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ACC 540 Contemporary Financial Accounting Topics

Turn a critical eye toward specific accounting standards.

8 weeks

Financial and accounting managers must have both a big-picture and a detailed perspective on accounting topics. In this role, you’ll need to see beyond the reporting criteria to understand how what’s being reported must adhere to two specific U.S. accounting standards, GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) and IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards).

Course Overview

In ACC 540 Contemporary Financial Accounting, you’ll focus on four accounting topics and how they both U.S. GAAP and IFRS standards.

  1. Cash flow statement
  2. Accounting for business combinations
  3. Accounting for goodwill
  4. Accounting for bond issuances

Both U.S. GAAP and IFRS require the statement of cash flows. You’ll come to understand the how and why of cash flow reporting and the ways in which the cash flow statement can be potentially misleading. You will also examine the accounting and financial reporting concerns related to mergers, consolidations, and acquisitions will be examined. You’ll discuss accounting for business combinations and, where applicable, the resulting need for consolidated financial statements. As you compare and contrast U.S. GAAP and IFRS, you’ll gain an understanding of the history of accounting for business combinations.

What metrics should you use to provide possible evidence of financial reporting fraud?

In ACC 514/ERP 514, you’ll gain mastery of SAP R/3 GUI software.

The treatment of goodwill has been the subject of considerable controversy over a period of many years. You’ll explore the accounting and financial reporting issues pertaining to this intangible asset, including both the “impairment model” and the “amortization model.” Accounting for bond issuances involves bonds issued at face (par) value, at a discount and at a premium. You’ll learn the intricacies of this complex topic, including what it means for a company to “amortize” its bond premium or bond discount.

At the end of the course, you’ll put what you’ve learned into practice and complete an in-depth assessment of a publicly traded company of your choosing. This real-world approach allows you to build and present a detailed case for the expansion of a product line within your selected company.

Sample Assignment

You’ll prepare a new product finance report for the board finance committee, providing recommendations on how much debt and stock is needed to finance a new product introduction.

Course Topics

Throughout each week of the course, you will focus on a core topic or theme. Sample topics are listed below and are subject to change based on the instructor.

  • The Statement of Cash Flows: Its Design and Its Uses
  • The Statement of Cash Flows: Its Potential Abuses
  • Accounting for Business Combinations/Preparing Consolidated Financial Statements
  • Accounting for Business Combinations/Consolidated Financial Statements ¬– Further Thoughts
  • Accounting for Goodwill
  • Accounting for Goodwill – The Controversy
  • Accounting for Bond Issuances
  • A Real World Focus – Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc.

What You'll Learn

In ACC 540, you’ll closely examine several financial accounting topics to gain a better understanding of specific accounting practices.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of both U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as applied to select advanced accounting topics.
  • Be able to critically analyze both U.S. GAAP and IFRS with respect to selected topics.
  • Assess the logical (and, where applicable, the deficient) components of both U.S. GAAP and IFRS.
  • Understand the financial reporting impact of related transactions.
  • Understand how accepted accounting principles are sometimes used as a vehicle for financial statement misstatement and/or earnings management.

Learn More

In ACC 540, you’ll delve into the complexities of everyday accounting topics. For more information about this course or other courses in The University of Scranton’s online Master of Accountancy degree request more information or call us today toll-free at (866) 373-9547.

The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change as course and student needs change over time.