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Accounting Principles I

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The Saylor Foundation


Saylor Foundation, Unknown

Economics & Finance



Purpose of Course Though accounting may seem like a dense and complex subject, this course is designed to present the accounting cycle in an accessible and logical manner. This course will provide you with a solid understanding of basic accounting principles and will introduce you to financial statement analysis. Please note that this course is the first of two courses on the principles of accounting and that each of these two courses is divided into 10 units. Each unit should take approximately three hours to complete and should be completed sequentially for the most logical progression of information. As you work through these units, you will encounter a range of examples and problem sets geared towards providing you with practical applications of the lessons you learn. By the end of this course, you will able to create accurate and appropriate financial statements to convey a company’s financial health. This course begins with an introduction to financial accounting and the various ways in which financial statements allow companies to make intelligent economic decisions. All companies, large and small, prepare financial statements in accordance with specific accounting rules that investors use to determine which stocks are attractive to buy. Accounting principles and financial statements are equally important for companies that do not have public stock available for investors to buy. You will learn all about these statements, the accounting rules that govern them, and the governing bodies that are responsible for accounting oversight. Later in the course, you will be immersed in the details of accounts receivables, inventory, and liabilities. Understanding the link among these components is vital to drawing accurate conclusions about financial statements and making reliable recommendations for improving profitability. This course concludes with two units focused on the analyses of financial statements, which will also introduce several mathematical ratios. The accurate use of these ratios is vital to drawing intelligent conclusions about a company’s operation practices and profitability. Even billionaire stock investor Warren Buffet uses financial-statement analysis to determine his next $100 million stock purchase. The goal of this course is to provide you with a solid foundation of accounting principles so that you can apply this knowledge to real-world accounting examples and be able to comfortably decipher a company’s financial statements and viability.