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ACCT 504 Accounting and Finance, Managerial Use and Analysis

All Discussions Week 1-7

Week 1


Week 1 DQ 1: An Overview of Financial Statements and the Environment of Financial Reporting

Financial Reporting Environment and GAAP (Graded)

The discussion in this area will revolve around what accounting is, who the key parties in the financial reporting process are, the role of generally accepted accounting principles in the preparation of financial statements, and the regulatory environment of financial reporting in the U.S. The information being discussed here will be found partly in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.

Week 1 DQ 2: An Overview of Financial Statements and the Environment of Financial Reporting

Details of Financial Statements and Ratios (Graded)

In this thread, we will talk about the primary financial statements published by a corporation, the various classifications used in a balance sheet, the relationships among different financial statements, and how the numbers from the different financial statements are analyzed together to evaluate the financial position and performance of a company. The information being discussed here will be found partly in Chapter 1 and mostly in Chapter 2.

ACCT 504 Week 1 DQ 3 (An Overview of Financial Statements)

• What is GAAP? What is the purpose of GAAP?

• What is the purpose of a Balance Sheet? What information does it provide?

Week 2


Week 2 DQ 1: The Accounting Information System and Accrual Accounting Concepts

Accounting Equation/Accounting Cycle (Graded)

In this area, we will discuss the significance of the accounting equation, the rules of debit and credit, and the steps in the accounting cycle. We will talk about recording of transactions, normal balances, and the creation of the trial balance. Let’s begin by asking this question: What is the role of the accounting equation in the analysis of business transactions?

Week 2 DQ 2: The Accounting Information System and Accrual Accounting Concepts

Accrual Accounting and Adjusting Entries (Graded)

In this area, we will talk about the difference between cash-basis and accrual-basis accounting, the importance of revenue recognition and matching principles, and the role of adjusting and closing entries in the preparation of the income statement, statement of retained earnings, and balance sheet. How is cash-basis accounting different from accrual-basis accounting?

ACCT 504 Week 2 DQ 3

What is the role of the accounting equation in the analysis of business transactions?

Cash Basis Accounting Defined

Accrual Basis Accounting Defined

Week 3

Week 3 DQ 1: Merchandising Operations and Inventory

Merchandising Operations and Income Statements (Graded)

In this area, we will discuss the accounting for inventory transactions of merchandising companies, the two formats of preparing the income statement, and how to evaluate the profitability of a merchandising company. How is the income statement of a merchandising company different from that of a service company?

Week 3 DQ 2: Merchandising Operations and Inventory

Inventory Cost-Flow Assumptions (Graded)

In this area, we will talk about how companies determine the year-end inventory value and cost of goods sold using one of the cost-flow assumptions. We will also discuss the impact of choosing a certain cost-flow assumption on the tax liability and other financial statement numbers of a company. Finally, we will discuss how to analyze inventory numbers. Why is inventory important for a business? How is inventory different from other assets of the business?

Week 4


Week 4 DQ 1: Internal Control, Cash and Receivables Understanding Internal Control and Reporting Cash (Graded)

In this thread, we will talk about the importance of internal control in a business organization and the definition and reporting of cash on the balance sheet. What is internal control and what are the objectives of a good internal control structure in an organization?

Week 4 DQ 2: Internal Control, Cash and Receivables Accounting for and Reporting Receivables (Graded)

Receivables constitute an important line item on a company’s balance sheet. In this thread, we will discuss the accounting for receivables, the ways to estimate uncollectible accounts, and how companies manage their receivables. How do companies account for the possibility that some of their customers might not pay down the road?

Week 5


Week 5: Long-Lived Assets and Liabilities, and Time Value of Money – Discussion

Plant Assets and Intangibles (Graded)

Companies have a significant amount of investment in long-lived assets, which include property, plant and equipment (commonly referred to as Plant Assets), and intangible assets. Let’s begin by talking about plant assets. Can you tell us what kind of plant assets are used in your company or place of business? Do you have an estimate of the amount invested in those plant assets?

Week 5: Long-Lived Assets and Liabilities, and Time Value of Money – Discussion

Accounting for Liabilities (Graded)

In this area, we will discuss different types of liabilities and understand how to account for and report those liabilities. Why are liabilities classified on a balance sheet as current and non-current? Who wants to know? What is the benefit of knowing this information?

Week 6


Week 6 DQ 1: Stockholders’ Equity and Statement of Cash Flows

Accounting for and Reporting Equity (Graded)

Stockholders’ Equity is an important heading in a corporate balance sheet. Let’s begin the discussion of stockholders’ equity by asking: How is the stockholders’ equity section of a corporate balance sheet different from that in a single-owner business? Anybody?

Week 6 DQ 2: Stockholders’ Equity and Statement of Cash Flows – Discussion

Statement of Cash Flows (Graded)

The statement of cash flows is an important financial statement that is required to be released along with the income statement and balance sheet by every publicly traded company. We did not have this requirement prior to the year 1988. Let’s begin our discussion by asking this question: When we already have the income statement and balance sheet to tell us about the financial performance and financial health of a company, why was there a need to require companies to prepare a statement of cash flows? Anybody?

Week 7

Week 7: Financial Analysis: The Big Picture – Discussion

Issues in Income Reporting (Graded)

By now, we all know that an income statement portrays the year-to-date performance of a business. However, the bottom-line figure in the income statement, i.e., net income, is influenced by what is reported in the statement under the categories of revenues and expenses. Therefore, readers of the income statement have to carefully examine the income statement in evaluating the future profitability of a business.
What is the concept of sustainable income? Can you describe in your own words, without just reproducing the definition from the textbook? Can you give an example of what this number may look like by using the income statement of a real-life company?

Week 7: Financial Analysis: The Big Picture

Different Tools for Financial Analysis (Graded)

There are different tools for analyzing the financial statements of a company, such as, horizontal analysis, vertical analysis, ratios for measuring financial health and profitability, etc. However, before we begin using these tools, it is important to know the purpose of each tool. Why do we need different tools for analyzing the financial statements? Don’t the numbers in the financial statements speak for themselves?

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