Financial Accounting
Acct 200
Fall 2007

Professor: Dr. Margaret R. Garnsey
Office: Siena Hall 433
Phone: 783-2397
Web page:
Office Hours: M, W & F 9:15AM - 10:15AM and Tues 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Text: Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making Kimmel, Weygandt & Kieso 4th edition Readings include Appendices.

Academic Integrity

The concept of academic integrity lies at the very heart of any college. This is particularly true of Siena with its strong Franciscan tradition and its dedication to fostering sound moral growth. In such an environment, academic dishonesty cannot be tolerated. Students who commit such acts expose themselves to punishment as severe as dishonorable dismissal from the college.
Academic dishonesty can take several forms, including, but not limited to, cheating [dishonesty in a test situation], plagiarism [dishonesty in the presentation of materials in a paper or report], and computer abuse. In any situation in which a student is unsure what constitutes academic dishonesty, it is the student’s responsibility to raise the question with his or her instructor. It is also the student’s responsibility to be familiar with the student guidelines on academic dishonesty, “Academic Integrity and the Siena Student.”
Any student caught cheating will receive an F in the course and be reported to the Committee on Academic Integrity.

School of Business Mission Statement

The mission of the School of Business is to offer values oriented, intellectually stimulating educational programs that prepare students for business careers and continuing intellectual and professional development. The School of Business places paramount importance on teaching and learning in an atmosphere enriched by business collaboration, professional activity, and scholarship. This is accomplished by integrating the College’s liberal arts and Franciscan traditions with current business theory, skills, and practices.


This course assumes a working knowledge of micro computers, including WORD and EXCEL. Additionally students must be comfortable with mathematical tools necessary for business. Normally this knowledge would be obtained by completing QBUS 100-Mathematics for Decision Making I.
Note: The course has been placed on Blackboard The syllabus and tentative schedule are up on the site.

Course Description

This course presents the underlying framework and concepts of Financial Accounting in the context of how accounting fits into the overall business environment of contemporary society. Financial accounting is the basic means of recording and reporting financial information in a business. Students will learn how accounting functions as an information development and communication system that supports economic decision-making and provides value to entities and society. Students will discover the uses and limitations of financial statements and related information, and they will apply analytical tools in making both business and financial decisions.

Specific, Assessable Learning Objectives

The student should:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the nature of accounting information, its role in economic decision-making, and the importance to society for full and fair disclosure;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the elements, uses, and limitations of each financial statement and the inter-relationships among the statements;
  3. be able to explain the difference between accrual and cash basis accounting and to demonstrate an ability to properly apply accrual principles;
  4. demonstrate an understanding of the framework of accounting and the concepts, principles, and procedures that govern how financial statements are prepared. Each student should demonstrate an ability to prepare the statements;
  5. be able to utilize spreadsheet programs in a business problem-solving context or in support of financial reporting.

Additional Major Objective

To have the student develop critical thinking and writing skills primarily by applying accounting concepts to a semester project. This project is intended to give the student experience in research of a "real life" company and working in teams.

Course Outline

  1. Introduction to accounting
    1. Forms of business organization
    2. Explain how accounting provides value to the organization and society
    3. Discuss the basic framework and accounting concepts comprising GAAP, the basic characteristics of accounting information, and financial and other disclosure requirements
    4. Describe the four basic financial statements
    5. Define operating, investing, and financing activities
  2. Introduction to the system used to record financial transactions
    1. Analysis of business transactions
    2. Basic steps used to record transactions and complete the accounting cycle
    3. Define accrual accounting concepts
    4. Define internal control
  3. Topical areas
    Income Measurement & Accrual Accounting (recognition and measurement of revenues and expenses) Statement of Cash Flows Purpose and methods
              Cash (include control of cash)
              Receivables (Allowance for Doubtful accounts)
              Property, Plant and Equipment
              Current Liabilities
              Long Term Liabilities 
              Interest bearing liabilities
              Capital stock
              Retained Earnings (income and dividends)
    Definition of comprehensive income 
              Basic Financial Ratios
                        Basic application and interpretation of financial ratios


  1. Lectures on each topic incorporating illustrations and examples to enhance understanding.
  2. In-class problems, intended to give the student experience in applying concepts in a structured setting.
  3. Discussion of the semester project will be incorporated into classes as the topics covered in the project are encountered.


  1. Students are encouraged to contact the instructor by e-mail with any questions which arise out of class. I check my e-mail at least twice a day and will respond within 24 hrs. in most cases.
  2. Students are expected to attend all classes. The instructor reserves the right to drop any student’s final grade one letter grade for missing more than 3 classes and failing a student who misses more than 4 classes. Students who have a valid documented reason for missing class should contact the instructor PRIOR to the class they are going to miss.
  3. Students are expected to read the assigned chapters PRIOR to class. Students are to take an on-line quiz in Blackboard the day prior to the start of each chapter (due dates given in the tentative schedule). Quiz grades will be counted as part of your final grade. Students should come to class prepared to discuss the issues covered in the chapters.
  4. The semester project was is intended to provide students with research on a real world company. Approximately one-third of the grade will be individual and two-thirds for group work. Text accompanying the project requirements should be typed. Grammar and punctuation will be considered when grading project. Approximately one-half of the grade on the written requirements of the project will be for writing. Due dates for the individual parts of the project are given tentatively in the handout the due dates may be changed in class approximately one week prior to their being due if necessary. The requirements are due at the beginning of the class on the due date. Any requirements turned in late will be penalized by 25%.
  5. Lab problems are to be turned into the accounting lab prior to its closing on the day given in the syllabus. These problems are to give you experience working out problems similar to those which may appear on tests. You must include the class: acct200, section: either 01 or 27, and instructor name: Garnsey in the heading of your labs. It is expected that all students will hand in their own work.
  6. E-Grade assignments are due by midnight on the date given in the schedule.
  7. There will be three in class exams (which may include a take home portion) and a comprehensive departmental final exam. Exams will include both subjective and objective questions.

Use of calculators:

The accounting department has adopted a policy of restricting the use of certain programmable calculators on in-class and final exams in the first two accounting courses. Students may choose to bring a simple four-function calculator for exams or may bring their TI-83 or programmable calculator with the understanding that the memory will have to be cleared before the test can be administered. What follows explains the steps that need to be followed to clear the entire memory on a TI-83 Plus (anything in brackets is a button on the calculator).
You hit [2nd],[+],[7], then scroll over to the right twice to get to the "ALL" menu.
Then hit [1], [2].

The calculator will respond by wiping itself clean, and a message pops up at the end of this routine that says "Mem cleared"

Pandemic / Emergency Preparedness:

  1. You are instructed to bring all texts and a copy of the syllabus/course schedule home with you in the event of a College Closure. The Academic Calendar will be adjusted upon Reopening; so be prepared for the possibility of a short mini-semester; rescheduled class / exam period; and /or rescheduling of the semester, depending on the length of the Closure.
  2. If your situation permits, you should continue with readings and assignments to the best of your ability, per the course schedule.
  3. You will be given instructions regarding how to deal with paper assignments requiring library or other required research by me, as needed.
  4. Online office hours will be used by me in order to maintain contact with my students. You will be able to “check-in” with questions that you have. If you do not have internet access available, I will also provide my home phone number and home address, as needed. Remember, internet, mail delivery, and telephone services may also be impacted by a Pandemic or other emergency event.
  5. Finally, stay connected with information regarding the status of the College’s status and Reopening schedule by monitoring the Siena website,


The course grade will be based on total points earned from the total points available throughout the semester (NO extra credit is available):


     Minimum points needed to receive
grade indicated:
Exam 1 160  A- 915
Exam 2 160  B- 815
Exam 3 160  C- 700
Final Examination 180  D- 600
Project 130  F < 600
Lab Problems 70    
Inn-class participation and problems 70    
Online-Quizes 40    
E-grade Problems 30    
Total Points available  1,000    


This is an unofficial Siena College Webpage - The ideas and content expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the college.