This course introduces students to the basic elements of financial statements and how the financial statements can provide information on the operations, prospects, and financial condition of a business or entity. We will discuss the accounting principles or concepts used in preparing financial statements; how to account for certain specific items such as receivables, inventories, fixed assets, intangible assets, liabilities and contingencies, and revenue and expenses; and how the basic transactions of a business flow through the financial statements. We will also discuss the role and responsibilities of independent auditors, senior company executives, and the audit committee of the board of directors in the preparation of the financial statements. Finally, we will study the financial statements of various companies to see what these financial statements reveal about the companies, and we will study some examples of accounting fraud and discuss how perpetrators of the fraud violated applicable accounting principles.
This course is designed for students with no prior accounting background or experience. Students who have completed one or more university level accounting courses or have practical training in accounting should not enroll in this course unless they obtain instructor permission.