Accounting (ACC)

ACC 401. Corporate Financial Accounting. 3 credits

Corporate financial accounting is concerned with the form and content of the information firms disclose to external parties (e.g., shareholders). In the United States, financial reporting is based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). GAAP define the accounting methods and disclosure practices that firms select from when providing financial statements to external parties. This course covers these principles and other important financial reporting practices. The primary focus of the course is developing the skills required to interpret and analyze financial information, rather than the skills required to prepare financial statements. Upon completion of the course, students will appreciate how financial accounting information is used in contracts between parties (e.g., lenders and the firm) and to evaluate a firm's past performance and potential future performance.

ACC 410. Strategic Cost Analysis. 3 credits

By examining the tension between decision-making and control in organizations, the course examines a variety of questions such as: Why do managers allocate fixed costs, transfer goods between sub-units at full cost, and use other accounting policies that deviate from marginal cost? What are activity-based costing, normal costing and economic value added (EVA), and why are managers adopting these techniques? Topics include: analyzing traditional costing systems, divisional performance measurement, transfer pricing, cost allocations, opportunity cost, budgeting and standard costing. The course provides students with a framework to understand and productively use accounting systems. Emphasis is placed on the problems of motivation and control in organizations and the role of accounting information in this context.

ACC 411. Financial Statement Analysis. 3 credits

An objective of this course is to develop students' ability to use financial statement information (broadly defined) in various decision-making settings. The uses of financial statement information include: 1) evaluation of managerial performance; 2) analysts use financial statement information to perform prospective analysis, which serves as an input into the valuation of a firm's equity. Analysts make buy, sell, and hold recommendations based on analysis of financial information; 3) creditors and lenders use financial statement information as input into lending decisions. Lenders use financial information to determine the type, amount, and terms of a loan, and also the nature of any covenants, and 4) corporations and investment bankers use financial statements to value companies that might be takeover targets. The primary objective is to develop and sharpen students' analytical ability to analyze financial statements and draw inferences about a firm's performance and future prospects. Cases and analysis of actual reporting practices are used to achieve the course objectives.

ACC 417. Auditing. 3 credits

Auditing principles and procedures are examined. This course includes analysis of auditing and its relationship to financial reporting, with emphasis on the independent accountant's attest function and consideration of ethical and legal responsibilities and regulatory influences. Statistical sampling, the role of the internal auditor, and compilation and review reports are discussed.

ACC 418. Taxes And Business Strategy. 3 credits

The objectives of this course are to help students develop the tools required to identify, understand, and evaluate tax-planning opportunities, and to develop a framework for understanding how taxes affect business decisions. Effective tax planning requires the planner to consider the tax implications of a proposed transaction for all of the parties to the transaction. Effective tax planning requires the planner, in making investment and financing decisions, to consider not only explicit taxes (tax dollars paid directly to taxing authorities), but also implicit taxes (taxes paid indirectly in the form of lower before-tax rates of return on tax-favored investments). Effective tax planning requires the planner to recognize that taxes represent only one among many business costs. In the planning process, all costs must be considered, including the costly restructuring of the business necessary to implement some tax plans. The framework is operationalized by applying it to a variety of settings such as investments, compensation policy, organizational form, regulated industries, financial instruments, tax-sheltered investments, multinational ventures, mergers and acquisitions and tax arbitrage.

ACC 419. Positive Accounting Research. 3 credits

This course is designed for MBA students concentrating in accounting, and students in the Master of Science in Accountancy program. The primary objective of the course is to introduce students to the role of financial accounting information in capital markets. This objective is accomplished by exposing students to academic accounting research on the relation between accounting numbers and stock prices, the debt contracting and executive compensation contracting roles of accounting numbers, incentives for managers to manage reported earnings, incentives for managers to voluntarily disclose financial information, properties of analysts' forecasts of accounting numbers, and issues related to international financial reporting. Another objective of the course is to help students appreciate some of the current debates surrounding the accounting profession and the role of empirical research in addressing such problems.

ACC 423. Financial Reporting I. 3 credits

This course acquaints students with the conceptual and practical problems in measuring revenues and expenses, assets and liabilities. The principal objective is to make students proficient in assessing the financial position of a company, its cash flow, liquidity, capital structure, hidden liabilities, and reserves through an understanding of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). The course provides a practical overview of the structure of accounting and its relation to finance and economics that should continue to be valuable as the accounting environment changes.

ACC 424. Financial Reporting II. 3 credits

This course addresses the accounting for mergers and acquisitions, foreign operations, and derivative financial instruments. Emphasis is placed on developing an appreciation of the forces shaping accounting, including the effects of organizational arrangements, information and taxes. The interdependency of the accounting methods, organizational structure, and tax decisions are investigated.

ACC 431. Int'l Financial Reporting & Analysis. 3 credits

The objective of this course is to prepare students for the analysis of financial statements in an international context. Cross-border transacting is an increasingly important component of business. Consequently, corporate financial statements are used increasingly in international settings by shareholders, lenders, creditors, managers, employees, suppliers, customers and governments. Because the course aims to develop skills in international financial analysis, it adopts a case format. The course addresses the economic and political determinants of: 1) similarities in accounting practices among countries; 2) differences in accounting practices among countries; 3) similarities and differences in the properties of reported accounting numbers among countries; and 4) the strong trend toward reducing differences in accounting practices among countries.

ACC 433. Adv Business Law & Ethics. 3 credits

Topics include: bankruptcy, real property, personal property, sales, secured transactions, negotiable instruments, insurance, trusts and estates and consumer protection. This course also includes discussions of ethics and professional responsibilities.

ACC 436. Research into Professional Accounting Standards. 3 credits

This course will cover the conceptual framework for standard-setting established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). It will also review how to research financial accounting and reporting issues using the FASB Accounting Standards Codification. The research of financial accounting and reporting issues will be applied to professional accounting decisions in financial reporting, disclosure and other accounting decision making. In addition, a comparison of US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) will be included. The course concludes with a review of the impact of governmental and not-for-profit accounting standards on financial reporting.

ACC 437. Basic Federal Income Tax Accounting. 3 credits

This course introduces the federal tax system in the United States and will focus on specifics of federal tax code. It provides an overview of individual, partnership, corporate, gift and estate taxes. Detailed topics include, but are not limited to, gross income, deductions for adjusted gross income, deductions from adjusted gross income, taxable income, alternative minimum tax, certain tax credits, recognition of gains and losses, transactions between partners, Subchapter S Corporations, gift tax, and estate tax. Skills will be developed to research the tax code and I.R.S. rulings to solve tax issues.

ACC 438. Auditing II - Auditing And Information Systems. 3 credits

This course will focus largely on Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and internal control systems. Internal control systems will be covered in depth, with focus on internal controls in an information technology (IT) environment. The IT environment will be discussed from the perspectives of designing effective internal controls and auditing in an IT environment. The function of the internal audit department will be covered, as well as how external auditors can work with internal auditors.

ACC 445. Managerial Accounting For Health Care Organizations. 3 credits

Costs for health services continue to rise faster than overall economic growth drawing ever-greater attention from employers, governments, and consumers. The front line of the cost battle is within the health services entities where decision making depends on accurate reporting of internal costs. This course focuses on how costs are reported and how to use this information to make decisions within the health services entity. The following topics will be examined within a health services setting: cost allocation, cost-volume-profit analysis, budgeting and variance analysis, and transfer pricing.

ACC 501. Seminar in Accounting. 1 credit

A forum for the presentation, discussion, and critique of current accounting research papers where accounting faculty, PhD students, and outside speakers present working papers on current research topics. Students are expected to actively participate in the discussion and critique of the papers presented. In weeks when accounting workshops/seminars are scheduled, accounting PhD students will meet as a group with a member of the accounting faculty before the seminar to discuss the paper. Since such meetings are designed to facilitate students' active participation in the seminars, students are required to circulate a brief set of comments to the other class participants in advance of the meeting. Grading will be based on the quality of students' contributions to the pre-seminar meetings as well as their contributions and participation in the actual workshops.

ACC 510. Accounting Research I. 3 credits

The natural starting point for the study of capital markets research in accounting begins with the relationship between accounting earnings and security returns. This course covers the evolution of research on the earnings /return relation from the seminal papers up through current research. Topics covered include the fundamental features of the contemporaneous earnings /return relation, the nature of association-type and event study-type investigations of the contemporaneous earnings /return relation, theoretical and empirical evidence on the lead/lag relation between security returns and accounting earnings, the asymmetric timeliness of accounting earnings, theoretical and empirical research on the role of conservatism in accounting earnings, pro-forma earnings, and international research on the characteristics and properties of the earnings /return relation. The course also covers capital market research on analysts' earnings forecasts including the properties of such forecasts (e.g., optimism, pessimism, rationality) and the relation between analyst earnings forecasts and stock prices.

ACC 511. Accounting Research II. 3 credits

This course turns the focus from aggregate accounting earnings (which is studied in ACC 510), to the components of earnings; accruals and cash flow. Given the central role of accruals in the measurement of accounting earnings, the initial focus of the course is on the fundamental properties of accruals and the importance of accruals to accounting earnings central role as a summary measure of firm performance. The course also covers the relation between cash flow and accruals and the market pricing of accruals and the components of accruals. The study of accruals naturally leads to research on earnings management that focuses on how and why earnings are managed. Research on how earnings are managed focuses on managers' opportunistic manipulation of accounting accruals and/or via altering real activities while research on the managerial incentives to manage reported earnings focuses on (among other topics) the literature on meeting or beating earnings expectations and earnings thresholds. The course also covers the topic of voluntary disclosure. In particular, the incentives managers have to voluntarily disclose earnings and / or cash flow forecasts and the properties and stock price effects of such forecasts. Other voluntary disclosure literature studied includes the effect of voluntary disclosure on the cost of capital and the effect of the legal environment on firms' voluntary disclosure practices.

ACC 512. Advanced Topics in Accounting Research. 3 credits

This course covers advanced topics in accounting research including the role of accounting numbers in debt contracts and lending agreements, the role of accounting numbers in executive compensation contracts and corporate governance, the economic consequences of accounting regulation, the use of accounting-based measures of the cost of capital, and empirical tax research in accounting.

ACC 513. Contemporary Topics in Accounting Research. 3 credits

This course covers topics including value relevance, accounting-based valuation models, earnings quality, the impact of earnings and accrual quality on firm valuation, the impact of real activity management on firm performance, market efficiency with respect to accounting numbers, the economic consequences of fraudulent financial reporting, and the effects of accounting restatements.