Department of Accounting
Syllabus for Accounting 301
Financial Statement Analysis
Summer Quarter, 2008
Course Number Acct. 301.01
Course Title: Financial Accounting Analysis
Quarter: Summer, 2008
Professor Dr. Robert Holtfreter (Dr. H)
Office: Shaw/Smyser 313
Class Meeting: MW: 5:30 – 7:50 p.m. in Shaw 115.
Office Hour: MTW: 1:45-2:00 p.m. & 3:50 – 5:00 p.m.
Office Phone: 963-2144 (use voice mail for messages)
Home Phone: 509-965-0369 (Yakima)
Office E-mail Address: Holtfret@cwu.edu
Home E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Address: http://www.cwu.edu/~Holtfret
The class is structured through the use of lectures and student learning teams.
Description of Course:
Accounting 301 is an overview of the underlying concepts, preparation and use of
financial statements from the point of view of the user. This course is not open to
students who have previously taken an accounting course, and it is open to business
administration majors only by permission of the instructor.
This course focuses on how the results of organizational operations are reflected in
the financial statements and on how financial information is used in the decision-
making process. Students learn basic accounting concepts and terminology, as well
as how financial information is recorded and how financial statements are prepared.
By the end of the course, the student should:
1. Know the terminology and concepts that provide the foundation for
understanding accounting and business. Specifically, students should be able to:
• Provide definitions for key terms
• Distinguish between the major types of business concerns and describe
how and why they use accounting in their daily activities.
• Distinguish between debt and equity financing and describe the rights of
creditors and shareholders.
2. Understand how accounting collects, classifies and communicates information
about business operations to creditors and owners. Specifically:
• Interpret the effects of various business transactions on the financial
position of the organization.
• Describe the concept of internal controls and give examples.
3. Know how various decision-makers (e.g., creditors and owners) use the financial
reports to make decisions. Specifically:
• Explain the primary purposes of and difference between the four basic
financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, statement of
cash flows, and statement of changes in owners’ equity).
• Use the footnotes to the financial statements to find supporting
• Calculate and interpret key financial ratios using the data in the balance
sheet and income statement.
4. Appreciate the importance of trust, ethics, and the legal/regulatory
environment in accounting and business processes. Specifically:
• Explain the importance of having ethical directors and managers.
• Explain the importance of having ethical accountants and auditors.
5. Recognize that current and emerging business practices will influence the
evolution of accounting practices in the future, and explain why decision-makers
request financial information beyond historical cost-based accounting
6. Know how to use computer technologies to assist in the preparation and analysis
of financial statements. Specifically, students should be able to:
• Use Excel and/or Word to complete assignments, including preparation of
worksheets and the calculation of ratios.
• Use the internet to find and interpret financial information about
Required Text and Materials:
Survey of Accounting, 4th Edition, by Carl S. Warren
Student Responsibilities and Requirements:
Although course attendance is not required, I fully expect students to attend class
and take part in activities. There is a very high correlation between class
attendance and grades. You are expected to have most of your homework done
when you come to class. You should read the chapter material assigned each day
enough times so that you can do most of your homework without looking back at the
examples in the chapter. You also are highly encouraged to ask questions in class,
attend help labs (if available) and come to the office for help.
Chapter assignments will be announced in class on a daily basis and will posted to my
web site on a weekly basis. At the start of class each day, each student's homework
will be evaluated for degree of completion. If most of the homework is completed
an (X) will be recorded; if about one-half of the homework is completed a (Y) will be
recorded; if very little or none of the homework is completed a (-) will be recorded.
This is a system to identify students who are experiencing difficulty completing the
homework. One advantage is that you will be able to correct your own errors in class
and be able to retain the homework for immediate study.
Upgrading of teaching to enhance student learning:
It is common knowledge that college graduates will work on teams or in groups when
employed in the workplace. To help develop some of the skills necessary to work on
teams and to enhance performance, student-learning teams will be used in class. To
gain an appreciation of the positive outcomes of working in student-learning teams,
please go to my web site and read the articles that I have recently published.
Testing and grading policies:
Your grade will be determined with the use of chapter quizzes on every chapter,
three regular required exams, a financial analysis project, and a comprehensive
optional comprehensive exam. Quizzes will count 10 points each and the three
regular exams will count 100 points each. The financial analysis project will count 50
points. The three lowest quiz scores will be tossed out when determining your
grade. All quizzes must be taken during the class period (not before or after class)
i.e. they can’t be made up. One announced quiz will be given in each chapter. In
addition, unannounced quizzes may be given at any time. You may take an exam on a
day before it is given in class but not after. There are no make-up exams and if you
miss one exam the final comprehensive exam will be required and the score on this
exam will be used as the score for the exam you missed. The score on the
comprehensive optional exam will not replace another exam score i.e. no exams will
dropped. The comprehensive final exam will only count if it improves your overall
average and grade for the course. This average will be determined by taking the
total points you have earned in the course just prior to the optional final exam and
divide it by the total possible points that could have been earned.
Financial Analysis Project
• A financial analysis project will afford the opportunity for 50 additional
• Each student will select a public company from the list below and use the
internet to find that company’s financial statements and/or annual
• Questions which the student is to answer for his/her selected company
will be provided the first week of class.
• The project is due in two parts as per the tentative class schedule shown
below, but students are advised to prepare each section of the analysis
as we cover each chapter. Each part is worth 25 points.
Grades are based on the following preset standards; i.e. a curve will not be used.
A = 91 – 100 D- = 65
A- = 90 F = 0 - 64
B+ = 88 - 89
B = 83 - 87
B- = 80 - 82
C+ = 78 - 79
C = 73 - 77
C - = 70 - 72
D+ = 69
D = 66 - 68
Sequence of chapters and tests.
Test # 1 – chapters 1, 2, 3, 4.
Test # 2 – chapters 5,6,7,8.
Test # 3 – chapters 9, 11,12,13,14.
Class policies for taking tests/quizzes:
Memory calculators, electronic dictionaries, cell phones, palms or any other
electronic devises are not allowed to be used during the taking of an exam. Our
department has a policy that only Texas Instruments “Math Mate” or a similar non-
memory may be used. The only items allowable on the table are the test, non-
memory calculator, and pencil/pen. No hats or caps can be worn. To get credit for
an answer on a test or quiz, all relevant calculations must be provided. In other
words, if you show the correct answer by guessing but do not provide the relevant
calculations to support the answer, you will not get any credit or points. On the
other hand, if you provide all the relevant calculations to support your derived
answer but provide the wrong answer because of a math error, you will be given full
credit for the work. I grade the work, not the answer, where calculations are
required. Cheating of any sort, including the use of crib sheets, etc., will not be
allowed. The penalty for such behavior will be an "F" for the course. After the
quizzes and tests are scored, we will go over them in class. They will be collected
and kept in my office. A score of zero will be recorded for any quiz or test that is
not returned during the class session in which it was reviewed.
Other important information:
The homework assignments, the chapters assigned to tests, and the number of
exams is subject to change. The professor reserves the right to change the scores
on quizzes and tests as well as the grade for the course before or after the grades
are turned in if errors are found in scoring/grading.
The class begins on Monday, June 16.
Last day for change of schedule is Weds. June 18.
Last day for uncontested withdrawal is Friday July 11.
Last day for hardship withdrawal is Friday August 8.
Last day of classroom instruction is on Tuesday August 13.
The comprehensive optional final exam is given on Wednesday, August 13 during
the regular class time.
Students who have special needs or disabilities that may affect their ability to
access information or material presented in this course are encouraged to
contact me or the office of Disability Support Services at (509) 963-2171 for
additional disability-related educational accommodations.
University policies regarding academic dishonesty, sexual harassment,
plagiarism, and diversity will be strictly observed in this course. See
Appendices A and B in the 2005-2006 CWU Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog.
Financial Analysis Project
Company Name Business Statement Date
Nike, Inc. Manufacturer of athletic footware, Fiscal year ended
apparel, equipment and accessory products May 31, 2008
Home Depot, Inc. Retailer of home improvement products Fiscal year ended
January 29, 2008
Starbucks Manufacturer and retailer of high quality Fiscal year ended
Corporation coffees, teas, and associated products October 2, 2007
J.C. Penney Company, Retailer of family apparel, jewelry, shoes, Fiscal year ended
Inc. accessories and home furnishings January 28, 2008
The Walt Disney Diversified entertainment company with Fiscal year ended
Company operations in studio entertainment, parks October 1, 2007
and resorts, consumer products, and
Redhook Ale Independent brewer of craft beers Fiscal year ended
Brewery, December 31, 2007
Netgear, Inc. Designer, developer and marketer of Fiscal year ended
networking products for small businesses December 31, 2007
and home users
Abercrombie & Fitch Specialty retailer of high-quality, casual Fiscal year ended
Co. apparel for men, women and children January 28, 2008
Dr. Robert Holtfreter
I have carefully read the course syllabus and completely understand and agree with
all of its contents.