Accounting Analysis I: The Role of Accounting as an Information System

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This course Accounting Analysis focuses on accounting concepts, principles and theory with an emphasis on problems that arise in applying these concepts for external reporting purposes.

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About this Course

This course Accounting Analysis is the first course in a five-course Financial Reporting Specialization that covers the collection, processing, and communication of accounting information (via financial reports) about economic entities to interested parties (i.e., managers and external stakeholders such as stockholders and creditors).

To gain the most relevant knowledge from these courses, learners should have taken a basic accounting course prior to this Specialization (which can be done through Coursera courses, such as any accounting course from the Fundamentals of Accounting Specialization: Specific emphasis is placed on measurement of assets, liabilities, equities and income, as well as disclosure of additional information that may assist users understand the financial reports.

After a brief introduction to the course, we will spend time understanding the overall financial accounting structure and standards as well as review the fundamental accounting process used to prepare the financial statements, which will establish a framework for the study of the concepts in the remaining courses in the Financial Reporting Specialization.

In this course, we will begin our review of key information included in the Balance Sheet and Income Statement and their related financial disclosures. The Statement of Cash Flows will be introduced briefly with more discussion to follow in later courses of the Specialization. Also, we will provide a cursory review of key concepts involving time value of money as we will finish this course with focus on revenue recognition, including discussion of the new revenue standard.

We will review the general approach for recognizing revenue, special issues affecting revenue recognition including long-term construction contracts. In addition, we will discuss and review common ratios used in profitability analysis.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top three accounting programs, now offers a master’s in accounting at a very affordable tuition rate and is completely online.

The iMSA is a full Master of Accountancy program and students graduate with an MS that is highly recognized. Try an open course or two, then apply for admission into the credit-bearing version as you may be eligible to take credit-bearing courses during the application process.

If you are missing any prerequisites for the full degree, you can complete Coursera courses to demonstrate readiness and strengthen your application for the iMSA. For more information on this exciting iMSA online program, refer to this link:


2 hours to complete

Course Orientation
You will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and our learning environment. The orientation will also help you obtain the technical skills required for the course.

1 video (Total 1 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
2 hours to complete

Accounting Analysis: Financial Accounting Structure/Environment
We will learn the primary focus of financial accounting and learn about General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and their key assumptions, as well as compare them to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

7 videos (Total 31 min), 1 reading, 5 quizzes

2 hours to complete

Accounting Analysis: Review of Accounting Process
We will use the accounting equation to complete the processing cycle. We will also learn the basic types of month-end adjusting entries. More importantly, we will describe the four basic financial statements and how they relate to one another.

5 videos (Total 19 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes

2 hours to complete

Accounting Analysis: Balance Sheet & Financial Disclosures
We will learn the nuances of the Balance Sheet as well as various forms of disclosures associated with financial statements, including the Auditors’ Report and MD&A. We will also review several key liquidity and financing ratios. Lastly, we will learn what’s included in the operating segment reporting and wrap up with a fun exercise on understanding your own personal Balance Sheet!

7 videos (Total 22 min), 1 reading, 5 quizzes

2 hours to complete

Accounting Analysis: Income Statement and Accounting Changes
We will learn the key components of the Income Statement (e.g., EPS) and its impact on shareholders’ equity. We will also distinguish income from continuing operations vs discontinued operations. Lastly, we will better understand the impact of various accounting changes.

5 videos (Total 16 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes

4 hours to complete

Accounting Analysis: Time Value of Money, Ethics, & Other Financial Statements
We will learn some of the key concepts related to time value of money. We will also discuss ethics and professionalism, as well as lessons learned from past accounting scandals. Finally, we will briefly review the Statement of Cash Flows (SCF) and Statement of Comprehensive Income (SOCI).

6 videos (Total 32 min), 1 reading, 5 quizzes

2 hours to complete

Accounting Analysis: Revenue Recognition
We will learn the key issues involving revenue recognition, including the five key steps. Next, we will determine when to recognize revenue, including involvement of multiple performance obligations and special issues related to steps 4 and 5. Lastly, we will discuss the presentation and disclosure requirements of revenue.

5 videos (Total 16 min), 1 reading, 4 quizzes

4 hours to complete

Accounting Analysis: Revenue & Ratio Analysis
We will understand the two methods of revenue recognition for long-term contracts. Next, we will introduce the concept of financial ratios and the various types of activity and profitability ratios. Lastly, we will discuss how the DuPont Framework analysis incorporates profitability, activity, and leverage ratios into the overall Return On Equity (ROE).

6 videos (Total 19 min), 1 reading, 6 quizzes

7 hours to complete

Accounting Analysis: Course Wrap-Up & Case Study
If you would like to earn an Honors badge on your certificate for this course, you must complete a peer reviewed case study that will serve as a refresher of all of the concepts that you have learned over the past seven modules. The case study will involve analysis of a publicly held Fortune 500 company in which you will analyze the Annual Report or 10K Report.

2 videos (Total 5 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz

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