The course is an introduction to Financial Accounting & Reporting designed for business students with the assumption that the knowledge of a single accounting system (the US, the UK or the French one) is not sufficient. The main purpose of this course is to deal with the measurement of value created (and value creation from the point of view of outside decision-makers) and the use of financial accounting information.
The approach is based on the following ideas:
- We adopt a user perspective, rather than a producer one, because most MBA students will become users of financial statements, internal (managers, executives) or external (investors, analysts…), rather than preparers of financial statements. Thus the same financial information a company uses to assess its performance internally is used by investors and analysts to determine how to assess a company in the marketplace.
- When faced with a complex problem, we begin examining the problem by a general overview of the possible solutions and what impact they will have on a company’s financial decisions. This requires an a-national or non-national approach--it is more useful to take time explaining the various possible solutions than studying the way a particular country handles the issue. In the first part of the course, all the developments are not based on a specific country but on a generic country. In the second part of the course, we mainly refer to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), though occasionally we will mention the US approach to the problem. Since over 100 countries have adopted IFRS, students should be able to understand financial statements produced in many countries.
- The comparative part of the course is based on a topic-based (issue) approach, rather than a country-based approach.