Please contact NYU IT (, 212-998-3333) or NYU Stern IT (, 212-998-0180) for all ZOOM/email/NYU Brightspace/Admin/CapitalIQ issues. Please do not copy/contact me regarding such issues. If NYU/Stern support cannot help you, please contact Student Affairs/Dean's office. All emails are sent to the email address in the NYU Brightspace roster. NYU Brightspace lists email for some of you and email for others. This mess is beyond my control. Please contact NYU/Stern support to learn how to read/forward/check spam for and accounts. Students do not realize that they are logged in as a Stern student and think they are checking their NYU email when they are still checking NYU Stern's email. Please use a new browser to ensure that you check NYU's email. Do not write to Almaris or me if you are not getting Almaris emails sent to the NYU email address because this issue is between NYU and you.


This course will explain financial accounting from a new angle so that you have some of the background necessary for intermediate courses in financial reporting, analysis, and modeling. The course presents a framework for analysis and provides spreadsheets to implement the framework.


Help and Office



Attendance and penalty for missing classes

Requiring attendance is necessary for several reasons. First, many of you misjudge how much you miss out on learning when you miss classes. It is difficult to catch up once you miss a class. Watching a video (if available) is inadequate as it is cognitively far inferior to paying attention in a classroom. Second, less than 25% of the students who miss a class watch the video (if available). As a result, they are lost in subsequent classes, which provides wrong signals to me as an instructor. Third, there is diminished classroom interaction and poorer quality of class discussion if you are absent. Fourth, you do not get enough feedback if you do not work through the questions I pose in class. Fifth, I lose the feedback on how much you are learning with fewer questions in class.

The policy below will be in effect only after the add/drop period.

Without mandatory attendance, as much as half the class can be absent. Therefore, though I dislike doing this, I penalize absences. I understand that there are valid reasons for absences. If you anticipate being absent for good reasons, please email me well in advance. You can enter "Excused" on the attendance sheet described below to avoid the penalty if I approve. If you miss a class due to emergencies and cannot tell me in advance, do not panic. Take care of the emergency first and then email me. I will permit you to change the "absent" to "excused." But, if you miss a class without a valid reason, there is a penalty, as shown below.

For sections meeting in 150-190 minute sessions, you would lose one grade (A to A-, A- to B+, B+ to B, B to B-, and so on) for EVERY missed session unless you were explicitly excused via email. Thus, if you miss two class sessions, you would lose two grades, and so on.

For sections meeting in 75-80 minute sessions, you would lose one grade (A to A-, A- to B+, B+ to B, B to B-, and so on) for EVERY TWO missed sessions unless you were explicitly excused via email. Thus, if you miss four class sessions, you would lose two grades, and so on.

Please sit in the same seat in every class and display your name tags. After entering the class, please mark yourself present in the first 20 minutes in the OneDrive sheet (link posted on OneDrive after the add/drop period is over.) You will be marked absent if you are more than 20 minutes late unless it is because of factors beyond your control (traffic, subway, interviews running late). You will also be marked absent if you leave the class early unless you have my permission or get it afterward. You will get an F in the course if you are caught cheating on the attendance sheet.

Exams and Grading


There will be five class sessions of three hours each. The last session will be the final exam.

Class Topic
  • Accounting terms, transactions, and systems
  • The logic of the double-entry bookkeeping systems
  • How the separation of duties is used to reduce fraud
  • Performance measures: Cash flows versus income flows
    • Accrued revenues or receivables
    • Deferred revenues or advances
    • Accrued expenses or payables
    • Deferred expenses or prepayments
  • Design of incentive systems
  • The core set of business transactions and how they affect the following statements:
    • Balance sheets
    • Income statements
    • Indirect cash flow statements
    • Direct cash flow statements
  • Costs versus expenses versus payments
  • Period costs versus inventoriable costs versus separately capitalized costs
  • Inventories: Raw materials, work in process, and finished goods
  • Cost flow assumptions: LIFO versus FIFO
  • Property, plant, and equipment: Gross PP&E, Accumulated depreciation, and Net PP&E
  • Which costs are capitalized
  • Useful life versus economic life versus physical life; Salvage values; Depreciation patterns
  • How depreciation of manufacturing equipment is inventoried
  • Gains and losses on the sale of PP&E
  • PP&E impairments