ACC 519 – Applied Financial Management
One of my focuses this semester for my blog posts will be to write about a first semester course in the MAC program. I chose to write about ACC 519 – Applied Financial Management, taught by Bonnie Hancock.
What is ACC 519 – Applied Financial Management?
ACC 519 is designed to teach MAC students how to use accounting and other financial information when making business decisions. In the course, we will evaluate financial statements in great detail and examine the sources, assumptions and estimates that are factors in a company’s financial statements.
The emphasis on the course is to understand the principles behind GAAP and its applications to different company needs. For example, sometimes GAAP records information that a decision maker may want to ignore because it is irrelevant to the decision, and by knowing the principles we will be able to examine financial statements using only the relevant information to our decisions.
Like all MAC program courses, ACC 519 has real world applications to the CPA exam. The course will help prepare MAC students for the exam by:
- Examining business strategy issues, a component for the Business Environment and Concepts section
- Researching financial accounting standards and discussing their applications, a component used in many of the research simulations
- Reviewing a vast array of financial accounting topics, information that is used throughout all four parts of the exam.
What’s currently going on in class?
For the first half of the course, we are focusing on different kinds of business analysis. We have covered strategy analysis, are currently in accounting analysis, and will soon examine financial analysis and forecasting before our mid-term exam.
Strategy analysis is concerned with information such as how a company makes money, what determines their profits, and what risks are involved with their strategy.
We used Porter’s Five Forces to strengthen our analysis and we performed a comprehensive strategy analysis of the soft drink industry in class. In addition, we discussed how a company’s strategy is based on the combination of the range of their business functions (competitive scope) and if they chose to compete on price or differentiation (competitive advantage).
Currently, we are examining accounting analysis in class. Using this analysis, we are looking to see how a company’s accounting policies affect their financial statements. Additionally, we are examining the process of altering financial statements to improve the information used for specific business decisions. For example, analysts may want to take out non-recurring items, such as the financial effects of an acquisition, when comparing similar companies to make the financial information more representative of future business operations.
Look out for my future posts, as I will keep you updated on the class, go into more detail about the class assignments used to enhance our learning and I’ll talk about the group work utilized in this course.
If you have any questions about this course, please leave them in the comments.