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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Accounting Analysis I: The Role of Accounting as an Information System

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera


This course is the first course in a five-course Financial Reporting Specialization that covers the collection, processing, and communication of accounting information (via financial reports) about economic entities to interested parties (i.e., managers and external stakeholders such as stockholders and creditors). To gain the most relevant knowledge from these courses, learners should have taken a basic accounting course prior to this Specialization (which can be done through Coursera courses, such as any accounting course from the Fundamentals of Accounting Specialization: This Specialization focuses on accounting concepts, principles and theory with an emphasis on problems that arise in applying these concepts for external reporting purposes. Specific emphasis is placed on measurement of assets, liabilities, equities and income, as well as disclosure of additional information that may assist users understand the financial reports.

After a brief introduction to the course, we will spend time understanding the overall financial accounting structure and standards as well as review the fundamental accounting process used to prepare the financial statements, which will establish a framework for the study of the concepts in the remaining courses in the Financial Reporting Specialization. In this course, we will begin our review of key information included in the Balance Sheet and Income Statement and their related financial disclosures. The Statement of Cash Flows will be introduced briefly with more discussion to follow in later courses of the Specialization. Also, we will provide a cursory review of key concepts involving time value of money as we will finish this course with focus on revenue recognition, including discussion of the new revenue standard. We will review the general approach for recognizing revenue, special issues affecting revenue recognition including long-term construction contracts. In addition, we will discuss and review common ratios used in profitability analysis.

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  • Course Orientation
    • You will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and our learning environment. The orientation will also help you obtain the technical skills required for the course.
  • Module 1: Financial Accounting Structure/Environment
    • We will learn the primary focus of financial accounting and learn about General Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and their key assumptions, as well as compare them to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
  • Module 2: Accounting Process
    • We will use the accounting equation to complete the processing cycle. We will also learn the basic types of month-end adjusting entries. More importantly, we will describe the basic financial statements and how they relate to one another.
  • Module 3: The Balance Sheet and Financial Disclosures
    • We will learn the nuances of the Balance Sheet as well as various forms of disclosures associated with financial statements, including the Auditors' Report and MD&A. We will also review several key liquidity and financing ratios. Lastly, we will learn what's included in the operating segment reporting.
  • Module 4: Income Statement, Comprehensive Income, and Statement of Cash Flows
    • We will learn the key components of the Income Statement (e.g., EPS) and its impact on shareholders’ equity. We will also distinguish income from continuing operations vs discontinued operations. We will learn the key components of the Comprehensive Income and Statement of Cash Flows.
  • Module 5: Time Value of Money (TVOM)
    • We will learn some of the key concepts and variables related to time value of money.
  • Module 6: Revenue Recognition Part I
    • We will learn the key issues involving revenue recognition, including the five key steps. Next, we will determine when to recognize revenue, including involvement of multiple performance obligations and special issues related to steps 4 and 5. Lastly, we will discuss the presentation and disclosure requirements of revenue.
  • Module 7: Revenue Recognition Part II
    • We will understand the two methods of revenue recognition for long-term contracts, and work also with losses on these kind of contracts. In the end, we will review the convergence and differences between USGAAP and IFRS.
  • Module 8: Course Wrap-Up & Case Study
    • If you would like to earn an Honors badge on your certificate for this course, you must complete a peer reviewed case study that will serve as a refresher of all of the concepts that you have learned over the past seven modules. The case study will involve analysis of a publicly held Fortune 500 company in which you will analyze the Annual Report or 10K Report.

Taught by

Gregory L. Davis, CPA, CMA, CFM, CCM


4.8 rating at Coursera based on 639 ratings

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