Financial Accounting for Decision Makers, 2e

by DeFond

| ISBN: 978-1-61853-314-2 | Copyright 2020

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Welcome to Financial Accounting for Decision Makers 2e by Mark DeFond.

It is difficult to imagine being successful in today’s business world without having a solid understanding of how to read and understand financial accounting reports. The overarching objective of this text is to prepare students for careers in business by providing them with a solid foundation in financial accounting and reporting.
This book makes extensive use of real-world companies to help students understand how to use accounting information.

Target Audience

This book is an ideal text for use in the first financial accounting course at both the undergraduate and the graduate level. With a strong emphasis on the interpretation of real-world financial statements, the book teaches students how to read, analyze, and interpret financial accounting data to make informed business decisions without using the traditional debit/credit paradigm. The book is filled with examples that use financial reports from actual companies, an approach that students find engaging.

Transaction Analysis Template

A major innovation in this text is that, unlike traditional introductory financial accounting textbooks, we do not focus on debits and credits. Because our objective is to help students understand how to read and interpret financial statements, we do not emphasize financial statement preparation, which requires knowledge of the system of debits and credits. While we describe debits and credits in an Appendix, the book does not require students to learn the system of debits and credits. Dropping the emphasis on debits and credits frees up time for instructors to focus on teaching students to understand how to interpret and analyze financial reports.

In place of debits and credits, we use a “Transaction Analysis Template” to illustrate how transactions and events affect the financial statements. The Transaction Analysis Template is a “shorthand” way to communicate how transactions and events affect financial statements.

Appendix C

For faculty who want students to be conversant in the mechanics of accounting, debits and credits are discussed in Appendix C, The Language of Accountants: Debits and Credits.

Real Companies' Financial Statements

A feature that really brings accounting alive for students is seeing the accounting practices and reports of companies with which they are familiar. To this end, each chapter incorporates examples using real companies that students know. For example, we discuss accounting issues related to GoogleAppleMicrosoftAmazonTargetKrispy KremeMGM Resorts, and many others.

Real Data and Examples

Each chapter includes an assignment called Extending Your Knowledge that requires students to use year-end financial statements of Columbia Sportswear and Under Armour.

Accounting in Practice

Boxed inserts are included throughout the text to help bridge the gap between the classroom and what students encounter in the real world. Accounting In Practice illustrations document situations a reader is likely to encounter and present the choices that companies make in reporting financial results.


Forensic Accounting

These boxed inserts help students understand how financial accounting knowledge can be used to aid in the prevention and detection of accounting errors and fraud.


Corporate Social Responsibility

Increasingly, companies have found that “doing good” leads to a more successful, profitable enterprise. These boxed inserts help students understand how corporate social responsibility is being embraced by forward-thinking enterprises as part of their long-term business models.


Organized for Student Success

To help students succeed in the course, we include many features that provide direction to students and require them to recall and apply the financial accounting techniques and concepts described in each chapter.

Putting Each Chapter in Context

Often students lose sight of the big picture. The Past/Present/Future feature provides students with an overview of where the chapter fits within the whole course.


Mapping Each Chapter

Each chapter begins with a Road Map highlighting the chapter's learning objectives and corresponding eLecture videos, Guided Example videos, and assignments. The Chapter Organization provides an overview that visually depicts the layout of the chapter.



Review boxes are integrated throughout each chapter as a means of reinforcing the material just presented. Solutions are provided at the end of the chapter so students can check their work. Each Review has a corresponding Guided Example video created by the author, walking through how to solve the problem for students.



These in-chapter summaries ensure that students grasp key concepts before proceeding to the next topic.



In today's post-Sarbanes-Oxley world, ethical decision-making has never been more pertinent to business and students studying accounting. We discuss ethics where appropriate in the text, and we have included at least one assignment in each chapter that raises an ethical issue. Assignments involving ethics are identified by the icon in the margin.


International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

IFRS Alerts

Most public companies outside of the U.S. use International Financial Reporting Standards in preparing their financial reports, including many companies that list on U.S. stock exchanges. Thus, it is important to provide students with a basic understanding of the similarities and differences in the current reporting requirements and methods under U.S. GAAP and IFRS. Consequently, we incorporate discussions that examine these similarities and differences where appropriate throughout the book in IFRS Alert! boxes. 

Thinking Globally

In addition to IFRS Alert! boxes, these Thinking Globally inserts emphasize the similarities and differences between the United States and other countries that are not necessarily related to reporting standards. 


Technology in Accounting

Added discussion of Technology in Accounting covering Data Analytics and Blockchain Technology in Chapter 1.

Updated Standards

Updated for Revenue Recognition standard

Updated for Leases standard

Updated for lower of cost or net realizable value

Streamlined coverage of COSO

myBusinessCourse: A web-based learning and assessment program intended to complement your textbook and classroom instruction. This easy-to-use course management system grades homework automatically and provides students with eLecture and Guided Example videos to assist them in mastering the material.  In addition, detailed diagnostic tools assess class and individual performance. myBusinessCourse is ideal for online courses or traditional face-to-face courses for which you want to offer students more resources to succeed. MBC integrates with Canvas, BlackBoard, D2L, Sakai, and other LMS platforms.

Solutions Manual: Created by the author, the Solutions Manual contains complete solutions to all the assignment material in the text.

Test Bank/Computerized Test Bank: The test bank includes multiple-choice items, matching questions, short-essay questions, and problems.  The computerized version of the test bank enables an instructor to add and edit questions; create up to 99 versions of each test; attach graphic files to questions; import and export AsCii files; and select questions based on type or learning objective.  It provides password protection for saved tests and question databases and is able to run on a network.

PowerPoint: Created by the author, the PowerPoint slides outline key elements of each chapter.

Mark DeFond

Leventhal School of Accounting Marshall School of Business University of Southern California

Mark DeFond is A. N. Mosich Chair in Accounting and Professor of Accounting in the Leventhal School of Accounting at University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. He has taught financial accounting to a variety of audiences, including undergraduates, MBAs, and Executive MBAs. Professor DeFond earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington and his B.A. from San Franicsco State University. He is widely published and his research is highly cited. Professor DeFond has served on the editorial boards of several leading academic journals and is a recipient of several research awards, including the Notable Contribution to Auditing Literature Award and the Mellon Award for Excellence in Mentoring Faculty. He has held visiting professorships at universities in Hong Kong and Singapore. He is also a CPA (inactive), a four time winner of the MBA Golden Apple teaching award, and was ranked among the ten most outstanding USC MBA faculty by BusinessWeek.