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.


Strategic Cost Analysis is the process of analyzing and managing costs in orderto improve the strategic position of the business. This goal can be accomplished by having a thorough understanding of which activities and costs support an organization's strategic position and which activities and costs either weaken it or have no impact. Subsequent cost management efforts can then focus on reducing or limiting expenditures on activities that add little or no strategic value, while increasing expenditures on activities that support the strategic position of the organization. Performance can then be evaluated to ensure that the chosen actions are taken, and that these actions are yielding improved strategic performance. Throughout the course, a strategic cost analysis and management framework will be applied across functions and organizations to highlight the cost analysis and performance evaluation methods available to forecast financial performance and improve strategic position.

ACCT212 - FIN MEASUREMENT & DISCLO (Course Syllabus)

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. If ACCT 242 is not offered in a given year, Undergraduate students can take ACCT 742. Please contact the Department for a permit.

Prerequisites: ACCT 101

ACCT243 - ACCT FOR COMPLX FIN STRU (Course Syllabus)

Since ACCT 243 will not be cross listed with ACCT 743 in the Fall 2021 semester, students interested in ACCT 243 will need to be permitted into ACCT 743. All prerequisites need to be completed in order to receive a permit. Please email acct-staff@wharton.upenn. Undergraduate students will be notified in August regarding a permit. Also this class will follow the MBA calendar. 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: ACCT 101 AND (ACCT 212 OR ACCT 242)

ACCT270 - FORENSIC ANALYTICS (Course Syllabus)

Recent trends in Big Data and predictive analytics are revolutionizing the way stakeholders analyze financial data. This course teaches students the hands-on skills necessary to manipulate large-scale financial databases and build predictive models useful for strategic and investment decisions. The course will cover three applications of predictive analytics: (i) forecasting future earnings, (ii) predicting accounting fraud, and (iii) 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. The course is organized as a hybrid of a traditional seminar course and a computer science course. The first few classes of each unit will cover the conceptual material and source material related to each topic. The later classes in each unit will cover the technical material and programming skills needed to manipulate the respective datasets, estimate predication models, and backtest algorithms.

Prerequisites: ACCT 101 AND 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. If ACCT 297 is not cross listed with ACCT 897, Undergraduate students interested in ACCT 297 will need to be permitted into ACCT 897. All prerequisites need to be completed in order to receive a permit. Please email acct-staff@wharton.upenn.edu. Also this class will follow the MBA calendar.

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. Also a 3.4 average in major related subjects required.