Syllabus

Syllabus

As such it is important for the course to provide an overview of how businesses formulate financial accounting policy and to become milliamp with the “current state” of the accounting profession. Toward that end, this course has a significant research and writing component. As a result, one of the principle objectives of this course is to familiarize you with methods to effectively perform research related to accounting issues, including those that are somewhat obscure. In addition, you should expect to devote a significant amount of time to writing in this course.

An additional important aspect of this course is the opportunity you will have to hone your oral presentation skills with a variety of required presentations. Keep in mind that recruiters emphasize the importance of the development of research and writing as well as oral communications skills to achieve success in an accounting career. The course begins with an examination of the accounting standard setting process (issuing GAP) as it applies to the practice of financial accounting and reporting.

Our discussion will include the roles that both the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FAST) and the Securities and Exchange commission (SEC) Till In tens process. We wall also review a sample AT corporate Telling required by the SEC. These filings are required of all public entities; those whose securities are listed on any stock exchange in the U. S. Next, we will spend some time becoming familiar with the Abs’s Accounting Standards Codification (the Codification or ASS).

This Codification Project was finalized during the summer of 2009 and the ASS includes all relevant authoritative accounting literature (GAP) issued by both the FAST and the SEC. The ASS will be your source for all accounting research assignments during the quarter. Your familiarity with the ASS will make you much more proficient in your ability to complete accounting research projects as you begin your professional careers. Regarding accounting research, one of my main objectives in this course is to get you out of your so-called “comfort zone” insofar as financial accounting is concerned.

In most financial accounting courses you have been expected to find the one, correct answer in a given set of circumstances. For example, you were expected to learn the one, correct way to calculate the amount of interest to accrue on a note receivable or payable. Similar expectations characterized your tax courses in that you were expected to identify the precise tax treatment for investment income or charitable contributions. In this course you will quickly learn that in many areas of financial accounting and reporting, as in tax accounting, there is not always one obviously correct answer.

As a matter of fact, you may discover that in some situations multiple correct answers can be supported. The time that you dedicate to learning how to perform accounting research in an efficient and effective manner will be valuable to you in discovering solutions to obscure accounting issues and learning how to use the authoritative literature to support the conclusions you reach regarding these issues. The portion of the course dedicated to accounting research will often not be as concerned with the “black and white” areas of financial accounting as it will be with the “gray’ areas.

In your careers, you will quickly learn that there are numerous gray areas in financial accounting. The course will also address various financial accounting topics including revenue recognition, fair value measurement and disclosures, and earnings quality issues as they relate to financial reporting. Revenue recognition is one of the most abused financial accounting principles in that businesses may be tempted to manipulate revenue recognition rules to “manage” or “smooth” their earnings. The trend toward the use of fair values in financial reporting is growing and we will review current authoritative literature related to this topic.

Interestingly, many have blamed the most recent economic crisis, particularly in the banking industry, on disclosures related to fair values. We will also spend time identifying the factors that contribute to the overall “quality’ of reported earnings and what factors detract from that “quality’. In March 2008, the SEC began allowing foreign companies to file uncial statements prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (FIRS) without reconciliation to US GAP. Before March 2008 reconciliation was required.

As a result, the significance of FIRS will be emphasized in the course. You will be given an assignment on the first day of class that requires you to read and answer questions related to several documents issued by the SEC concerning the use of FIRS in SEC filings and the possibility that FIRS will ultimately be adopted in the United States. The assignment will be due toward the end of the quarter. At that mime, we will examine a under AT accounting topics Ana compare Ana contrast tenet treatment between the requirements of US GAP and those found in FIRS.

Part of this discussion will focus on distinguishing between rules-based and principles- based accounting systems. We will conclude the course with an overview of key issues as they relate to ethics in accounting and auditing. I realize that most of you are taking this course as you complete your MESA Program approach graduation. Keep in mind that although the end of your academic experience at Default is approaching, this course requires a significant commitment on your part and my expectations for your participation and performance during the term are high.

In reality my expectations for this class are similar to those that your employer will have once you begin your careers. You will be expected to read, perform research, draw conclusions and support these conclusions using the authoritative literature, participate in group assignments, write effectively, ask questions, and, above all, to commit to continual learning. You can help insure your success in this course by setting high expectations for yourself. I can assure you that the level of meaningful input and conscientious effort that you devote to this course will have a significant impact on what you learn.

And, what you learn will translate into your course grade. In other words, your level of personal commitment to the challenges of this course will be closely related to the payoff for that commitment. CLASS STRUCTURE: The format of a particular class meeting will vary from week to week. I will spend a number of class meetings presenting lecture material. Other classes meeting will be used for group presentations, either formal or informal. Certainly, in every class I ill attempt to initiate classroom discussions where any and all input will be encouraged and given full attention.

Given the above flexible and changing class format structure; I have identified the following list of responsibilities or expectations for you as graduate accounting students in a professional program at a major university. Commit to learning rather than grades. It is incumbent on you to recognize the benefits of learning. If you have not already, you will soon discover that if you are genuinely committed to learning, your objective for making a good grade will almost certainly be realized. This commitment requires that you a make a complete and conscientious effort on every assignment and exam.

Commit to your group. A significant portion of your grade (35%) will be based on work you submit and/or present as a group. It is your responsibility to make a conscientious commitment to your group on all assignments. Making deals within a group where a certain member or members is excused from work on a particular project in return for doing more work on another is not what I expect. When you begin your careers and are asked to participate in group projects, I can assure you that this arrangement will not be acceptable.

Your commitment to learning (see above) requires commitment to each and every group activity. Preparation. Be familiar with the class material to the extent possible before coming to class. I will provide you with an outline for note-taking purposes on DEL prior to each class when I will be lecturing. Your familiarity with the lecture material prior to class will make learning much sealers Ana wall needle you to participate more Tally In classroom Locutions. You should have ample time to review the outline prior to class.

Participate in class. I want to know your opinions and viewpoints regarding the various accounting issues we cover. Oftentimes, students have perspectives that their peers (and l) may have not considered. Your input is essential to the overall learning process. View our class as a learning community rather than as a group of disparate individuals without common interests. In a learning community, all members have the responsibility to not only learn but to contribute to the learning of others in the community. Have a positive attitude.

A good attitude about learning will make a world of difference. Provide constructive feedback to me and to your classmates. Our classroom discussions will often involve reacting to the views or presentations of others. Your moments are welcome and encouraged and should always be made professionally and respectfully. Ask questions. Try not to be concerned that your questions are “stupid” or that everyone else already knows the answers. Part of any learning process involves thinking about issues in ways that you are not accustomed.

To get the most from this aspect of the learning process, it is critical to have an environment where questions are openly asked and welcomed by all. COURSE REQUIREMENTS As the discussion above indicates, group work, including presentations, will be significant component of this course. In addition, your participation in discussions in al class sessions is critical to your success. As a result, regular attendance is not optional. In particular, you must be present for all of your group’s scheduled presentations to receive credit.

In other words, if you miss class when your group is scheduled for a presentation, you will not receive credit for that presentation regardless of how much you contributed to the preparation of the presentation materials. If you discover that you must miss ANY class, let me know before that class. If the class you must miss is a presentation date for your group AND you have informed of your absence beforehand, you may ask me to prepare a make-up assignment to ensure that you have learned and understand the material missed and to allow you to receive credit for the presentation.

Any make-up assignments will include an oral presentation. Absent extraordinary circumstances, I will not allow anyone to make up work for more than one missed presentation. Finally, arriving for class on time and not leaving early or during class except for scheduled breaks is a matter of personal and professional responsibility and respect for your classmates and me. As a result, I expect all of you to be on time and I strongly request that you tot leave class at any time other than during the scheduled class break.

If you anticipate having to leave class early or at any time other than at the break, please let me know before class. Should you fail to exhibit responsibility and respect in this regard, you and I will meet to discuss the issue. Group Assignments: A glance at the Assignment Table should make it obvious that you will have a number of opportunities to complete group work. The group assignments will include both writing exercises and oral presentations and will focus on assigned readings, research, and materials covered in class. Assignment of students to groups will be made at my discretion.

I expect all group members to contribute in a meaningful way to all assignments and I anticipate giving the same grade to all members off group for all group assignments. Arrangements where a group member gets a “free pass” on an assignment in return for extra work on another is not acceptable and I expect to be informed immediately if this is happening. These arrangements serve no purpose except to insure that not everyone learns the relevant material. In order to encourage the behavior described above, I will ask each of you to complete a peer evaluation twice during the term; once in mid-October and once at the end of the term.

The peer evaluation will provide each of you the opportunity to let me know if there is not a balanced effort and level of contribution from all of a group’s members. If I am not informed of non- contributors via peer evaluations or otherwise, there is nothing I can do to rectify the situation. If I become aware of these situations, I assure you that I will address them immediately. If I am not made aware of situations where group members are getting a “free ride”, the result is that participating members are doing more work than is expected and non-contributors are receiving grades for work they do not complete.

This is not what I intend and it is not fair for anyone involved. Finally, I reserve the right to reduce anyone’s course grade up to two letter grades if he or she is consistently rated poorly in peer evaluations. I expect all members of a group to be completely familiar with all aspects of an assignment. For example, when I ask questions following an oral presentation, be prepared for me to address the question to anyone in the group rather than only the individual who presented the information that is the focus of my questions.

Group presentations will be of two types: formal and informal. Each group will prepare and deliver one formal presentation. This presentation will cover topics introduced in More Than a Numbers Game. Your group’s presentation should mimic a professional presentation or a Job interview in terms of your attire, your presentation materials, etc. Each group should: (a) prepare discussion materials (e. G. , Powering slides) to accompany its presentation; make sure that there is consistency in terms of font, margins, headings, billeting, etc. Articulacy if slides are prepared independently; (b) upload our slides to DEL prior to your presentation so that your classmates have ample time to download them and bring them to class; if we are in a computer classroom your classmates will not need a hardcopy. A Forum will be available under the” Discussions” tab on DEL for this purpose; (c) assign specific speaking parts to all group members; (d) present (do not read) your remarks in a coherent and cohesive manner; (e) dress in a manner fitting of the “formal” scenario; your attire will count as part of your presentation grade.

If you are not sure what constitutes attire appropriate for these presentations, ask me. On the date of your group’s formal presentation arrive in class early enough to insure that you are ready to begin Immolate at ten Declining AT class. As you prepare Tort your Doormat presentation, imagine that it is being delivered too client or superiors at your workplace.

My evaluation of these presentations will take into consideration (a) the content of the presentation materials including their quality, accuracy, and completeness, (b) the quality of the presentation itself in terms of the presentation skills that each group member exhibits including the overall flow of the presentation from speaker to beaker which is enhanced when all presenters are familiar with the entire presentation, (d) the overall professionalism of the presentation including attire, (e) the length of the presentation with respect to my directives, and (f) whether your group was completely prepared to begin its presentation on time.

I will post an example of the evaluation rubric that I will use to assess your presentations on DEL. Finally, each group must email its presentation slides (with any revisions I suggest) to me within 48 hours after the presentation (6:00 p. M. On the Wednesday following your presentation). Do not post the revised slides to DEL; I will do so after I have reviewed them. The purpose of this requirement is to allow me to make the corrected slides available on the course website in a timely fashion to allow your classmates the opportunity to review the presentation content for exam purposes.

Failure to meet the 48-hour deadline will result in a one letter grade reduction of your presentation grade if I receive the slides within 24 hours of when they are due; a two letter grade reduction will occur if the slides are more than 24 hours overdue. For informal presentations, each group should be prepared to lead a class discussion elated to the assignment and share its answers with the class. Evaluation of these presentations will primarily take into consideration the content, completeness, and accuracy of the information communicated as well as the effectiveness with which it is presented.

Like formal presentations, all group members should have a speaking role and all group members should be completely prepared to answer questions related to any part of the assignment. With these presentations, you my dress in any way you choose and although I will provide general guidelines as to the duration of our presentations, no points will be deducted for longer or shorter presentations relative to the guidelines as long as the all relevant issues are adequately addressed. Several group written assignments are also required. These assignments are due at the beginning of the class period that they are due.

If a particular assignment is due on DEL it must be posted before class time. The assignment of responsibilities and the completion of these assignments are up to the discretion of group members within the guidelines mentioned above related to participation by all group members. Specific instructions will be made prior to each assignment. Keep in mind that for exam purposes, all group members are responsible for the content of all group oral and written assignments unless I specifically exclude the content of one or more assignments.

Other: In-Class Discussions: As you begin your careers you will learn how important it is for you to have effective verbal communication skills. A significant portion of your communication Walt toners In your Tall Ana Walt clients will De vernal. As a result, the development of verbal communication skills is given a high priority in this course. No doubt improving these skills within our learning community is an important step award mastering them in preparation for your professional careers.

Don’t feel as if you have to offer insight related to every topic discussed in class. Effective verbal communication requires that one knows when to speak as well as what to say and how to say it. Speak out when you have something to contribute. Should you not do so voluntarily, I will provide a little prodding. Course Grade: Your course grade will be determined as follows: FIRS Term project Written Group Assignments (likely 4 or 5) 15% Formal Group Presentation Presentations (likely 2 or 3) 10% 10% Informal Group Research Assessment Mid-term Exam Final Exam

Total 5% 25% 100% As a rule, I do not give make-up exams. However, I do not object to anyone taking an exam early if your situation prevents you from taking it when scheduled. If you have what you feel is a legitimate reason for missing the midterm exam and cannot schedule it early, you must let me know of your situation before the exam is given. Should I allow you to miss the midterm exam, your final exam will count for 50% of your total course grade. Only in the most extraordinary of circumstances will you be allowed to postpone your final exam.

A final comment with regard to grading: keep in mind that the grade of “Incomplete” s not designed for students who have fallen hopelessly behind in a course and who have little chance of catching up. This grade is reserved for students who are making satisfactory progress in a course and, due to unforeseen circumstances that are beyond their control, are not able to complete the course. Please do not ask me to give you an “incomplete” unless this applies to you. In addition, do not ask me to assign you extra-credit work so that you can improve your grade.

There is absolutely NO chance that I will do so. You have any number of ways to earn points toward a passing grade. Again, there will be no opportunity of any kind to do work above and beyond the requirements of the course. Lastly, I realize that most of you are very close to graduation. Your nearness to graduation will have nothing to do with how I grade your performance in this course. Academic Integrity and Personal Ethics: Academic integrity requires a commitment to complete and absolute honesty in your intellectual endeavors. The University has a website dedicated to Academic Integrity.