ECON 20
Financial Accounting: Concepts, Methods, and Uses Winter 2023

Class Details

This course will provide an introduction to the concepts, principles and practices used in preparing financial statements for businesses–the balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows, and statement of owners’ equity. Building on this foundation, the course will move on to how these financial statements are used by managers to make decisions about capital expenditures and other key aspects of running a business. Additionally, the course will examine how analysts evaluate financial statements to assess the health of a firm, and to decide on whether to invest in a company or divest existing holdings. Emphasis will be on the practical skills needed to understand the relationship among accounting, finance, and economics. Spreadsheets will be used to perform “what-if” and other analysis based on the underlying financial statements listed above. This course also will link the theories of the firm presented in economics courses, with the real-world aspects of managing a business as an insider; as well as evaluating a business from the outside as an analyst. There will be a textbook, as well as case studies, and current events related to accounting as presented in periodicals such as the Wall Street Journal and information sources like CNBC. Given the nature and depth of the material, you should plan on committing about 20-24 hours per week to the course, including 8 hours a week of classroom time–likely two hours mid-morning, Monday through Thursday. Evaluation will be based on: Accounting Problems from the textbook and using spreadsheets Case Studies (2 or 3) Final Exam to unify the concepts
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 30
Expected: NA
Class#: 1111
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: Problems, Case Studies, and a Final Exam
Prerequisites: Econ 110
Enrollment Preferences: If the course is over-enrolled, preference will be based on time at Williams with preference for those with more advanced standing
Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses
STUX Winter Study Student Exploration

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