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COURSE NAME: "Financial Accounting"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2018

INSTRUCTOR: Flavio Notari
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 8:30-9:45 AM
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment MW 10 - 11 am

This course is an introduction to basic accounting methods and concepts; preparation of principal financial statements; application of accounting principles to the main asset, liability, and owners’ equity accounts.

The course focuses initially on how to record economic events in the accounting records (i.e., bookkeeping and accrual accounting) and how to prepare and interpret the primary financial statements that summarize a firm's economic transactions (i.e., the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flows).

In the process, you will develop an understanding of (i) basic accounting concepts and terms; (ii) the Financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, and the statement of cash flows) that firms use to describe their business; (iii) the approach used to construct the major elements of the Financial statements; and (iv) some ratios that capture key aspects of the firm’s performance.

This will begin to help you make sense of a company’s financial statements and start to use them to analyze a company’s performance.


The objective of this course is not to train you to become an accountant but rather to help you develop into an informed user of financial statements. While users of financial statements face a wide variety of decisions, they are often interested in understanding the implications of the information for the future cash flows and earnings potential of a firm. The course will focus on understanding the mapping between underlying economic events and financial statements, and on understanding how this mapping affects inferences about future profitability.

If you complete the course successfully you will be able to: (i) discuss the core concepts of financial accounting including how accountants analyze and record the effects of individual transactions; (ii) understand the fundamental components of financial reports, including assets, liabilities, owners’ equity, revenues, expenses and cash flows; (iii) interpret annual report information and analyze a company’s performance using this information; and (iv) use the language of business in a professional setting.

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Financial and Managerial Accounting (18th International edition)Jan R. Williams, Susan F. Haka, Mark S. Bettner, Joseph V. CarcelloMcGraw-Hill Education - EuropeISBN-13: 978-1259692406; ISBN-10: 125969240X  
Financial Accounting: An Introduction - with MyAccountingLab access card - 7th edition (Pack)Pauline Weetman Pearson EducationISBN: 9781292086781  

Mini - testDuring the semester students will have five surprise quizzes (15 minutes) delivered in class on material covered in class in order to test their knowledge and participation. Two of the lowest scores will be dropped. No makeup mini-tests will be given. A missed mini-test will be calculated as zero. 15
Mid-term written testThe Mid-Term Exam will take place half way through the course and it will concern all the topics covered up to that point. No makeup exams will be given. A missed exam will be calculated as zero. 35
Final written testThe Final Exam is comprehensive, thus it will test students on all the topics presented during the course. No makeup exams will be given. A missed exam will be calculated as zero. Exceptions are made if the student presents an official excuse for the absence from the Dean’s Office.45
 Rules for mini-tests and exams: no mobile phones or computers allowed. Calculators are strongly recommended for your personal use and they cannot be shared during the exam. 
Class ParticipationEach student will be asked to analyze and deepen a specific financial accounting topic and present it to the class.5

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.


Students are expected to come to class prepared for the day's material. It is highly recommended that Students attend all classes given that the material is comprehensive by nature. Attendance will be considered in your participation grade. 

You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed.

The University’s attendance policy is described in the catalogue.  Persistent absence or tardiness usually precludes satisfactory performance in the course, and jeopardizes that part of the grade that is based on class presentation and participation.  Students are expected to arrive to class on time; students are responsible for all material covered by the syllabus and/or discussed in class, whether or not they are actually present in class.

As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.



  • Introduction to financial accounting
  • Overview of the different financial accounting systems
  • Introduction to Financial Statements: Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Statement of Cash Flows
  • Accounting principles and procedures
  • The accounting process: from Double Entry Accounting System to the Financial Statement document
  • Analysis of the items:

(i)     Financial Assets
(ii)    Inventories
(iii)   Tangible Assets
(iv)   Intangible Assets
(v)    Liabilities
(vi)   Shareholders’ Equity
(vii)  Revenues and expenses

  • Financial Statement Analysis (main profitability indicators)