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Business Administration

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Grow your career in business and management

BUS 860 - Foundations of Business Finance C01

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Virtual Classroom
Hours of Study:
39 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Anti-requisite(s):
HRM 817 / Business Finance and Accounting
Instructor Name:
Dom Cianflone
Course Dates:
05/05/2020 - 07/28/2020

Required Course Materials:
Finance for Non-Financial Managers. Bergeron, Pierre. 7th Edition. Nelson. ISBN 9780176530839
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:
An understanding of financial literacy is essential to anyone who is tasked with reviewing or analyzing financial data to make business decisions.  This practical course covers the basic concepts and applications in financial accounting, managerial accounting and managerial finance, and it is geared toward people whose primary responsibility is managerial in nature (non-financial). The interpretation of financial information rather than the steps to generate it, will guide the students’ learning.
Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, students will:
  • Explain the importance of financial management
  • Identify financial management tools and techniques
  • Use financial tools and techniques to evaluate business profitability, sustainability and growth
  • Define terms applicable to financial management
  • Apply financial vocabulary to communications
  • Interpret financial statements
  • Analyze key financial information
  • Create budgets
  • Relate financial information to managerial decision-making
  • Demonstrate ethical and professional conduct applicable to education and business environments
  • Apply effective communication strategies
Course Evaluation




Quiz – covers the material in weeks 1-3


Week 5

Midterm Exam – covers materials from weeks 1-5 (2 hrs)


Week 7

Written Group Assignment – Financial Statement Analysis


Beginning of Week 9

Written Group Assignment and Presentation – Building a Business Case

10% (Report)

5% (Presentation)

Week 12

Final Exam


Week 13

Course Format:
This course is designed to present the fundamental concepts and theories in business and promote the application to the workplace and professional practice. Course activities will include instructor presentations, required readings and experiential learning activities (i.e. case studies, group discussions, projects, etc.).

This course emphasizes student participation in classroom discussions.  It is expected that students will read the assigned chapters from the text prior to each class.

Students require a simple four-function calculator for this course. The use of a programmable calculator or any personal electronic device such as a phone or tablet is strictly prohibited when writing quizzes or exams

Assignment Submission:
Course assignments are submitted to the appropriate A2L Assignment folder by the specified due date
Late Coursework:
Late assignments will be subject to a 2% per day late penalty (includes weekends and holidays) for up to seven (7) days. After this date, no assignments will be accepted and a grade of zero (0) will be applied. Extensions for course work must be approved by the instructor before the due date (see Academic Regulations below), and will be granted for illness or emergencies only. Students may be asked to submit supporting documentation for an extension request.  

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):
In accordance to McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, “it is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.” Therefore, all students are expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance, assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or by the date specified. Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours days of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hours days of the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy. Failure to contact the course instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager, in the case of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48-hour day window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted.

*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of accommodation(s).
Academic Integrity
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in-group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Academic Accommodations:
Students with disabilities who require academic accommodations must contact the Student Accessibility Centre (SAS) to meet with an appropriate Disability Services Coordinator. To contact SAS, phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652, or email For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities.
On-line Elements:
In this course, we will be using on-line elements, which may include email, Avenue to Learn, WebEX, and external web sites.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
Course Changes:
The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.
Course Withdrawal Policy:
Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Centre for Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies (
Storm Closure Policy:

In the event of inclement weather, the Centre for Continuing Education will abide by the University’s Storm Closure Policy:, and will only close if the University is closed.  All in-class courses, exams and room bookings by internal and external clients will be cancelled if the Centre for Continuing Education is closed.  On-line courses will take place as scheduled.

Grading Scale:
Grade Equivalent
Grade Point
Equivalent Percentages
A+ 12 90-100
A 11 85-89
A- 10 80-84
B+ 9 77-79
B 8 73-76
B- 7 70-72
C+ 6 67-69
C 5 63-66
C- 4 60-62
D+ 3 57-59
D 2 53-56
D- 1 50-52
F 0 0-49
Course Schedule:



Required Readings

What’s Due?


Overview of Accounting and Financial Statements

1. Explain the content and purpose of each of the financial statements.

2. The fundamental accounting equation.

3. Terminology and Core Concepts.

4. Accrual vs. Cash Basis of Accounting.

Supplemental readings posted to A2L


Chapter 1 - The Purpose and Use of Financial Statements



Accounting and Financial Statements (cont.)

1. Describe the conceptual framework of accounting, including elements of financial reporting

2. Identify the sections of a classified balance sheet.

3. Identify and calculation various types of depreciation methods.

Supplemental readings posted to A2L


Chapter 2 - Financial Statements - Framework, Presentation, and Usage



Statement of Cash Flows

1. Explain the importance of managing cash flows.

2. Analyze cash flows by comparing two consecutive statements of financial position.

3. Describe the basic structure of the statement of cash flows.

4. Discuss the basic structure of the statement of cash flows.


Supplemental readings posted to A2L


Chapter 3 - The Cash Flow Statement

Important Cash Flow Patterns (handout posted to course portal)




Statement of Cash Flows (cont)


Financial Statement Analysis

1. Explain why financial statements need to be analyzed.

2. Evaluate a company's statement of financial position and statement of income by using vertical and horizontal analysis.

3. Analyze financial statements by using meaningful ratios

Supplemental readings posted to A2L


Chapter 4 – Financial Statement Analysis



Financial Statement Analysis (cont.)


Financial Statement Analysis Group Assignment assigned – due beginning of week 9

Chapter 4 – Financial Statement Analysis

Quiz (10%) Covers Chapters 1-3



Profit Planning and Decision Making

1. Identify how break-even analysis can help to maximize profitability.

2. Draw the break-even chart and calculate the break-even point, the cash break-even point, and the profit break-even point, and explain how they can be applied in different organizations.

3. Differentiate between different types of cost concepts, such as committed and discretionary costs, controllable and non-controllable costs, and direct and indirect costs.

Supplemental readings posted to A2L



Chapter 5 - Cost Volume Profit Analysis





Midterm Review



Mid-Term Exam (Chapters 1 – 4)


Mid-term (25%)


Planning, Budgeting and Controlling

1. Describe the benefits of the operating budget.

2. Describe the three budgeted financial statements contained in the operating budget and the other budgets that support the budgeted financial statements.

3. Describe the role of the sales forecast in the budgeting process.

4. Prepare the budgets included in the operating budget.

5. Describe the appropriate use of the operating budget in the overall management process.

Supplemental readings posted to A2L


Chapter 6 - The Operating Budget



Planning, Budgeting and Controlling (cont.)


Financial Statement Analysis Written Group Assignment due (15%)


Time Value-of-Money Concepts

1. Define time value of money, inflation, and risk.

2. Explain the financial tools used to solve time-value-of-money problems.


Additional Time Value Questions (posted to class portal)



Supplemental readings posted to A2L


Chapter 7 – Time Value of Money and Capital Budgeting


(Appendix – pages 242 to 249)

Building a Business Case Using Capital Budgeting and Time Value of Money – Group Assignment Assigned (written assignment and presentations due at the beginning of week 12)


Capital Budgeting

1. Evaluating potential capital projects using net present value, internal rate of return, and profitability index.

Supplemental readings posted to A2L


Chapter 7 – Time Value of Money and Capital Budgeting


Pages 218 - 241



Capital Budgeting (cont).




Chapter 7 – Time Value of Money and Capital Budgeting


Group Business Case Written Report (10%)

Group Business Case Presentations (5%)


Final Exam (Chapters 5, 6, 7)