This course will examine traditional accounting topics with emphasis on their practical application to the practice of law. It will do so based on the development of an understanding of corporate financial statements and the underlying accounting concepts used in preparing those statements and related accounting records. Issues will be considered against the backdrop of current SEC and professional requirements. Particular attention will be paid to current issues and enforcement trends raised by the SEC and to the latest pronouncements of the FASB, AICPA and SEC. Selected public filings will be analyzed to give students additional insights on the actual quality of reported earnings and financial condition of the reporting company, and the apparent effect of various alternative accounting methods.
Upon completion of this course, you will have a fundamental understanding of the basic architecture of financial reporting and a working knowledge of the federal regulatory framework for public companies, as administered primarily by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. You will learn the history of this framework, its primary goals, and its basic requirements. You will see how basic principles of administrative law regulate the financial reporting of public companies. You will become familiar with the structure of a Balance Sheet and Income Statement and the essentials of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.