Undergraduate Course Descriptions

ACCT101 - ACCT & FINANCIAL REPORT (Course Syllabus)

This course is an introduction to the basic concepts and standards underlying financial accounting systems. Several important concepts will be studied in detail, including: revenue recognition, inventory, long-lived assets, present value, and long term liabilities. The course emphasizes the construction of the basic financial accounting statements - the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement - as well as their interpretation.


The first part of the course presents alternative methods of preparing managerial accounting information, and the remainder of the course examines how these methods are used by companies. Managerial accounting is a company's internal language, and is used for decision-making, production management, product design and pricing and for motivating and evaluating employees. Unless you understand managerial accounting, you cannot have a thorough understanding of a company's internal operations. What you learn in this course will help you understand the operations of your future employer (and enable you to be more successful at your job), and help you understand other companies you encounter in your role as competitor, consultant, or investor.


This course builds on the knowledge you obtained in your introductory financial accounting course. This is an intermediate level course on financial reporting which covers more complicated transactions than those found in ACCT 101. We will cover major valuation and financial reporting topics on all three major sections of the balance sheet-assets, liabilities, and equity-along with their consequences for net income and cash flows. Case studies and illustrative examples from the financial press will be used to increase your familiarity with actual firms' financial statements and to emphasize the effect of financial accounting rules on the information presented in financial statements. After completing this course, you will have obtained many of the tools necessary to both prepare and analyze financial statements and accounting information provided by firms. You will acquire an understanding of both the "how" of accounting procedures and the underlying reasons "why" these practices are adopted. These skills are essential for pursuing a broad range of professions in accounting and finance.

Prerequisites: ACCT 101

ACCT242 - ACCT & BUSINESS ANALYSIS (Course Syllabus)

In the course, students learn how to analyze firms' financial statements and disclosures to determine how a firm's particular accounting choices reflect the underlying economics of the firm. As a result, the course strengthens students' ability to use financial statements as part of an overall assessment of the firm's strategy and valuation. The course is especially useful for anyone interested in working on the buy or sell side. The course provides both a framework for and the tools necessary to analyze financial statements. At the conceptual level, it emphasizes that preparers and users of financial statements have different objectives and incentives. At the same time, the course is applied and stresses the use of actual financial statements. For example, students learn how to detect when firms are managing earnings and/or balance sheets. It draws heavily on real business problems and uses cases to illustrate the application of the techniques and tools.

Prerequisites: ACCT 101

ACCT243 - ACCT FOR COMPLX FIN STRU (Course Syllabus)

The objective of this course is to discuss and understand the accounting that underlies merger, acquisition, and investment activities among firms that result in complex financial structures. Key topics include the purchase accounting method for acquisitions, the equity method for investments, the preparation and interpretation of consolidated financial statements, tax implications of mergers and acquisitions, earnings-per-share considerations, the accounting implications of intercompany transactions and non-domestic investments, etc.

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: ACCT 101, 102, 201, 202


Recent trends in Big Data and predictive analytics are revolutionizing the way stakeholders analyze financial data. This course teaches students the hands-on skill necessary to manipulate large-scale financial databases and build predictive models useful for strategic and investment decisions. The course will cover four applications of Big Data and predictive analytics: (1) extracting insight about past and future firm performance, (ii) forecasting future earnings, (iii) predicting accounting fraud, and (iv) detecting insider trading. The course will draw on cutting-edge academic research in each area; introduce students to the basic SQL coding skills necessary to manipulate Big Data and conduct meaningful analyses; and leverage the datasets and computing power of Wharton Research Data Services.

Prerequisites: ACCT 101, STAT 101, STAT 102

ACCT297 - TAXES AND BUS STRATEGY (Course Syllabus)

The objective of this course is to develop a framework for understanding how taxes affect business decisions. The key themes of the framework - all parties, all taxes and all costs - are applied to decision contexts such as investments, compensation, organizational form, and mergers and acquisitions. The ultimate goal is to provide a new approach to thinking about taxes that will be valuable even as laws and governments change.

Prerequisites: ACCT 101 and FNCE 101


Intensive reading and study with some research under the direction of a faculty member. Approval from one of the departmental advisers must be obtained before registration.

Prerequisites: Senior standing and 3.4 average in major related subjects