Financial Accounting Course
Financial Accounting provides students with an understanding of the theory, concepts, principles, and practices underlying the preparation of financial statements. Students will also develop the ability to interpret financial statements. Since this course is intended to assist the student in professional preparation, students will be expected to develop their communication, analytical, problem-solving, and technical skills.
Let me introduce myself. So, my name is Joe Comprix. I’ve been at Syracuse since 2008. Before that, I was in the faculty at Arizona State. Before that, I was a PhD student at the University of Illinois. So I’ve spent quite a bit of time, you know, thinking about accounting. I think the very first class I taught at Illinois was in 1996. So I’ve been developing the materials that you’re going to use for quite a while, and hopefully, you’ll find them good and useful.
Before I did my PhD, I was actually an accounting manager. I worked for Mead Paper. I worked in the division where they make school and office products. So we made school notebooks, and we made envelopes and all that kind of stuff. So I have a really good idea of how a manufacturing process works. It was kind of a cool job because I got to see all facets of the business. I got to manage people. I got to work with accounts payable, payroll—they directly reported to me. I got to work with, you know, some of the cost accounting people. I got to work with people in purchasing. I got to work with people in marketing. So I got a really good feeling for how everything sort of fits together and how accounting impacts the organization. So that was a really good background to have, and it really has helped my teaching over time.
Now in terms of you and what you’re going to get out of this course, what I think is going to happen, there’s kind of two things that I hope you’ll get. One is I think you’ll get a much better understanding of sort of the terms that you’re going to use, what some of these things mean, how to calculate them. I know that you’re not actually—most of you going to be accountants, right? Probably very few of you are going to be accountants, but you need to understand these terms. You’re going to use them every day in your life. It’s very important that you understand it in terms of a technical sense, so that when you’re talking to somebody and you’re talking about net income, you’re talking about the same thing. So that’s a really important thing. We’re going to show you how things get calculated. There’s a lot of things you might have heard of. You might have heard of depreciation. You might have heard of LIFO and FIFO, right? Well, you need to know exactly what those mean so you can make meaningful decisions and have a good conversation with people when you’re doing stuff.
All right, so I think that’s one thing you’re going to take away is an understanding of how things are calculated and what stuff means. I also hope you’re going to take away an understanding of just the general financial statements, right? So, you look at an income statement. You look at a balance sheet. You got to know what to look for in there. There’s a lot of things to understand, a lot of classifications and organizations. So I want you to be able to read that stuff later. That doesn’t mean you have to do the technical accounting. I want it just to mean something to you. Now, as a more practical standpoint, you’re starting an MBA program. A lot of the stuff that we cover in this class are things that are going to carry on into other classes. In your finance classes, you’re going to talk about cash flows and operating cash flows. You’re going to talk about present values. These are all things that we talk about here. So if you get a really good foundation, it’s going to make those classes easier. And It’s not just finance and accounting. It’s things like marketing that you’re going to find this helpful. So this is stuff that you’re going to use every day in the rest of your life I think. I think it’s a really important thing. I’m really looking forward to working with you on this class. I will be there to help you. I think you’ll find it a rewarding and enjoyable journey, and I wish you the best of luck.
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
- Be able to understand and prepare the basic financial statements.
- Become comfortable with accounting terminology.
- Develop the ability to make reasonable estimates of firms’ financial health, including the ability to make comparisons across firms and across periods.
- Develop the ability to communicate to other professionals the implications of various financial reporting issues.
- Improve their awareness of current issues in accounting and finance.