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Advanced Finance
Advanced Finance
Advanced Finance
Advanced Finance
Advanced Finance
Advanced Finance
Advanced Finance
Advanced Finance
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Advanced Finance

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  • 1. Advanced Finance Course Overview Introduction Advanced Finance delves more deeply into the financial concepts introduced to students in previous courses. In Advanced Finance, students explore such key topics as cash flow, the business life cycle and capital. They learn to recognize the legal forms of business organization and grasp the pros and cons of business ownership. Students continue to develop an understanding of profit, and distinguish this measure of business success from cost and revenue. Students learn about various financial analysis strategies while they evaluate financial documents. They learn the three most common methods by which businesses raise capital (stocks, bonds, and short-term financing). Students also have the chance to explore, in depth, four topics of high interest in today’s financial environment: globalization, employees, taxes, and ethics. Finally, students get a chance to discover the types of careers that exist in finance today. Course Objectives After taking this course, students will be able to: • Define finance and discuss its importance in business • Identify and describe all parts of the business life cycle • Distinguish between profit, revenue, and costs • Compare and contrast different forms of business ownership • Analyze the importance of cash flow within a business • Describe typical risks businesses face and evaluate risk mitigation techniques • Explain the concepts of financial analysis, financial analysis tools, and the relationships among financial measurements • Define capital and describe the various means by which companies raise capital, including stocks, bonds, and short-term funding • Explain the importance of globalization, employees, taxes, and ethics in business financial decisions • Describe various careers in finance Unit 1: Getting Started Getting Started is the first of six units within the AOF Advanced Finance course. The three lessons that comprise Unit 1 – Lesson 1, Course Introduction; Lesson 2, Financial Concepts; and Lesson 3, The Financial Environment– give students an overview of what they learn in this course and help them define finance and discuss its importance in business.
  • 2. While completing these lessons, students see how finance influences businesses and why businesses need to be concerned about finance. They also look at the progressive stages of business growth, legal forms of business organization, how the success or failure of a business is dependent on capital and how businesses raise it, and the unique circumstances that determine a business’s capital and financing needs. Together, the lessons and activities in this unit will likely require approximately ten class sessions to complete. Unit 1, Lesson 1: Course Introduction This introductory lesson exposes students to some of the key terms and areas of knowledge that they will be studying throughout this course. They also learn about the skills they will develop that are crucial in the field of Advanced Finance. Students develop a sense of the course objectives by looking at examples of culminating projects by students from past years. They probe their personal assumptions about the course by judging the accuracy of a variety of statements about Advanced Finance. Students also set up two tools that they will use throughout the course: a notebook and a general taxonomy of key terms in Advanced Finance. Two class periods are required for Lesson 1. Unit 1, Lesson 2: Financial Concepts This lesson introduces students to some fundamental business concepts. Students explore the business life cycle to learn the stages of business growth, development, and decline. Students also analyze the structure of a typical business and its financial needs, helping students understand what capital is, how it’s raised, and why businesses need it. Finally, students learn to recognize the legal forms of business organization and grasp the pros and cons of business ownership as a sole proprietor, a partnership, or a corporation. This lesson is expected to take five class periods. Unit 1, Lesson 3: The Financial Environment Lesson 3 provides students with a general introduction to business finance, helping them understand the overall effect of financial activities on business organizations. Students understand the importance of finance and financial functions, describe how financial concerns influence the way businesses operate, and begin to understand the importance and nature of cash flow within a business. This lesson is expected to take three class periods.
  • 3. Unit 2: Profit & Risk Profit & Risk is the second of six units within the AOF Advanced Finance course. The two lessons that comprise Unit 2 – Lesson 4, Profit; and Lesson 5, Risk and Risk Management– help students distinguish between profit and sales, and understand the role that profit plays in the risk-return tradeoff. While completing these lessons, students understand how businesses take profits, and how profits are affected by sales and costs. They estimate the importance of profit and look at how not-for-profit businesses operate. They also understand why businesses take risk, look at different types of risk, their return potential and opportunity costs, and look at techniques for risk management. Together, the lessons and activities in this unit will likely require approximately seven class sessions to complete. Unit 2, Lesson 4: Profit This lesson introduces students to the concept of profit and distinguishes this measure of business success from cost and revenue. Students also learn about profit margins and understand how to calculate them. Through this lesson, they recognize that profit is the main objective of any business and appreciate that profit encourages efficiency and risk-taking. Students then examine the difference between profit-making and nonprofit organizations. The lesson closes with an examination of different financing methods for nonprofit organizations. This lesson is expected to take four class periods. Unit 2, Lesson 5: Risk and Risk Management Lesson 5 introduces students to the risks businesses face and how those risks can be avoided or minimized. Students begin to understand the relationship between risk and return; learn operating procedures for mitigating risk; and study methods, such as insurance, for controlling or eliminating risk. This lesson is expected to take three class periods. Unit 3: Financial Analysis Strategies Financial Analysis Strategies is the third of six units within the AOF Advanced Finance course. The two lessons that comprise Unit 3 – Lesson 6, Financial Recordkeeping and Analysis; and Lesson 7, Financial Strategies – offer students an understanding of the
  • 4. need for financial recordkeeping and financial analysis — and the role each plays in a business’s success or failure. While completing these lessons, students look at how businesses keep financial records, some of the key accounting and financial analysis tools, the purpose of financial analysis, the relationships between financial measurements, and how to read an annual report. They also see how businesses grow and how financial planning product and services help, what happens when businesses fail, and the importance of globalization to business in today’s markets. Together, the lessons and activities in this unit will likely require approximately eight class sessions to complete. Unit 3, Lesson 6: Financial Record-Keeping and Analysis Lesson 6 helps students understand the need for financial record-keeping, financial analysis, and the role each plays in a business’ success or failure. They work in groups to understand the ways that businesses keep track of their financial results, including profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Students also see how financial analysis tools work and the relationships between financial measurements. This lesson is expected to take four class periods. Unit 3, Lesson 7: Financial Strategies Lesson 7 begins with an understanding of the importance of personal budgeting. Students explore budgeting as a means to measure and manage finances on both a personal and business level. Next, students investigate forecasting as a financial technique that can help a business grow. Students explain how forecasting helps businesses manage their finances, and understand prerequisites for the success of a business financial strategy. Finally, students analyze historical and survey data to make financial forecasts for the ECPak Company. This lesson is expected to take four class periods. Unit 4: Capital & Financial Markets Capital & Financial Markets is the fourth of six units within the AOF Advanced Finance course. The four lessons that comprise Unit 4 – Lesson 8, Business Financing Options; Lesson 9, Stocks; Lesson 10, Bonds; and Lesson 11, Financial Institutions – give students an understanding of what capital is, and describe the most common means by which companies raise capital, including stocks, bonds and short-term funding. While completing these lessons, students understand what stock is and why companies issue it, what an initial public offering (IPO) of stock is, why a company
  • 5. may organize it self as a publicly-traded or private firm, what affects the market value of stock and why a stock’s market value is important to a business. They examine bonds, see why a company issues debt, how, and what affects the market value of a bond. Finally, they look at how and why businesses use both short- and long-term funding, and where each comes from. Together, the lessons and activities in this unit will likely require approximately fifteen class sessions to complete. Unit 4, Lesson 8: Business Financing Options Lesson 8 provides students with an understanding of why businesses might need to raise capital and an overview of the numerous funding options available. Students describe different financing options, comparing when they are used and their relative costs. Finally, students explore strategies needed to grow a company’s finances, including short-term and long-term funding. This lesson is expected to take three class periods. Unit 4, Lesson 9: Stocks This lesson offers students general knowledge of corporate stock, what it represents, and how stock markets work. Students learn basic vocabulary of the stock market, identify what affects the market value of stocks, and discover why stock market value is important to businesses. They also define an initial public offering (IPO) and explain the advantages and disadvantages of taking a company public. Finally, students explore a variety of stock market scenarios that result from financial, economic, social, and company-related news or events. This lesson is expected to take five class periods. Unit 4, Lesson 10: Bonds This lesson provides students with general knowledge of corporate bonds; including how and why they are issued. Students compare bond issuance to that of stocks, discuss the reasons for and benefits of both public offering and private placement, and learn the vocabulary of bond markets and bond trading. This lesson is expected to take four class periods. Lesson 11: Financial Institutions In this lesson, students understand how businesses rely on financial institutions for assistance in monetary affairs. Students realize that similar to individuals and families, businesses have needs for borrowing, investing, making payments, and managing the risks associated with being a part of the financial sector.
  • 6. Students also investigate the services that are offered by various financial institutions and learn why they are important to the business world. This lesson is expected to take three class periods. Unit 5: Employees, Taxes, & Ethics Employees, Taxes, & Ethics is the fifth of six units within the AOF Advanced Finance course. The four lessons that comprise Unit 4 – Lesson 12, Globalization of Business; Lesson 13, Employees; Lesson 14, Taxes; and Lesson 15, Ethics – ask students to consider the importance of employees, taxes and ethics in business financial decisions. While completing these lessons, students examine how labor costs are calculated, what influences labor costs, and how company values are expressed in employee compensation packages. They also look at businesses contributions to our tax system and how businesses take taxes into account. Finally, they examine the ethical dilemmas faced by financial professionals and how businesses can avoid problems stemming from poor ethical choices. Together, the lessons and activities in this unit will likely require approximately fifteen class sessions to complete. Unit 5, Lesson 12: The Globalization of Business This lesson introduces students to the concept of globalization. Students begin with an analysis of how globalization affects the individual and then use that as the framework for thinking about how globalization affects businesses. Finally, students are asked to discuss the positive and negative aspects of globalization and its impact on society. This lesson is expected to take four class periods. Unit 5, Lesson 13: Employees This lesson introduces students to employee benefits, labor costs, and the ways employee wages and benefits impact an employer. Students discuss what influences labor costs, demonstrate how labor costs are calculated, and examine how company values are expressed in the compensation packages offered to employees. This lesson is expected to take four class periods. Unit 5, Lesson 14: Taxes This lesson provides students with an introduction to business taxes and how they influence business decisions. They learn what taxes businesses pay and how business taxes contribute to our tax system.
  • 7. Students also discover how businesses take taxes into account when planning financial and operational strategies. This lesson is expected to take three class periods. Unit 5, Lesson 15: Ethics This lesson introduces students to the importance of ethics in business. They explore principles of ethical business practice and examine the kinds of ethical challenges financial professionals face. Students study and discuss how businesses deal with ethical lapses when they occur, the consequences that can accrue when businesses engage in unethical practices, and how businesses can prevent unethical practices from occurring. This lesson is expected to take four class periods. Unit 6: Careers in Finance Careers in Finance is the sixth and final unit within the AOF Advanced Finance course. The three lessons that comprise Unit 6 – Lesson 16, Working in the Industry; Lesson 17, Learning from Industry Experts; and Lesson 18, Project Presentation and Class Closure – help students identify careers related to accounting and finance, and help them share and understand the role that finance plays in business and society. While completing these lessons, students learn about the kinds of qualifications employers look for from entry-level professionals and the training and educational requirements for various careers. They’re introduced to paths that lead to employment, complete course projects, and recap what they’ve learned in preparation for continuing their success. Together, the lessons and activities in this unit will likely require approximately eighteen class sessions to complete. Unit 6, Lesson 16: Working in the Industry Lesson 16 introduces students to the types of employment available to job seekers looking for a position with a company in this industry. It also describes the kinds of work that experienced job seekers look for, including consulting and entrepreneurial roles. In addition, the lesson encourages students to consider their own goals and qualifications in the context of these positions. This lesson is expected to take two class periods.
  • 8. Unit 6, Lesson 17: Learning from Industry Experts In this lesson students learn about the various pathways to a career in finance. They learn about the qualities of an effective resume, hear about life in finance from a guest speaker in the industry, and learn how to write a cover letter. In addition, students create a company profile, the course's major project. This project gives them the opportunity to practice researching and writing as professionals do. Students learn many tools that will prepare them for the adult world of work. This lesson is expected to take 11 class periods. Unit 6, Lesson 18: Project Presentation and Class Closure Lesson 18 gives students an opportunity to consider what they’ve learned during the course. Most of the lesson provides time for students to present their company profiles. After a brief discussion, students reflect in small groups about their class experience —about what they learned; what they produced; and how their ideas about finance may have changed during the semester. Then, as a capstone to their company profile, they write brief reflective pieces describing their thoughts. This lesson is expected to take five class periods.

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