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Discussion Group

This course aims to develop students’ understanding of the relation between accounting numbers and underlying economic activity, and to develop students’ ability to use accounting numbers in several decision contexts including corporate performance evaluation, financial reporting strategy, and valuation.  Accordingly, the course will focus on several factors essential to this goal. These include (1) understanding the process that generates accounting numbers and its implications for the quality of those numbers for decision purposes, (2) understanding the business environment a firm operates in and the firm’s financial, accounting and operating strategies, (3) tools for assessing a firm’s performance including ratio and cash flow analysis, and (4) using accounting numbers to forecast future earnings and cash flows and to estimate firm value. This course is intended for students with little or no practical work experience in security valuation.  However, the course does presume an understanding of basic corporate finance theory and financial accounting.  This course should be of value to students who expect to be in senior positions within corporations and will determine financial reporting policies, as well as those in investment banking, venture capital, investment management, consulting or public accounting.

MODE OF INSTRUCTION: Lecture and Case Discussion

GRADE DISTRIBUTION: Class Participation (30%), a Group Project and Paper (30%), and web-based exercises (40%).


APPROPRIATENESS: Non-GSB students need permission of instructor

CAPACITY: Limited to 66 students