by Hanlon, Magee, Pfeiffer, Dyckman
| ISBN: 978-1-61853- 311-1 | Copyright 2020
We wrote this book to equip students with the accounting techniques and insights necessary to succeed in today’s business environment. It reflects our combined experience in teaching financial accounting to college students at all levels. For anyone who pursues a career in business, the ability to read, analyze, and interpret published financial reports is an essential skill. Financial Accounting is written for future business leaders who want to understand how financial statements are prepared and how the informa-tion in published financial reports is used by investors, creditors, financial analysts, and managers. Our goal is to provide the most engaging, relevant, and accessible textbook available.
Financial Accounting is intended for use in the first financial accounting course at either the under-graduate or graduate level; one that balances the preparation of financial statements with their analysis and interpretation. This book accommodates mini-courses lasting only a few days as well as extended courses lasting a full semester.Financial Accounting is real-world oriented and focuses on the most salient aspects of accounting. It teaches students how to read, analyze, and interpret Financial accounting data to make informed business decisions. To that end, it consistently incorporates real company data, both in the body of each chapter and throughout the assignment material.
Real Data Incorporated Throughout
Today’s business students must be skilled in using real financial statements to make business decisions. We feel strongly that the more exposure students get to real financial statements, the more comfortable they become with the variety in financial statements that exists across companies and industries. Through their exposure to various financial statements, students will learn that, while financial statements do not all look the same, they can readily understand and interpret them to make business decisions. Furthermore, today’s students must have the skills to go beyond basic financial statements to interpret and apply nonfinancial disclosures, such as footnotes and supplementary reports. We expose students to the analysis and interpretation of real company data and nonfinancial disclosures through the use of focus companies in each chapter, the generous incorporation of footnotes, financial analysis discussions in nearly every chapter, and an abundance of assignments that draw on real company data and disclosures.
Focus Companies for Each Chapter
Each chapter's content is explained through the accounting and reporting activities of real companies. Each chapter incorporates a “focus company“ for special emphasis and demonstration. The enhanced instructional value of focus companies comes from the way they engage students in real analysis and interpretation. Focus companies were selected based on student appeal and the diversity of industries.
Footnotes and Management Disclosures
We incorporate footnote and other management disclosures, where appropriate, throughout the book. We explain the significance of the footnote and then demonstrate how to use the disclosed information to make managerial inferences and decisions. A representative sample follows.
Financial Analysis Discussions
Each chapter includes a financial analysis discussion that introduces key ratios and applies them to the financial statements of the chapter's focus company. By weaving some analysis into each chapter, we try to instill in students a deeper appreciation for the significance of the accounting methods being discussed. One such analysis discussion follows.
Assignments that Draw on Real Data
It is essential for students to be able to apply what they have learned to real financial statements. Therefore, we have included an abundance of assignments in each chapter that draw on recent, real data and disclosures. These assignments are readily identified by an icon in the margin that usually includes the company's ticker symbol and the exchange on which the company's stock trades. A representative example follows.
As instructors of introductory financial accounting, we recognize that the first financial accounting course serves the general business students as well as potential accounting majors. Financial Accounting embraces this reality. This book balances financial reporting, analysis, interpretation, and decision making with the more standard aspects of accounting such as journal entries, T-accounts, and the preparation of financial statements.
3-Step Process: Analyze, Journalize, Post
One technique we use throughout the book to maintain a balanced approach is the incorporation of a 3-step process to analyze and record transactions. Step 1 analyzes the impact of various transactions on the financial statements using the financial statement effects template. Step 2 records the transaction using journal entries, and Step 3 requires students to post the journal entries to T-accounts.
The template captures each transaction’s effects on the four financial statements: the balance sheet, income statement, statement of stockholders’ equity, and statement of cash flows. For the balance sheet, we differentiate between cash and noncash assets to identify the cash effects of transactions. Likewise, equity is separated into the contributed and earned capital components (the latter includes retained earnings as its major element). Finally, income statement effects are separated into revenues, expenses, and net income (the updating of retained earnings is denoted with an arrow line running from net income to earned capital). This template provides a convenient means to represent financial accounting transactions and events in a simple, concise manner for assessing their effects on financial statements.
INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL REPORTING STANDARDS (IFRS)
The convergence of U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is in process. Our introductory students should be prepared for this eventuality 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 Global Perspective boxes, as illustrated here:
We also include exercises and problems throughout the text, where appropriate, to stimulate a discussion of international reporting differences. Our approach is conceptual-we purposefully avoid the detailed mechanics that are more appropriate for an intermediate level accounting course at either the undergraduate or graduate level. We feel strongly that our IFRS coverage exposes students to the similarities and differences without overwhelming them.
Students appreciate and become more engaged when they can see the real world relevance of what they are learning in the classoom. We have included a generous number of current, real world examples throughout each chapter in Business Insight boxes. The following is a representative example:
Decision Making Orientation
One primary goal of a financial accounting course is to teach students the skills needed to apply their accounting knowledge to solving real business problems. With that goal in mind, You Make the Call boxes in each chapter encourage students to apply the material presented to solving actual business scenarios.
Mid-Chapter and Chapter-End Reviews
Financial accounting can be challenging - especially for students lacking business experience or previous exposure to business courses. To reinforce concepts presented in each chapter and to ensure student comprehension, we include mid-chapter and chapter-end reviews that require students to recall and apply the financial accounting techniques and concepts described in each chapter.
Research Insights for Business Students
Academic research plays an important role in the way business is conducted, accounting is performed, and students are taught. It is important for students to recognize how modern research and modern business practice interact. Therefore, we periodically incorporate relevant research to help students understand the important relation between research and modern business.
FLEXIBILITY FOR COURSES OF VARYING LENGTHS
Many instructors have approached us to ask about suggested chapter coverage based on courses of varying length. To that end, we provide the following table of possible course designs:
|Chapter||15 Week |
|10 Week |
|6 Week |
|1 Week |
|1||Week 1||Week 1||Week 1||Day 1|
|2||Week 2 & 3||Week 2||Week 1 & 2|
|3||Week 3 & 4||Week 3 & 4||Week 2 & 3||Day 2|
|4||Week 5 & 6||Week 4 & 5||Optional||Optional|
|5||Week 6 & 7||Optional||Optional||Optional|
|6||Week 7 & 8||Week 6||Week 3||Day 3|
|7||Week 9||Week 7||Week 4||Day 4|
|8||Week 10||Week 8||Week 5||Day 4|
|9||Week 11 & 12||Week 9||Week 6||Day 5|
|10||Week 12 & 13||Week 10||Week 6 (optional)||Skim|