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Cheques and balances. It all adds up.

Work towards your CPA designation!

ACC 925 - Introductory Financial Accounting C31

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Online Self-Study (OSS)
Hours of Study:
42 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
Students of ACC 925 are expected to have a sound knowledge of basic business mathematics. Recommended: ACC 830 Basic Bookkeeping or equivalent
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
Carol Tristani
Course Dates:
01/15/2019 - 06/15/2019

Required Course Materials:
Understanding Financial Accounting, Canadian Edition, Christopher Burnley
Optional Course Materials:
CPA Handbook, most recent edition. Available via McMaster Library
Course Description:
Course ACC 925 is the first in a sequence of several courses in the Accounting Diploma
Program offered by McMaster University. As an introductory course, it is designed to help you build a foundation of knowledge and skills in preparation for other courses in financial accounting.

Since ACC 925 is an introductory course, it is expected that you will begin to appreciate the decision-making and conceptual issues that will be introduced. Your understanding of these issues will develop as you pursue your study and career in accounting.

The broad aims of the course are to provide you with a sound introduction to the:
- general concepts of financial accounting
- procedures used in the preparation of financial statements, and the
- use of accounting information in financial decision making

Financial accounting is the score-keeping system of a business. It is a system of accumulating data on past business activities and events and reporting them to decision making parties such as creditors and shareholders upon which they make their decisions; therefore, the accountant has a very important role and responsibility in the operations of a business.

Learning Outcomes:
Course Evaluation
Students will be assessed as follows:
Assignments (6) 34% (see your assignments and course guide for each individual assignment weighting)
Discussion Boards 6%
Final Examination 60%
 TOTAL 100%

NOTE: A passing grade on the final examination is required to pass the course.

The final exam must be written on or before your course end date/final exam date. Students who have submitted all assignments ahead of schedule may opt to write their final examination prior to the posted examination/course end date. Although students are permitted to accelerate through course material, no student will be permitted to schedule/sit the final examination earlier than two (2) months post course start date. After the final exam is written no further assignment submissions will be accepted.
Course Format:
ACC 925 consists of six units of study, which are briefly described below to help you develop a perspective of the course. Each unit contains problems, which must be completed before attempting the hand-in assignment at the end of each unit. All practice problems and assignments are taken from the class text. It is to your greatest advantage to do all practice problems before attempting the hand-in assignments. You can expect to see material on the examination of similar level of difficulty to that of the assignments and practice problems.
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.   NOTE:  This policy applies to assignments and other hand in type coursework only.  This policy does not apply to discussion board topics/postings which do not allow for late postings/contributions.

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):
In accordance with 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 of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager/Program Associate to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hours 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/Program Associate, in the case of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48 hour 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:
Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
Improper collaboration in-group work.
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.

Accessing the CPA Handbook (available through the McMaster University Library System):

To access the CPA Handbook, please follow these steps:

  • Go to
  • Click on the URL for McMaster Users Only
  • Log in using your MacID and password
  • Under subscriptions find the CPA Standards and Guidance Collection and click to access this resource
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:

Unit 1: Overview of Corporate Financial Reporting 

This unit discusses the stream of financial accounting by:

  • Introducing concepts, principles and reporting objectives of financial accounting,
  • Outlining the major financial reports that serve as decision making tools for users of financial accounting information,
  • Describing the organization of the Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet),
  • Building the concept of double entry record keeping systems as described by the fundamental accounting model Assets = Liabilities + Shareholders' Equity, and
  • Showing how financial events are processed through the accounting system, summarized on the trial balance and reported on the financial statements.
  • Preparing the 4 key financial statements:  Statement of Income, Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Changes in Equity and Statement of Cash Flow


Chapter 1:  Overview of Corporate Financial Reporting

Chapter 2:  Analyzing Transactions and Their effects on Financial Statements

Chapter 3:  Double-Entry Accounting and the Accounting Cycle

Assignment 1 (9%) 
Discussion Board #1 (2%): Make at least two response posts to students.

Unit 2: Revenue Recognition Concepts

This unit describes how companies measure operating performance and the factors to be considered before revenue can be considered earned.  The accounting for long-term contracts represents an application of the revenue recognition criteria.

Reading* - Chapter 4:  Revenue Recognition and the Statement of Income

Assignment 2 (3%) 
Discussion Board #2 (2%): Make at least two response posts to students.

Unit 3: Current Assets – Cash, Short Term Investments and Accounts and Notes Receivable

With the initial view of the accounting cycle completed, we turn our focus in this unit to address specific problems unique to the recording and reporting of broad balance sheet classifications. This unit explores the most liquid category of assets - current assets. Procedures for completing a bank reconciliation are reviewed along with accounting for accounts receivable.

Reading* - Chapter 6:  Cash and Accounts Receivable

Assignment 3 (5%) 
Discussion Board #3 (2%): Make at least two response posts to students.

Unit 4: Current Assets - Inventory

This unit addresses some of the unique problems of accounting for inventory, focusing on cost of goods sold, periodic and perpetual inventory systems and detailed descriptions of various cost flow methods. Issues associated with the best method for valuing inventory are also explored.

Reading* - Chapter 7:  Inventory

Assignment 4 (5%)

Unit 5: Capital Assets

This unit describes the nature of capital assets such as tangible property and land. Specifically this unit addresses how an accountant determines which costs may be included as part of the capital asset and how to amortize the cost of the asset to expense using different allocation methods. The accounting process to record changes in accounting estimates and the disposal of capital assets is also presented.

Reading* - Chapter 8:  Long Term Assets

Assignment 5 (5%)

Unit 6: Liabilities and Equities

Having completed an examination of the major asset account classifications, this unit addresses issues associated with accounting for current and long term liabilities and equities.

On the liability side, particular attention is devoted to the procedures used to account for accrued liabilities and bonds issued at premiums or discounts. Since bonds are usually long term in nature, the methodology for recognizing the time value of money is presented. On the equity side of the balance sheet, particular attention is paid to the description of share capital accounts, the issuance of shares and the handling of dividends.


Chapter 9:  Current Liabilities

Chapter 10:  Long Term Liabilities

Chapter 11:  Shareholders’ Equity

Assignment 6 (7%)

Final Exam/Course End Date

*see course guide and online modules for specific required reading in each chapter.