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University of Minnesota

Carlson School of Management

Spring 2015 ACCT 2050 - Introduction to Financial Accounting
Professor Yu Gao
CSOM 3-283
Tel: 612-624-1075
Section 003: Tuesday, Thursday: 11:50 am-01:30 pm, CSOM L-110
Section 004: Tuesday, Thursday: 01:45 pm-03:25 pm, CSOM L-110
Section 006: Tuesday, Thursday: 03:45 pm-05:25 pm, CSOM L-110
Office Hour:
Friday: 2:35 pm 3:35 pm, CSOM 3-283 or by appointments
The course provides an introduction to the financial accounting and reporting process from the perspective of
external decision makers. The course focuses on fundamental accounting concepts and principles.
Students will learn how the economic transactions of an enterprise are reported in the financial statements
and related disclosures. The goals of the course are to provide students with a basic set of skills that can
be used to compile and analyze financial statements and to prepare students for more advanced financial
statement analysis courses.
Text Book


Financial Accounting 8th edition; Robert Libby, Patricia Libby and

Robert Short; McGraw-Hill Irwin; 2014.
Connect Access Code

I do not recommend old editions of this book, but you make the final decision.
You are required to purchase the Connect Access Code since some exercises and homework will be assigned, turned
in and graded on Connect. You can also find more exercises there. The UMN book store sells the book and the code
as a package at a good price.
A video that help with the Connect registration:
Please register at the following website:
After you log in, you can do more accounting exercises provided by this website. Solutions and grading will also be
given by the website.
This course includes 2 midterm exams, 1 final exam, 3 quizzes, 13 homework assignments, and 1 Excel project.
Class sessions will consist of lectures, class exercises and a review of selected questions, exercises and problems.
PowerPoint slides for all lectures will be available on Moodle. You are supposed to download them and/or print
them out before class. The course outline, including dates for all exams and required assignments is included in the
Course Calendar.

There are two midterm exams and one final exam. Each midterm exam is worth 130 points, and the average of the
two midterm exams will be counted towards your final grade. The final exam is worth 170 points. While the
midterm exams are not intended to be cumulative, the final exam is cumulative. A common make-up exam will be
given to those students who have excused absences. Excused absences are defined by CSOM and UMN policy.
Contact me as soon as you know that you have a conflict.
Examination policy: You must take the examinations on the date scheduled. If you are unable to take an
examination at the scheduled time for a valid reason, you should let me know before the examination, and we will
try to work out a satisfactory solution. If you miss an examination without getting in touch with me before the
examination, and without an acceptable reason, you will receive a score of zero for the examination. Please note
that the fact that you might benefit from an additional day or two of study is not a valid exam excuse. Personal
convenience is not a valid exam excuse.
Three quizzes will be given. Each quiz is worth 20 points. The higher two scores of the three quizzes will be counted
towards your final grade. There will be no make-up quizzes under any circumstances.
Homework assignments
Homework is a key part of this course and critical to your success. Accounting requires a lot of practice. The
homework problems are selected to ensure that you get to practice working problems that will solidify
the concepts you learn in the lectures. There will be 13 homework assignments (1 assignment for each
chapter) on Connect. The homework assignments will be graded based on completion rather than
accuracy since doing homework is also part of the learning process. Connect will provide the solution
to each question after your finish the assignment. You can earn 1 point for each assignment youve
attempted as long as you finish the work before the final exam. To obtain the maximum benefits, you
are encouraged to do the homework right after the lecture.
Connect will provide your homework report to me, so there is no need to print and turn in a hardcopy of your
Besides, the course calendar lists additional review questions and exercises. We will cover some of them in class and
you can complete the rest by yourself after class.

Excel project
The project is designed to practice basic Excel techniques and to understand the process of preparing financial
reports. You can form a team of no more than 6 people or do the project all by yourself. Each team turns in one
hard copy of your solutions. The due date is listed in the calendar. The total score of the excel project is 30 points.
Midterms I, II (average of two exams)
Final Exam (1)
Quizzes (higher two of three quizzes)
Homework assignments
Excel Project


The final letter grade is based on the total score and the instructors evaluation of a students overall
performance in this course. To do well in this course, you are expected to spend at least 12 hours a week in
this course.
Grading policy: Grades are an integral part of the educational process. They are one form of feedback concerning
academic performance. The Carlson School is resolute that the differences in course achievement are reflected in the
differences in course grades. Grades are based on a combination of exams, terms papers, class participation, case
analyses, and other assignments. In all cases, it is the instructor who determines grading criteria. For ACCT 2050,
the target median grade is 3.0+/-0.2 (or about a B).
Regrading policy: If the students ask for regarding of exams, quizzes, projects and other assignment, I will regrade
the entire rather than part of the work.

Help with your questions

Instructor Office Hour: Friday: 2:35 pm 3:35 pm, CSOM 3-283 or by appointments
Tutors Room: CSOM 2-225,
Tutor: Samantha Ide (
Tutors Schedule:
Monday/Wednesday: 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Tuesday/Thursday: 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Use of calculators during exams and quizzes
Students are allowed to use simple calculators during the exams and quizzes. We must restrict the use of
computational devices to basic math functions. Only allowed are basic four-function calculators that do not have
programmable or communications capabilities.
Not allowed are computational devices that can store text (i.e., all portable computers, including PDAs such as the
Palm Pilot). All devices that are programmable are prohibited. If you are in doubt about the acceptability of your
computational device, check with me.
No Background in Accounting is Assumed or Necessary
This course begins with the basic attributes of the accounting system. We will assume that each of you begin the
term with no knowledge of accounting (even though some of you may have had a course or worked with an
accounting system.) The course is organized around the text. It is necessary to read the text, follow the lectures and
do the homework.
Attendance Policy
While attendance is not taken during class, you are expected to attend each class session. Students who fail to attend
class regularly rarely do well in this class.
Services for Students with Disabilities
Any student with a disability covered by the University's Services for Students with Disabilities (University
Gateway, 200 Oak Street, Suite 180, 612-626-1333) should contact that office during the first week and arrange any
instructional accommodations that may be necessary. I must be notified of any such arrangements during the first
week of class. We must be informed early that you need special accommodations. If you fail to inform us, we can't
Disability Access Statement

This publication/material is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact the instructor. Disability
Services provides document conversion services, free of charge to the University community.

Sexual Harassment Statement

University policy prohibits sexual harassment as defined in the University Senate policy statement of April 16, 1998
and subsequently approved by the Board of Regents, December 11, 1998; copies of this statement are available in
419 Morrill Hall. Complaints about sexual harassment should be reported to the University Office of Equal
Opportunity, 419 Morrill Hall.
Grade of Incomplete, "I"
Consistent with the Carlson School policy, the grade of I is limited to those cases where a student is both (1)
passing and (2) prohibited from completing the course due to circumstances beyond his or her control. The grade of
I is not intended as a safe harbor for students who are not passing or who wish a little more time to work on the
course. Nor is the grade intended as an escape from tuition charges in the event a student wishes to withdraw from
the course. Such students will be assigned the grade of F. Also note that University regulations require that
grades of incomplete be made up within one semester. Finally, if you become ill during the semester, you should
consider withdrawing from the class. Illnesses are valid reasons for the grade of "I" only if you are too ill to
complete the course. If you become ill during the course to the extent that you cannot keep up with the work,
contact your advisor and consider withdrawing from the course.
Withdrawal from Class
Consistent with Carlson School policy, you may withdraw from this course by specified dates. See the Spring
Semester Class Schedule for details.
If you do poorly on the first exam, consider withdrawing from the class. The course material is cumulative. If you
have fallen behind, our experience has been that few students are successful in catching up. In the event that your
midterm is not up to your goals, it may be prudent to withdraw from the course and start over the following
Academic Misconduct Statement
The following paragraph is the official Carlson School Statement on Academic Misconduct. Read it carefully and
be sure that you understand it. If you have questions, ask your instructor. You will be asked to sign your exams as
evidence that you have read and understand this statement
The Carlson School defines academic misconduct as any act by a student that misrepresents the student's own
academic work or that compromises the academic work of another. Academic misconduct includes but is not limited
to: cheating on assignments or examinations, plagiarizing, misrepresenting as one's own work any work by another,
submitting the same paper or substantially similar papers to meet the requirements of more than one course without
the approval and consent of the instructors, or sabotaging another's work. Within this general definition, however,
instructors determine what constitutes academic misconduct in the courses they teach. Students found guilty of
academic misconduct face penalties ranging from a grade reduction to suspension from the University.
I understand this statement to mean that (1) you must not misrepresent someone else's work as your own, (2) you
must not interfere with another student's academic efforts and (3) you must not aid another student in committing
either of these two acts.
The standard response to a violation of this statement is that I will assign such students the course grade of "F".
Student Mental Health and Stress Management
As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships,
increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These

mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's
ability to participate in daily activities. University of Minnesota services are available to assist you with addressing
these and other concerns you may be experiencing. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental
health services available on campus via

Tue 20 Jan


Textbook Chapter
Course Introduction & Ch1: Financial Statements and Business Decisions

Review, Exer

Thu 22 Jan

Ch 1: Financial Statements and Business Decisions

Tue 27 Jan

Ch 2: Investing and Financing Decisions and the Balance Sheet

Thu 29 Jan

Ch 2: Investing and Financing Decisions and the Balance Sheet

Tue 3 Feb

Ch 3: Operating Decisions and the Income Statement

Thu 5 Feb

Ch 3: Operating Decisions and the Income Statement

Tue 10 Feb

Ch 4: Adjustments, Financial Statements, and the Quality of Earnings

Thu 12 Feb

Ch 4: Adjustments, Financial Statements, and the Quality of Earnings

A comprehensive


Tue 17 Feb
Thu 19 Feb

Ch 5: Communicating and Interpreting Accounting Information

Ch 5: Communicating and Interpreting Accounting Information

A comprehensive
Review of Chap


Tue 24 Feb

Exam I (Chapters 1 5)

Exam I (Chapte


Thu 26 Feb

Ch 6: Reporting and Interpreting Sales Revenue, Receivables, and Cash


Tue 3 Mar

Ch 6: Reporting and Interpreting Sales Revenue, Receivables, and Cash


Thu 5 Mar

Ch 7: Reporting and Interpreting Cost of Goods Sold and Inventory


Tue 10 Mar

Ch 7: Reporting and Interpreting Cost of Goods Sold and Inventory


Thu 12 Mar

Ch 8: Reporting and Interpreting Property, Plant, and Equipment; Natural Resources; and Intangibles

Mon 17 Mar & Wed 19 Mar

Spring Break


Tue 24 Mar

Ch 8: Reporting and Interpreting Property, Plant, and Equipment; Natural Resources; and Intangibles


Thu 26 Mar

Ch 9: Reporting and Interpreting Liabilities


Tue 31 Mar

Ch 9: Reporting and Interpreting Liabilities


Thu 2 Apr

Ch 10: Reporting and Interpreting Bonds


Tue 7 Apr

Ch 10: Reporting and Interpreting Bonds

Review of Chap


Thu 9 Apr

Exam II (Chapters 6 10)

Exam II (Chapte


Tue 14 Apr

Ch 11: Reporting and Interpreting Owners Equity


Thu 16 Apr

Ch 11: Reporting and Interpreting Owners Equity


Tue 21 Apr

Ch 12: Statement of Cash Flows


Thu 23 Apr

Ch 12: Statement of Cash Flows

Quiz 3


Tue 28 Apr

Comprehensive Exercises

Comprehensive E


Thu 30 Apr

Off Due to Academic Conference

Off Due to Acad


Tue 5 May

Ch 13: Analyzing Financial Statements


Thu 7 May

Final Review (Chapter 1-13)

Quiz 1

Quiz 2

Appendix E

Excel Project D