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DM 863

DM 863 - Financial & Managerial Accounting

Whether working in the public or private sector, engineers are constrained by financial realities. Knowledge of accounting - how it works, its assumptions, and its usefulness - is an essential prerequisite to informed participation in business decision-making. The purpose of this course is therefore to provide a sound basic understanding of accounting - the "language of business" - and to develop skills in the interpretation and use of accounting information. The course will provide a thorough understanding of how accounting information is used in organizations. We briefly consider reporting to external parties (financial accounting), and consider in more depth the measurement of product and activity cost (cost accounting), and the use of cost information for decision-making, planning, budgeting, and the measurement of performance (management accounting).

Course Leader: Rick Robertson, Ivey Business School, Western

Course Objectives

The course is taught from the perspective of a user of accounting information, not a preparer. Our objective is to enable you to use accounting information intelligently, not to make you into accountants. When you have completed this course, you will be able to read, understand and intelligently evaluate the most important items of a firm's balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement. You will also be able to understand the meaning and usefulness of various measures of the cost of a product or service, and evaluate the consequences for costs, profits and cash flows of alternative engineering process choices.

Activities and Schedule

The course will be taught using the case method. This 3-step learning process requires participants in the course to first read and prepare individually a case prior to each class, second, to discuss their analysis in small learning teams, and then third, bring the results of their group's discussions to class for further discussion and analysis. In this highly effective learning method, the responsibility for learning rests primarily with the student, not the teacher. The instructor's role is that of facilitator and discussion leader. We will discuss three cases per day. During the day, just under an hour has been allocated for individual preparation of the second and third cases, and a further 30 minutes for learning team discussion. You will have to prepare the first case of the day in the evening before class. Evenings should also be used for a preview of all of the next day's cases, and the related reading. You will be very busy for these three evenings.

Module 1

This module covers the important fundamentals of financial reporting. Financial reporting is the activity by which management reports externally on its stewardship to the firm's shareholders. Financial statements are required by securities regulators (e.g., the Ontario Securities Commission) to be prepared within Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

  • Financial Reporting
  • Fundamental accounting concepts, an overview of the accounting cycle, preparation of financial statements
  • Interpretation of income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows, their usefulness and limitations
Day 1 - Introduction to Financial Reporting
  • the Income Statement and Balance Sheet
Day 2 - The Statement of Cash Flows
  • understanding financial reporting choices
Day 3 - Financial Statement Analysis
  • Introduction to Managerial Accounting
  • Cost behaviour
Day 4 - Cost Accounting Systems

Module 2

This module explores in more depth the internal use of cost information for product and service pricing, measuring performance, controlling activities, and decision-making. Since no external users are involved, management may prepare information as they see fit. The amount of information is determined only by management's evaluation of a cost-benefit tradeoff: does the value of the information justify the cost of collecting it?

Day 1 - Capital Budgeting under the Canadian Income Tax System
Day 2 - Product Costing
Day 3 - Cost of Activities, Cost Control Systems
Day 4 - Managerial Performance Measurement and Management Control Systems

Course Evaluation

  • 50% - Mid-term exam
  • 15% - Participation
  • 25% - Final exam
  • 20% - Report

Biography of Course Leader

Rick Robertson

Darroch (Rick) Robertson is an Associate Professor in the Management Accounting and Control area at the Richard Ivey School of Business with a teaching emphasis in taxation and financial accounting. He has taught in all of School’s degree programs and was the founding director of Financial Analysis for Non-financial Executives, a highly rated, five-day executive program. He was won several teaching awards at Ivey including being a three time winner of the David C. Burgoyne Award for outstanding commitment to student development. His research interests are currently in the area of corporate income taxes and the provision of pension benefits by corporations.

Dr. Robertson received his undergraduate degree, MBA and PhD from Ivey. He earned his CA in 1979 with the accounting firm that is now known as Ernst & Young and returned to work for them in 1991 as a senior tax manager. He has completed the CICA In-depth Tax Course. In 1997, he was elected a fellow (FCA) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. Rick has been the Chairperson of the Examinations Committee at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario (ICAO) and served as a member of the CICA Task Force on Corporate Income Tax. Rick served as Chair of the Audit Committee of Stackpole Limited, a TSX listed company, prior to its takeover and as Chair of the Audit Committee of Northcore Technologies Inc., a TSX listed company.

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University of Western Ontario
Queen's University