MBA 2425 Financial Accounting

MBA 2425 Financial Accounting

Course code: 
MBA 2425
Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Course coordinator: 
Ren Mingchuan
Heidi Wiig
Course name in Norwegian: 
Financial Accounting
Product category: 
MBA China
2021 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The primary goals of the course are twofold: (1) to help students read and evaluate financial statements and (2) to further students’ ability to speak the language of accounting. By advancing these skills, students can be a more effective decision-maker and thus better positioned to succeed at their business and professional endeavors.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • Understand basic accounting terminology and be able to draw appropriate inference from key financial statements and performance metrics.
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • Describe the format, content, and concepts of balance sheets, income statements, statement of cash flows and footnote to financial statements
  • Explain the two-prong process for recording business events, which include (a) Define the four generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), including the principles of recognition, valuation, presentation, and disclosure and describe the role of GAAP in financial reporting. (b) Describe the basic mechanics of bookkeeping.
General Competence
  • Be able to critically analyze financial statements using various tools and techniques, with a focus on DuPont analysis.
  • Recognize that accounting information is embedded in social, cultural, market, and political environments and that financial information can create tensions among decision-makers.
Course content

This course is made up of five  topics:

  1. Annual report & analyst report  
  • The purpose and structure of analyst report;
  • The differences between analysts and accountants, including their technical terms;
  • Companies’ annual reports are made up of: the management discussion & analysis (MD&A), financial statements and audit opinion;
  • Three options: (1) 10K only, (2) 10K and annual report, or (3) wrap annual report;
  • The most critical information in annual reports.

          2. Balance Sheet

  • Costco Wholesale’s balance sheet;
  • The layout of balance sheet and its three components: Assets, Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity;
  • Double-entry bookkeeping and accounting cycle;
  • Book value Vs market value: the case of U.S. Big Three auto companies (Tesla, GM and Ford).

    3. Income Statement

  • Costco Wholesale’s income statement;
  • The layout of income statement and its two components: Revenue and Expenses;
  • Accrual accounting Vs cash accounting;
  • The lines between operating and non-operating; recurring and non-recurring activities;
  • Sears: a recent bankruptcy case.


  • 4. DuPont Analysis & Business Performance
  • Return on assets (ROA) and its disaggregation
  • Return on equity (ROE) and its disaggregation
  • Business performance and the strategy
  • Operating cycle and cash conversion cycle
  • Amazon: how to determine a company’s performance

5.  Statement of Cash Flow

  • Costco Wholesale’s statement of cash flows;
  • Layout of statement of cash flow and its three components: cash flows from operation (CFO), cash flows from investing (CFI) and cash flows from financing (CFF);
  • Direct and indirect methods;
  • Statement of cash flows’ link with balance sheet and income statement.


2 of the teaching hours in this course are dedicated to CSR, ethics, social and environmental issues.


Teaching and learning activities

The course is conducted as a teaching module, where students have classes all day for four subsequent days, a total of 32 hours.

The teaching is practice oriented, with a heavy use of real companies’ financial statements. Also, it focuses on Main Street companies (rather than Wall Street firms), covering manufacture, retail and service companies. References are often made to current popular press publications, such as Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Fortune, Forbes, etc.

Pre-course preparation by all students allows class time to be used most productively, and allow everyone to participate in the discussion which, in turn, enhances the prospect of advancing the financial accounting competencies listed above.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component will be graded using points on a scale 0 -100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the course. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. Candidates may be called in for an oral hearing as a verification/control of written assignments.

Specific information regarding the points system and the mapping scale beyond the information given in the course description will be provided in class. This information may be relevant for requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several elements of the overall evaluation.

The course is a part of a full MBA and examination in all courses in the MBA program must be passed in order to obtain a certificate for the MBA degree.

In all BI Executive courses and programmes, there is a mutual requirement  
for the student and the course responsible regarding the involvement of the student's experience in the planning and implementation of courses, modules and programmes. This means that the student has the right and duty to get involved with their own knowledge and practice relevance, through the active sharing of their relevant experience and knowledge.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Corporate Annual Reports

  • Costco
  • Apple
  • Southwest Airlines
  • ZTE
  • Lianhua
  • China Eastern Airline
  • Unilever
  • Bank of America

Granted admission to the BI-Fudan MBA programme. Please consult our student regulations.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Class participation
Class attendance, counts 10% of the total grade
Exam code: 
MBA 24251
Grading scale: 
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group (5 - 6)
4 Day(s)
Group assignments, counts 40% of the total grade.
Exam code: 
MBA 24251
Grading scale: 
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Support materials: 
  • All printed and handwritten support materials
1 Hour(s)
Final quiz, open-book, counts 50% of the total grade
Exam code: 
MBA 24251
Grading scale: 
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
Total weight: 
Student workload
24 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
30 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 4 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 110 hours.