About this Course
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Intermediate Level

Approx. 30 hours to complete

Suggested: 2-3 hours per week...


Subtitles: English, Arabic

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Intermediate Level

Approx. 30 hours to complete

Suggested: 2-3 hours per week...


Subtitles: English, Arabic

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

3 hours to complete

Why Do We Have Accounting and How Can You Make it Work for You?

Every organized society needs information about its activities and accomplishments. Accounting was created to fulfill this need. In this module we will explore how accounting was designed to meet the needs of decision makers and what this means to you as a user of accounting information. We will discuss the concept behind accrual accounting including introducing the two primary accrual accounting financial statements - the balance sheet and income statement. This module will discuss the purpose and goal of those financial statements, but we will save your experience in creating those statements until module two. In lesson two of this module, we will explore some basic bookkeeping tools that will get you ready to create a set of financial statements. The material in this module is likely to take less than a week, but we will make up for it in module two.

10 videos (Total 95 min), 7 readings, 4 quizzes
10 videos
Why Do We Have Accounting?10m
What is Accrual Accounting?8m
What is a Balance Sheet?9m
What is an Income Statement?8m
Comparing the Two Statements6m
Transactions to Financial Statements4m
Journal Entries10m
Using T-Accounts for Account Analysis6m
7 readings
The Structure of the Course10m
The Syllabus10m
Help us learn more about you!10m
Introduction and Overview of Lesson One2m
Introduction and Overview of Lesson Two3m
Notice for Auditing Learners: Assignment Submission10m
Transactions for quiz10m
4 practice exercises
Overview Material12m
Transactions and Journal Entries10m
T-Accounts and Other Ways to Post6m
Module One Test18m
4 hours to complete

The Accounting Cycle and Bookkeeping: Foundational Tools for a Deeper Understanding

In this module we will create a set of accrual accounting financial statements. We will use that experience to walk you through the accounting cycle - which is the process by which accounting captures and aggregates all of the transactions in the period into a set of financial statements. We will examine each step in the accounting cycle using a comprehensive example of a start up wholesale book retailer. You will learn how the steps combine to create the statements. In addition to the comprehensive example we will do together, there will be plenty of chances to practice each step yourself. This module ends with a chance for you to build your own set of financial statements for a start up company. Fair warning: in my opinion this is the least exciting material covered in any accounting class (including this one). It is the basic bookkeeping process, not the interesting part of building an understanding of the business. But just as you need to learn basic addition and subtraction before you can master the math to design a beautiful building, you also need to learn basic bookkeeping as a foundation for the more interesting accounting.

7 videos (Total 81 min), 6 readings, 5 quizzes
7 videos
Comprehensive Example Set Up4m
Recording Externally Prompted Transactions23m
Recording Adjusting Journal Entries10m
Recording Closing Journal Entries9m
Making an Income Statement7m
Making a Balance Sheet11m
6 readings
Introduction and Overview of Lesson Three3m
Introduction and Overview of Lesson Four3m
Introduction and Overview of Lesson Five3m
Introduction and Overview of Lesson Six5m
Instructions for Quiz10m
Transactions to be Used for the Quiz10m
5 practice exercises
Quiz on Introduction to the Accounting Cycle6m
Transaction Entries25m
Adjusting and Closing Journal Entries10m
Quiz Financial Statements6m
Accounting Cycle Comprehensive Quiz1h 30m
3 hours to complete

Revenue, Accounts Receivable, Inventory and Cost of Goods Sold

In the last module we took an overview perspective to get a sense of the structure of financial statements. For the next three modules we are going to delve into the details of specific items on the accrual financial statements. We will work through the most common items on the balance sheet and income statement to develop an understanding of those items. While we will consider specific items, we will also be building a thought process that we can apply to any future accounting items - even if they are topics that we do not cover in this course. That will allow you to confidently use accounting for years to come, regardless of changes in items or in the specific accounting rules. There are two lessons in this module. The first will cover revenue and the related balance sheet item of accounts receivable. The second lesson will cover costs of goods sold and inventory. We will cover the conceptual economics of each, discuss the current accounting rules and end with a video that applies our bookkeeping tools. The readings for each lesson provide more details.

7 videos (Total 63 min), 2 readings, 4 quizzes
7 videos
Accounting Guidance on Revenue Recognition8m
Bookkeeping for Revenue Recognition3m
Accounting for the Allowance for Doubtful Accounts and the Bad Debt Expense9m
What goes into Inventory and Cost of Goods Sold14m
Which One Did We Sell? Inventory Cost Flow Assumptions14m
Bookkeeping for Inventory Transactions4m
2 readings
Introduction and Overview of Lesson Seven5m
Introduction and Overview of Lesson Eight5m
4 practice exercises
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts20m
Inventory and Cost of Goods Sold20m
Module Three Test30m
3 hours to complete

Long-Lived Assets

As firms operate, they often use long-lived assets to execute their business models. Some of these assets are tangible, such as factories or computers. Others are intangible, such as trademarks and brands. In either case, managers face the issue of determining how much of these items were used in each period as well as the related question of how much remains. In this module, we will examine the economics of such transactions as well how accountants reflect them on financial statements. This module will also cover the most nebulous of intangible assets - goodwill.

10 videos (Total 64 min), 5 readings, 6 quizzes
10 videos
Basic Bookkeeping for Depreciation5m
Changing Depreciation Estimates4m
Selling an Asset6m
When an Asset is used to make another Asset9m
How Do We Think About Non-Physical Assets?7m
Bookkeeping for Amortization and Intangibles3m
What is Goodwill?4m
Calculating Goodwill8m
Asset Impairments6m
5 readings
Introduction and Overview of Lesson Nine2m
Introduction and Overview of Lesson Ten3m
Introduction and Overview of Lesson Eleven1m
Introduction and Overview for Lesson Twelve2m
Introduction and Overview of Lesson Thteen2m
6 practice exercises
Basics of Depreciation12m
More Advanced Depreciation Topics12m
Intangible Assets6m
Quiz for Long Lived Assets40m
2 hours to complete

Liabilities and Stockholders Equity

In the last two modules we have been exploring assets and their impact on both the balance sheet and income statement. In this module we will turn to discussing the other two components of the balance sheet: liabilities and owners equity.As firms operate, they make promise to deliver value to other entities. Accountants call these promises liabilities. You have already seen some liabilities as we discussed assets - after all, you get many assets by promising to give up future value. We will review those liabilities here as well as introducing a few new ones. Firms also have owners. Those owners sometimes directly provide capital and other times let managers retain capital generated by firm operations. Combined, those two sources of capital represent owners equity. We will discuss interaction with owners and how they impact our firms economic situation. We will also discuss how the accounting statements reflect these interactions.

7 videos (Total 56 min), 4 readings, 5 quizzes
7 videos
Deferred Revenue5m
What is a Contingent Liability?9m
Bookkeeping for Contingent Liabilities9m
The Economics of Interacting with Owners6m
Basic Bookkeeping for Equity9m
Treasury Stock9m
4 readings
Introduction and Overview Lesson Fourteen3m
Introduction and Overview Lesson Fifteen3m
Introduction and Overview Lesson Sixteen10m
Introduction and Overview for Lesson Seventeen2m
5 practice exercises
Basic Liabilities, including Deferred Revenue10m
Contingent Liabilities8m
Basic Equity Transactions20m
Treasury Stock10m
Liabilities and Stockholders Equity18m
2 hours to complete

Cash Flow Statements

We have been spending our time developing the concepts of accrual accounting. We started with the big picture, learned how to use bookkeeping to construct accrual statements and then spent the last three modules deep diving into various accrual accounting topics that help to create a useful set of financial statements. Throughout that time we have focused on capturing economics, not just cash flow. Of course, many of you still want to know about cash (so do I - it is important). But I have put off the cash flow statement for two reasons. First, I wanted you to really give accrual accounting a chance. If we mix cash in from the beginning, most students seem to drift back to cash every time things get a little complicated. But we have demonstrated that often leads to misinformed choices. Second, the cash flow statement effectively requires you to "undo" accrual accounting. That means you have to know accrual accounting pretty well to do a cash flow statement. I am going to be honest (I have all along, after all). The cash flow statement is tough. It seems like it should be really straight forward. Parts of it are. But a few choices were made when the cash flow statement rules were set. The choices make sense (well, somewhat), but they also make cash flow statements hard. We will break it down into pieces to make it approachable, but it is my experience that people need to see this multiple times. Lucky for you, the videos can be watched as often as you want. In this module I will systematically walk you through how cash flow statements are constructed. We will start with a cash T account and build statements from there. Our goal is to build an understanding of what information you can take from a cash flow statement. We are going to spend an entire week just on the cash flow statement. At the end of that week, I will expect you can understand an overall statement, but I will not expect you to be able to build one from scratch. Finally, I want to point out that this module is an inflection point in the course. We started looking at the idea of financial statements and creating broad statements in modules one and two. In modules three through five we began to look at the financial statements one item at a time. With this module we are moving back to the overall statement level, which is the perspective we will also take next module (which will be our last).

7 videos (Total 64 min), 3 readings, 4 quizzes
7 videos
Putting Cash into Categories8m
Direct Cash Flow Example7m
What is an Indirect Cash Flow Statement14m
Indirect Cash Flow Example8m
Changes in Working Capital13m
Indirect with Changes in Working Capital Example4m
3 readings
Introduction and Overview of Lesson Eighteen4m
Introduction and Overview of Lesson Nineteen4m
Introduction and Overview Lesson Twenty3m
4 practice exercises
Introduction to Cash Flows and Direct Cash Flow Statements10m
Indirect Cash Flow Statements10m
Changes in Working Capital Approach15m
Cash Flow Statements22m
4 hours to complete

Ratios and Course End Assessment

We have covered a lot of ground. You now are familiar with financial statements and the underlying transactions that create them. Our goal is to help you use accounting to make decisions and you have surely gotten much better at that. Now we get the big payoff - we learn how to build ratios to provide insights regarding the decisions we are making (maybe even to help us decide what types of decisions we should consider). We have seen a few ratios as we went through the course, but in this module we are going to discuss how to go about making your own ratios related to whatever question you want to answer. I think you will be surprised to find how easy it is now that you understand accounting. In fact, it is so easy that it will be just a couple of short lessons. Along with those short lessons, the rest of the week can be used to prepare for and take the final comprehensive exam. It will go back over material from each module to assure that you can pull it all together.

8 videos (Total 43 min), 5 readings, 4 quizzes
8 videos
Warnings About Ratios9m
Build Your Own Ratios7m
Stock Over Stock3m
Flow Over Flow3m
Stock and Flow Ratios5m
Greg Miller and Gautam Kaul4m
5 readings
Introduction and Overview of Session Twenty One2m
Introduction and Overview of Lesson Twenty Two1m
Comprehensive Evaluation3m
Go further10m
Post-Course Survey10m
4 practice exercises
Introduction to Ratios10m
Build Your Own Ratios6m
Cumulative Final Exam2h
9 ReviewsChevron Right


got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top reviews from Accounting for Decision Making

By NSOct 10th 2018

With no prior knowledge of accounting it's surprising how easy it is to progress through the course. professor Miller has an amazing ability to explain new concepts in an easy to understand manner!

By IGJul 21st 2018

Awesome course, engaging, and very good professor (he should team up with engineers!)



Greg Miller

Ross School of Business

About University of Michigan

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

  • You can do this course standalone or to qualify for the residential component of the Finance for Strategic Decision-Making Executive Education program.

  • The Finance for Strategic Decision-Making Executive Education program is a hybrid learning opportunity consisting of two digital courses in Accounting and Finance and a companion in-person experience working hands-on with the faculty and your classmates with data and real world problems to identify solutions and opportunities. With this new blended learning program, Michigan Ross is the 1st to combine the ease of access via digital learning with a unique, in-person direct application experience, all with the rigor expected from a globally top ranked business school. You will have to earn a verified certificate in the course to be eligible for the face-to-face program at the Ross School of Business. To learn more, visit http://michiganross.umich.edu/financestrategy.

  • The pricing of the verified certificate is different depending on whether the course is stand alone, as is the case with the Accounting course, or if the course is part of a Specialization, as is the Finance course. All specializations are offered on a monthly subscription model.

  • While the online courses can be taken in any order, generally completion of the Accounting course is recommended before the Finance portion as the application of concepts of Accounting are helpful to completing the Finance course.

  • You will gain:

    -An understanding of the structure of accounting information that is used to make decisions

    -Comfort in using financial statement information to analyze a situation.

    -The ability to synthesize information from various sources to develop a deeper understanding of a situation

    -The skills to analyze financial ratios as well as creating ratios and metric that are custom to the issue you are studying

    -A deep understanding of analytical and financial frameworks to make value-enhancing decisions

    -The ability to conduct detailed and rigorous valuation analyses of both projects and companies

    -Comfort in understanding the financial analyses conducted by colleagues in your organization in proposals and critiques

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.