Master's (MBA and Specialized)
Advanced Financial Accounting
- 3 credits
- Prerequisite: MBA Core and permission of instructor
The primary objective of this course is to help you develop a fundamental understanding of some of the more important advanced financial accounting topics. To achieve this goal, we will consider theoretical, procedural, and practical issues in each topical area. As is the case with most accounting courses, we will primarily focus on the preparation of financial statements (translation: yes, you might need to know some journal entries). However, because financial accounting is a means of communicating information about an entity to present and potential investors and creditors, we also will consider the interpretation of consolidated and unconsolidated financial statements (translation: you’ll also be reading and analyzing real-world annual reports). As part of our emphasis on the latter perspective, students will evaluate the success of an actual M&A transaction by analyzing the pre- and post-transaction stock-price and performance data for the combining (or splitting) companies.
Specific areas of topical coverage include methods of accounting for mergers and acquisitions, including issues related to the scope and application of current purchase accounting guidance. We also will focus on critically important substance-over-form issues, including accounting for business combinations that are effected by contract (rather than by exchange of equity interest), qualified special purpose entities, and variable interest entities. We also will cover financial reporting requirements and implications of leveraged buyouts and recaps, intercorporate investments, goodwill impairment, spin-offs, and equity carve-outs. Because of its practical importance, we also will touch on foreign-currency translation and derivatives and hedging. The accounting rules in these areas have varied from unspecified to complex. This has resulted in rapid-paced changes in the accounting and reporting for these events and in companies (and their bankers) pushing the envelope of GAAP to achieve desired financial reporting objectives.
Grades will be based on two exams and a group project (all three equally waited) and, to a lesser extent, the quality of class participation and preparation.