Syllabus for ACC-603



This course studies the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as they affect today's practitioners.  The course emphasizes is on accounting conceptual framework and philosophy which includes income, liability, and asset valuation based on inductive, deductive, and capital market approaches. The course also surveys price level changes, monetary and non-monetary factors, problems of ownership equities, and the disclosure of relevant information to investors and creditors.

Student advisory: Working knowledge of Microsoft Excel is required.


  • Accounting in US since 1930
  • The role of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
  • The role of the Accounting Principles Board (APB)
  • The role of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
  • The role of ethics in accounting
  • The development of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
  • Early developed accounting theory
  • The American Accounting Association’s (AAA) conceptual framework
  • FASB’s conceptual framework project
  • the International Accounting Standards Board’s (IASB) – FASB joint financial statement presentation project
  • The role of the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC)
  • The role of the IFRS Foundation
  • The IASB-FASB convergence project
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) roadmap to convergence
  • The deductive and inductive approaches
  • Fundamental analysis
  • The Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)
  • Normative and positive accounting theory
  • The agency theory
  • The nature of income
  • Historical-cost and current-value accounting models
  • Accounting for inflation
  • Revenue recognition and realization
  • Quality of earnings and earnings management
  • Fraudulent financial reporting
  • Income statement elements

  • The APB Opinion No. 9
  • Discontinued operations
  • Extraordinary items
  • Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle
  • Basic and diluted earnings per share
  • Comprehensive income statement
  • Correction of errors
  • Balance sheet elements
  • Fair value measurement
  • Elements of the statement of cash flow
  • FASB Standard No. 95
  • Evaluating an entity’s financial health
  • Components of working capital
  • Uses of working capital
  • Financial analysis of an entity’s working capital position
  • Self-constructed assets
  • Fixed asset group purchases
  • The depreciation process
  • Impairment of fixed assets
  • Accounting for asset retirement obligations
  • International Accounting Standards No. 16, 23, and 36
  • FASB Standard No. 115
  • The cost and equity methods
  • The fair value option
  • Accounting for investments in debt securities
  • Transfer of financial assets
  • FASB Standard No. 142
  • Accounting for research and development costs
  • The International Accounting Standards No. 28, 32, and 36
  • Accounting Fair Value Measurement
  • The Recent Financial Crisis


After completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the sources of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
  2. Evaluate various accounting conceptual framework projects.
  3. Explain the objectives and the uses of the International Accounting Standards.
  4. Assess various research methodologies to develop accounting theory.
  5. Assess the quality of earnings.
  6. Explain the elements of the income statement and the comprehensive income statement.
  7. Explain the elements of the balance sheet and the statement of cash flow.
  8. Explain the components of working capital.
  9. Explain the proper accounting treatment for property, plant, and equipment.
  10. Explain the proper accounting treatment for long-term investments and intangible assets.
  11. Analyze the relationship between the accounting fair value measurement and the recent financial crisis.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

by Richard G. Schroeder, Myrtle W. Clark, Jack M. Cathey.

ISBN-13: 978-0470646281


Accounting Theory is a three-credit online course, consisting of ten modules. Modules include an overview, topics, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments and complete a final project. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in ten graded discussion forums.  Discussion forums are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules. There is also an ungraded but required introduction forum in Module 1.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete ten written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Final Project

The Final Project requires 10-12 pages of academic research paper written in APA Style. The paper should include: title page, abstract, keywords, introduction, discussion and analysis, conclusion, and references.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
























Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State College is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The College expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the College community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State College is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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