The School of Business & Technology
Graduate Course Syllabus
Greenville Metropolitan Campus
BUSN 5200-54 Basic Finance for Managers
Term Fall 1, 2008; Monday, August 18, 2008; 5:45pm – 10:00pm
Instructor Name: Dr. Michael R. White
Phone: (864) 370-1800 ext. 8109 (work)
Email: (864) 322.1367 (home)
Catalog Description Managers and human resources management professionals must be able to
understand financial information contained in financial statements and
reports. Line managers must be able understand financial information
contained in financial statements and reports in order to evaluate their unit's
financial performance, to communicate clearly with other managers, and to
apply financial information when making decisions. Human resources
management professionals must understand financial statements and
principles if they are to effectively assist line managers and be strategic
partners with other business functions. This course will focus on the
interpretation and use of basic financial information by non-financial
managers, not on the production of financial statements and reports. (FINC
5000 cannot be substituted for BUSN 5200)
Course Level At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:
Learning Outcomes 1. Identify and interpret internal and external financial reports and
2. Discuss how using financial statements and reports can improve
strategic planning and decision making, and thus improve
3. Use time value of money and explain how the concept is used for
4. Identify important accounting rules and principles (GAAP, FASB,
depreciation, cash vs. accrual) and discuss how they impact
corporate financial decisions and policies.
5. Construct pro forma financial statements and report their use in
managerial decision making.
6. Explain the concept of cash flow and discuss its impact on
organizational performance and decision making.
7. Report the concepts and processes used to develop budgets and
discuss their influence on managerial decision making.
8. Discuss ethical considerations relating to finance and financial
Materials Techniques of Financial Analysis: A Guide to Value Creation; Helfert;
11th edition; Richard D Irwin, Inc.; ISBN 0072826320
The following grade scale is in effect for Webster University, Greenville
Metropolitan Campus, SC:
I Incomplete (to be awarded when work is not complete and changed
at the completion of the required assignments by a specified date
agreed upon between the instructor and the student)
COURSE REQUIREMENTS % 0F GRADE
A. Group Discussion and class Participation 10%
B. Individual Presentations/Term Project 30%
C. Midterm Exam 30%
D. Final Exam 30%
Activities The class will be divided into groups of 3 or 4, and a case study will be
assigned to each group. Groups will solve the case, and each member of the
group will present his/her findings to the class during the 8th week.
Policy Statements: University policies are provided in the current course catalog and course
University Policies schedules. They are also available on the university website. This class is
governed by the university’s published policies. The following policies are
of particular interest:
The university is committed to high standards of academic honesty.
Students will be held responsible for violations of these standards.
Please refer to the university’s academic honesty policies for a
definition of academic dishonesty and potential disciplinary actions
associated with it.
Drops and Withdrawals
Please be aware that, should you choose to drop or withdraw from
this course, the date on which you notify the university of your
decision will determine the amount of tuition refund you receive.
Please refer to the university policies on drops and withdrawals
(published elsewhere) to find out what the deadlines are for dropping
a course with a full refund and for withdrawing from a course with a
If you have registered as a student with a documented disability and
are entitled to classroom or testing accommodations, please inform
the instructor at the beginning of the course of the accommodations
you will require in this class so that these can be provided.
Since every student is entitled to full participation in class without
interruption, disruption of class by inconsiderate behavior is not
acceptable. Students are expected to treat the instructor and other
students with dignity and respect, especially in cases where a
diversity of opinion arises. Students who engage in disruptive
behavior are subject to disciplinary action, including removal from
The University reserves the right to drop students who do not attend
class the first week of the term/semester. Students are expected to
attend all class sessions of every course. In the case of unavoidable
absence, the student must contact the instructor. The student is
subject to appropriate academic penalty for incomplete or
unacceptable makeup work or for excessive or unexcused absences.
Generally, a student who misses more than one four-hour course
period (per course) without a documented military or medical excuse
and advanced permission from the instructor should withdraw from
If a student is absent, the instructor is to assign makeup work to
cover the materials presented that week.
If a student has two absences, the instructor has the option to lower
the student’s grade one letter grade and to inform the student of the
If a student has three absences, the instructor has the option to assign
a grade of F and to inform the student of the action. It is the student’
responsibility to withdraw from the course.
When the instructor chooses to award a grade of I (Incomplete) for
three or four absences, the student must provide acceptable
documentation to verify that the absences were unavoidable (e.g.-
illness, work conflict, military temporary duty).
If a student is absent for a fifth class, with or without acceptable
documentation, the instructor is to inform the student that his or her
grade for the course is F. It is the student’s responsibility to
withdraw from the course.
(Handbook for the Adjunct Faculty, Webster University, October 1995)
Course Policies Use of Cell Phones:
All cellular phones are to be turned off before class begins. Students are to
leave the classroom for the purpose of either answering or initiating calls at
any time while class is in session. In the event of an emergency, please
have the party who needs to contact you call the main number at which
point the Webster staff will notify you immediately. In the event you are
“on call” at your place of employment, your employer should be given the
same instructions. Please notify your instructor you are “on call” before
class begins and be prepared to provide documentation to that effect.
Weekly Schedule WEEK 1 - Review Chapters 1-2
The interrelationship of cash flow and management
decisions and business activity; Overview of financial
statements commonly prepared; Overview of various
objectives of analysis and data preparation in the
context of financial analysis. Use of funds flow cycle
and the implications for management decisions;
Analyzing balance sheet changes to develop cash flow
WEEK 2 - Review Chapters 3-4
Use of financial statements as a basis for appraising
business performance; Uses of ratios to determine
business performance for different interest groups;
Shortcomings in measuring business performance
through financial statements.
Principles of financial projection using pro forma
statements and budgets; calculating the impact of
alternative assumptions using sensitivity analysis and
WEEK 3 - Review Chapters 5-6
Using a simplified financial growth model to illustrate
policy and growth rationale when setting financial
objectives and policies.
Introduction to the basic effect of business investment
decisions on cash flow (time value of money) paying
attention to critical aspects of net investment, time
adjustments, economic life and terminal value before
applying quantitative techniques to investment
WEEK 4 - MID-TERM EXAM
WEEK 5 - Review Chapters 7-8
Structuring of investment analysis in the context of
capital budgeting and defined strategic corporate
objectives and goals
Recognizing the cost of various forms of financing as
an input in making financial decisions. Using the
weighted cost of capital as a tool in financial analysis.
WEEK 6 - Review Chapters 9-10
General overview of the different types of long-term
funding and some of the techniques used to analyze
them; Non-quantitative factors into consideration
when viewing financing alternatives The impact of
financing alternatives on earnings and capital structures
Provide an overview of basic techniques and concepts
used to value assets, securities and business operations.
WEEK 7 - Review Chapter 11
Using the systems approach the financial analysis tools
are put into perspective in the larger setting of a value-
creating company looking at the evolution of selected
financial measures toward the cash flow-based
WEEK 8 - Presentations
WEEK 9 - FINAL EXAM
Additional TERM PAPER: Each student will select a business related topic and write
Information a 2,500-3,500 word term paper in an acceptable format. For those students
unfamiliar with the proper method of constructing a term paper, it is
recommended that they review the Publication Manual of the American
Psychological Association. As such, your paper will be typewritten,
double-spaced and include a cover sheet, abstract, running head, page
number, introduction, body, conclusion and a reference list. Papers will be