Financial Accounting and Reporting



Downing, Jeff, Assistant Professor, Department of Finance, National Research University Higher School of Economics (St. Petersburg)



45 contact hours



Course Description:

 The aim of the course is to provide students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills for reading and understanding financial statements of real companies. This course focuses on how economic events and transactions are communicated through the financial reporting process.

After completing this course, students should be able to understand the role of financial accounting in the system of the management of the economic entity; understand the conceptual framework of accounting and the purpose, structure, and content of financial reporting in the modern market economy; understand the essence of accounting terms; and have basic practical skills in financial reporting and interpreting accounting information.

Course Content (Topics and subtopics):

Topic 1: Financial Statements and Business Decisions
Topic 2: Investing, Financing, and Operating Decisions and the Accounting System
Topic 3: Adjustments, Financial Statements, and the Quality of Earnings
Topic 4: Reporting and Interpreting Sales Revenues, Receivables, and Cash
Topic 5: Reporting and Interpreting Cost of Goods Sold and Inventory
Topic 6: Reporting and Interpreting Property, Plant, and Equipment; Intangibles; and Natural Resources
Topic 7: Reporting and Interpreting Liabilities
Topic 8: Reporting and Interpreting Bonds
Topic 9: Reporting and Interpreting Owners’ Equity
Topic 10: Reporting and Interpreting Investments in Other Corporations
Topic 11: Statement of Cash Flows

Course Organization:

1) Lectures and seminars, case studies, tests, in-class discussions, individual projects etc.
2) Group restrictions: 2 students per group on take-home assignments; otherwise, not applicable

Course Reading (the full list):

Core reading:

  • Robert Libby, Patricia A. Libby, Daniel G. Short. Financial Accounting: 8th Global Edition. McGraw-Hill Education, 2014.

Supplementary reading:

  • (online textbook)
  • Certain documents from the IASB (e.g., the IASB’s Conceptual Framework)
  • handouts made available in the course of the class

Exam format:

In-class, closed-book, written exam
Duration: 90 minutes (2 academic hours)

Grading Policy (% or points):

Assessment of academic progress – 30%, exam – 70%
The assessment of academic progress consists of in-class tests and home assignments

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