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ACC 527 Financial Statement Analysis and Research

Turn financial statement data into a decision-making tool.

8 weeks

From balance sheet to income statement, from asset valuation to free cash flow projection; financial reporting is performed to provide insights on every financially related activity of a company. More than just numbers on pages, these reports integrate to tell a story. They can serve as a warning, as validation and as a measure of risk. Their stories are what business decisions are based on. Without the ability to understand and properly analyze these financial statements, costly mistakes can be made.

Your Flex Fit

Where does this course fall in your Flex curriculum?
ACC 527 is one of seven advanced courses offered within this program’s Accounting specialization.

Course Overview

In ACC 527, you’ll learn to approach financial statements with an analytic eye as you see how they are used in conjunction with other information to inform a broad range of economic decisions.

  • Valuing stock for buy, hold, or sell
  • Granting credit
  • Corporate benchmarking
  • Management
  • Auditing
  • Regulatory
  • Merger and acquisition

As you hone your thinking into an integrated approach, you’ll understand the analytical framework of financial statement analysis and the tools used to assess profitability and risk. You’ll see how to determine the effects of business transactions on the statement of financial position and periodic income recognition, as well as basic income tax accounting.

Sample Assignment

You’ll undertake a Financial Statement Analysis Project that will require in-depth research of two significant competing corporations and will result in a detailed comparative report of your findings.

The relationship between a cash flow statement and accrual-based earnings will be explored as you learn how they provide explanatory and complementary information.

You’ll see the effect of financial leverage on profitability as you become more familiar with the process and tools for conducting profitability analysis. You’ll focus on rates of return measures and their disaggregation into components, and learn how to link these measures to an organization’s strategy.

As you approach risk analysis, you’ll learn the tools used for this task and gain insight into the many concepts vulnerable to risk.

  • Financial flexibility
  • Liquidity
  • Financial leverage
  • Solvency
  • Credit
  • Bankruptcy
  • Fraudulent financial reporting

Accounting quality issues will be discussed conceptually and analytically as you examine incentives for earnings management. You’ll address financial reporting of investments from the viewpoint of both corporate owners and creditors.

Your foray into revenue and expense recognition and income determination will serve to give you an understanding of accounting principles choices and estimation processes that can be used for income manipulation. You’ll also become familiar with the searchable databases of financial accounting standards.

Should all companies around the world prepare financial statements according to the same financial accounting standards?

Examine this and more in ACC 527.

Sample Course Topics

  • Overview of Financial Statement Analysis: GAAP Environment-FASB, IASB, Financial Statements
  • Financial Statements: Balance Sheet, Income Statement, and Cash Flow Statement
  • Profitability Analysis
  • Risk Analysis
  • The Quality of Information in Financial Statements
  • Financing and Investing Activities
  • Operating Activities
  • Financial Accounting Research

What You'll Learn

In ACC 527, you’ll see how financial statement information is leveraged and gain an appreciation for the importance of reporting tools.

  • Locate and analyze financial statement numbers and related disclosures in company annual reports.
  • Research economic and industry conditions that relate to corporate strategy and performance.
  • Assess the quality of reported accounting numbers and make thoughtful adjustments where justified.
  • Compute and interpret financial trends and ratios, common size statements, and other metrics useful for benchmarking corporate performance.
  • Understand stock valuation using the Residual Income Method.
  • Research accounting principles and standards using the FASB’s Codification and other databases and resources.

Learn More

The ability to analyze financial statements, annual reports, and SEC filings is a valuable skill for long-term planning and capital investment purposes. For more information about The University of Scranton’s online Master of Business Administration 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.