine the rules for financial statements and learn how the field of financial accounting has evolved over time to meet the needs of businesses. This understanding of core financial accounting principles will enable you to independently analyze an organization’s financial standing and viability as well as understand when organizations are using gaps in accounting rules to their financial advantage.
Upon completion of the program, you will be able to converse confidently in the language of finance and present a company’s financial performance to internal stakeholders as well as investors, creditors, suppliers, and customers. This knowledge will help you inform the strategic decision-making process using concise and relevant financial data appropriate to your audience in any industry.
Please note this program references US Financial Accounting guidelines. As such, all forms may not be exact for those who reside or conduct business outside the United States, however the principles remain the same.
Foundations of Financial Statements
This course provides a foundation in financial accounting and examines the expansion of the field as it relates to the evolution of business' accounting needs. Students will be able to speak intelligently about accounting entities, assets, and claims, along with how they are represented on an income statement and balance sheet. It then examines the application of financial statement ratios and the ways in which data can be utilized for the internal and external evaluation of a company's financial position, performance, and prospects. Students will apply financial statement ratios to analyze how profit is generated and make determinations on a company's liquidity and solvency. Finally, this course will look at non-profit organizations and the implications of restricted funds versus for-profit companies and unrestricted funds.
Accruals and Cash Flows
This course will help you distinguish between credits and debits while examining the pros and cons of cash-basis accounting versus accrual accounting. You will use the basic steps of the accounting process to make balancing account entries for a variety of transactions.
You will consider the ethical side of accounting: why promises matter and how that translates to accruals, adjusting closing entries, ensuring the accuracy of your statements, correcting errors and estimates, and what to do when accounting goes wrong. You will examine cash inflows and outflows and then analyze this data to create an accurate depiction of a company's economic reality. This will be crucial information for potential investors, partners, creditors etc. You will know when to use a direct cash flow statement versus an indirect cash flow statement and how to accurately reflect transactions.
This course will enable you to interpret the financial statement line items that capture the most central and important operations of any enterprise: the revenue and other cash inflows earned from customers and the related expenses or losses.
It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed Foundations of Financial Statements or Accruals and Cash Flows or have equivalent experience.
Investments, Capital and Financial Forecasting
This course will help you interpret financial statement line items that capture the investments an enterprise makes in its future and claims that long-term investors hold on the enterprise.
You will explore the differences between tangible and intangible assets along with the ways in which each can be capitalized and their costs can be allocated to the income statement. You will apply concepts to long-lived assets, such as the “Day Zero” assumption, depreciation (tangible assets), amortization (intangible assets), and cost allocation. Taking this a step further, you will delve into accounting methods used for depreciation and amortization and then look at ways to address impairments, fair value, and the three levels of input. Finally, these concepts will be applied to different aspects of capital such as stocks, bonds, and related valuations.
Key course takeaways
- Read and speak with authority about financial statements
- Utilize reports to evaluate a company’s financial position, performance and prospects
- Construct and interpret accounts of revenue, accounts receivable, inventory, long-lived assets, long-term debt, and equity
- Explain accounting guidelines, along with the conceptual framework on which these standards are based, rules for accounts, and why they are necessary
- Identify when organizations are using gaps in accounting rules to their financial advantage
Since coming to the Johnson Graduate School of Management in 1991, Prof. Robert Bloomfield has used laboratory experiments to study financial markets and investor behavior, and has also published in all major business disciplines, including finance, accounting, marketing, organization behavior, a...
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