About this course: What constitutes the value of an asset, and how do you measure it? How do you evaluate your firm’s performance financially? Those are some of the fundamental questions we’ll explore in this course, which offers a basic introduction to financial theory and principles of financial accounting. We’ll introduce you to a mix of theory, applications, and empirical research that will help you make smarter financial decisions for your organization. The course will show you how to determine the value of an asset by the level and the riskiness of its expected after-tax cash flows. We’ll teach you the techniques used to discount cash flows and determine the value implications of investment decisions, as well as the guidelines used to construct after-tax cash flow forecasts. We’ll teach you to estimate risk in the context of modern portfolio theory and talk about the impact of capital structure (your firm’s mix of debt and equity) on the riskiness of financial instruments issued by your firm. In the accounting portion of the course, we’ll give you a basic introduction to financial accounting, including overviews of financial statements, income statements, balance sheets, and statements of cash flows. You’ll learn about LIFO vs. FIFO accounting, accounting for inventory, and the valuation of long-term assets. When you complete this course, you’ll understand how to . . . • Identify and measure the riskiness of assets • Move cash flows through time • Make more informed investment decisions by applying finance principles to valuing capital investments, applying decision-making criteria for multi-period cash flows, and constructing cash flow forecasts • Evaluate your firm’s performance by recognizing the characteristics of three main types of financial statements, how each of these statements is developed over time, and how these statements are interrelated • Evaluate your firm’s performance by ratio analysis This course gives you a firm grounding in both the theory and practical application of finance and accounting and broad exposure to some of the most important principles of financial decision-making.