Accounting Analytics

4.5
1,336 ratings
250 reviews

Course 4 of 5 in the Business Analytics Specialization

Accounting Analytics explores how financial statement data and non-financial metrics can be linked to financial performance.  In this course, taught by Wharton’s acclaimed accounting professors, you’ll learn how data is used to assess what drives financial performance and to forecast future financial scenarios. While many accounting and financial organizations deliver data, accounting analytics deploys that data to deliver insight, and this course will explore the many areas in which accounting data provides insight into other business areas including consumer behavior predictions, corporate strategy, risk management, optimization, and more. By the end of this course, you’ll understand how financial data and non-financial data interact to forecast events, optimize operations, and determine strategy. This course has been designed to help you make better business decisions about the emerging roles of accounting analytics, so that you can apply what you’ve learned to make your own business decisions and create strategy using financial data. 
Globe

100% online course

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Clock

Approx. 11 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks, 3 -5 hours per week
CommentDots

English

Subtitles: English, Mongolian

Skills you will gain

AccountingFinanceFinancial StatementFraud Detection
Globe

100% online course

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Clock

Approx. 11 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks, 3 -5 hours per week
CommentDots

English

Subtitles: English, Mongolian

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Ratios and Forecasting

The topic for this week is ratio analysis and forecasting. Since ratio analysis involves financial statement numbers, I’ve included two optional videos that review financial statements and sources of financial data, in case you need a review. We will do a ratio analysis of a single company during the module. First, we’ll examine the company's strategy and business model, and then we'll look at the DuPont analysis. Next, we’ll analyze profitability and turnover ratios followed by an analysis of the liquidity ratios for the company. Once we've put together all the ratios, we can use them to forecast future financial statements. (If you’re interested in learning more, I’ve included another optional video, on valuation). By the end of this week, you’ll be able to do a ratio analysis of a company to identify the sources of its competitive advantage (or red flags of potential trouble), and then use that information to forecast its future financial statements. ...
SvgReading
9 videos (Total 101 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video9 videos
Review of Financial Statements (Optional) 1.111m
Sources for Financial Statement Information (Optional) 1.26m
Ratio Analysis: Case Overview 1.37m
Ratio Analysis: Dupont Analysis 1.413m
Ratio Analysis: Profitability and Turnover Ratios 1.518m
Ratio Analysis: Liquidity Ratios 1.610m
Forecasting 1.715m
Accounting-based Valuation (Optional) 1.815m
SvgReading2 readings
PDF of Lecture Slides10m
Excel Files for Ratio Analysis10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Ratio Analysis and Forecasting Quiz20m

2

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Earnings Management

This week we are going to examine "earnings management", which is the practice of trying to intentionally bias financial statements to look better than they really should look. Beginning with an overview of earnings management, we’ll cover means, motive, and opportunity: how managers actually make their earnings look better, their incentives for manipulating earnings, and how they get away with it. Then, we will investigate red flags for two different forms of revenue manipulation. Manipulating earnings through aggressive revenue recognition practices is the most common reason that companies get in trouble with government regulators for their accounting practices. Next, we will discuss red flags for manipulating earnings through aggressive expense recognition practices, which is the second most common reason that companies get in trouble for their accounting practices. By the end of this module, you’ll know how to spot earnings management and get a more accurate picture of earnings, so that you’ll be able to catch some bad guys in finance reporting!...
SvgReading
6 videos (Total 98 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
Overview of Earnings Management 2.115m
Revenue Recognition Red Flags: Revenue Before Cash Collection 2.218m
Revenue Recognition Red Flags: Revenue After Cash Collection 2.317m
Expense Recognition Red Flags: Capitalizing vs. Expensing 2.419m
Expense Recognition Red Flags: Reserve Accounts and Write-Offs 2.523m
SvgReading2 readings
PDFs of Lecture Slides10m
Excel Files for Earnings Management10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Earnings Management20m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Big Data and Prediction Models

This week, we’ll use big data approaches to try to detect earnings management. Specifically, we're going to use prediction models to try to predict how the financial statements would look if there were no manipulation by the manager. First, we’ll look at Discretionary Accruals Models, which try to model the non-cash portion of earnings or "accruals," where managers are making estimates to calculate revenues or expenses. Next, we'll talk about Discretionary Expenditure Models, which try to model the cash portion of earnings. Then we'll look at Fraud Prediction Models, which try to directly predict what types of companies are likely to commit frauds. Finally, we’ll explore something called Benford's Law, which examines the frequency with which certain numbers appear. If certain numbers appear more often than dictated by Benford's Law, it's an indication that the financial statements were potentially manipulated. These models represent the state of the art right now, and are what academics use to try to detect and predict earnings management. By the end of this module, you'll have a very strong tool kit that will help you try to detect financial statements that may have been manipulated by managers....
SvgReading
7 videos (Total 92 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video7 videos
Discretionary Accruals: Model 3.119m
Discretionary Accruals: Cases 3.213m
Discretionary Expenditures: Models 3.311m
Discretionary Expenditures: Refinements and Cases 3.414m
Fraud Prediction Models 3.513m
Benford's Law 3.615m
SvgReading2 readings
PDFs of Lecture Slides10m
Excel Files for Big Data and Prediction Models10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Big Data and Prediction Models20m

4

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Linking Non-financial Metrics to Financial Performance

Linking non-financial metrics to financial performance is one of the most important things we do as managers, and also one of the most difficult. We need to forecast future financial performance, but we have to take non-financial actions to influence it. And we must be able to accurately predict the ultimate impact on financial performance of improving non-financial dimensions. In this module, we’ll examine how to uncover which non-financial performance measures predict financial results through asking fundamental questions, such as: of the hundreds of non-financial measures, which are the key drivers of financial success? How do you rank or weight non-financial measures which don’t share a common denominator? What performance targets are desirable? Finally, we’ll look at some comprehensive examples of how companies have used accounting analytics to show how investments in non-financial dimensions pay off in the future, and finish with some important organizational issues that commonly arise using these models. By the end of this module, you’ll know how predictive analytics can be used to determine what you should be measuring, how to weight very, very different performance measures when trying to analyze potential financial results, how to make trade-offs between short-term and long-term objectives, and how to set performance targets for optimal financial performance....
SvgReading
8 videos (Total 96 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video8 videos
Linking Non-financial Metrics to Financial Performance: Overview 4.114m
Steps to Linking Non-financial Metrics to Financial Performance 4.216m
Setting Targets 4.313m
Comprehensive Examples 4.412m
Incorporating Analysis Results in Financial Models 4.514m
Using Analytics to Choose Action Plans 4.68m
Organizational Issues 4.714m
SvgReading2 readings
PDF of Lecture Slides10m
Expected Economic Value Spreadsheet10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Linking Non-financial Metrics to Financial Performance20m
4.5
SvgDirectionSigns

20%

started a new career
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Money

10%

got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By PBFeb 5th 2016

The course makes accounting interesting and especially the examples are very illustrative. Virtual students bring some fun. The 4th week is however really integrated in the course structure.

By NMFeb 15th 2016

I recommend this course to all my colleagues. Its enriched content certainly helped me to understand things in better way and provided content in structured way, which is I liked most.

Instructors

Avatar

Brian J Bushee

The Geoffrey T. Boisi Professor
Avatar

Christopher D. Ittner

EY Professor of Accounting

About University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn) is a private university, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. A member of the Ivy League, Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, and considers itself to be the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies. ...

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