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University of California, Irvine

What is Financial Accounting?

University of California, Irvine via Coursera


Students are introduced to the field of financial accounting through defining the foundational activities, tools, and users of financial accounting. Students learn to use the accounting equation and are introduced to the four major financial statements. Additional topics include ethical considerations, recording business transactions, and the application of credit/debit rules.


  • Introduction to Financial Accounting
    • Welcome to the first module of the course! We will start our introduction to the field of financial accounting by discussing practical applications of accounting information. Additionally we will identify who uses accounting information, address ethical considerations relevant to accounting, and define the three main forms of business ownership.
  • The Accounting Equation & Financial Statements
    • In this module we are introduced to the accounting equation and the four basic financial statements. We will start by breaking down the components of the accounting equation: assets, liabilities, and equity. We will then take a look at three out of the four basic financial statements: the income statement, the retained earnings statement, and the balance sheet. In this module's activity we will introduce you to the sum function in Excel, which will be used in the remaining activities for this course.
  • The Accounting Cycle & Analyzing Transactions
    • In this module we introduce the first step in the accounting cycle: “Analyze Transactions”. By the end of this module you will be able to analyze and record service business transactions within the fundamental accounting equation. First, we will walk through examples of recording business transitions in the video lesson. Then you will complete an activity to practice recording transactions on your own.
  • Analyzing Transactions using the Debit & Credit Rules
    • In this module we will analyze and record service business transactions using the debit and credit rules. We will also cover the function of T accounts within the accounting cycle and how to calculate the balances of each account at the end of an accounting period. In this module's activity you will have the opportunity to practice recording transactions in T accounts on your own in Excel.

Taught by

Andrea Eliassen


4.7 rating at Coursera based on 415 ratings

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