15.511 | Summer 2004 | Graduate

Financial Accounting


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 4 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Recitations: 1 session / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Materials

Text: Stickney, Clyde P., and Roman L. Weil. Financial Accounting: An Introduction to Concepts, Methods, and Uses. 10th ed. Thomson South-Western, 2003. ISBN: 0324183518.

Course Objective

The objective of the course is to introduce the language of business and to train you in the analysis of financial statements. Accounting attempts to measure and report corporate performance. Users demand the performance measure in a variety of decisions they make. For example,

  1. Managers use accounting information in making investment decisions;
  2. Investors use accounting information in valuing stocks;
  3. Bankers rely on accounting information in deciding whether to lend money to a business and in assessing the risk of the loan; and
  4. Accounting information is crucial in evaluating the performance of employees at various levels in an organization.

In making all of these decisions, an interdisciplinary understanding of the entire business is necessary. Toward this end, the course also introduces concepts from finance and economics (e.g., cash flow discounting, risk, valuation, and criteria for choosing among alternative investments) throughout the course, which will enable students to place accounting in the context of a business.

Teaching Instructor Sessions

The Teaching Instructors are important members of the teaching team and are committed to helping the class reach the course objectives. They hold the accounting recitation sessions and are available during office hours for one-on-one help. They grade the written assignments and exams.


A student’s grade will be based on the following weights:

Written Problem Sets in Study Groups 25%
Mid-term Exam 30%
Final Exam 45%


See the last column of the calendar for important details of each day’s plan. Problem sets must be submitted before the start of the class of the due date. Problem set can be done individually or in study groups. The “Do” problems will help you prepare for class. They do not have to be submitted.

Course Info

As Taught In
Summer 2004
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Problem Sets
Exams with Solutions