Syllabus for FIN-314

SMALL BUSINESS FINANCE


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Small Business Finance—The application of basic financial management techniques focuses on the financial aspects of starting and running a business (100 or more employees). The core financial aspects of business entrepreneurship and problems encountered by those starting and running a small business are covered through the discussion of financial topics including working capital management, time value of money, financial statements, small business administration programs, succession planning, financing options, and alternative solutions to commonly discovered problems. Case studies are used to illustrate a macro overview and micro approach in developing and meeting company objectives.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you should be able to:  

  1. Discuss the issues related to financial management and planning. [CO 1] 
  2. Describe the role of forecasting and financial statements and their role in working capital management. [CO 2]
  3. Characterize the importance of the time value of money. [CO 3]
  4. Identify differences and similarities in various financial statements. [CO 4]
  5. Analyze the relationships of different ratios in relationship to the health of a business. [CO 5]
  6. Prepare financial statements for capital budgeting discussions including the implications of start-up costs and working capital on the business. [CO6]
  7. Defend the importance of retirement and estate plans. [CO7]
  8. Synthesize the relevance of ethical decision making into accounting and entrepreneurial decisions on profits and profitability when making capital budgeting decisions. [CO8]
  9. Calculate the effects of interest rate changes and risk structure. [CO9]

COURSE MATERIALS

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

Financial Calculator

You will need a financial calculator for your work in this course to complete the problems in the Written Assignments and to complete problems featured in the Midterm Exam.  

While no specific model of financial calculator is required, the HP-12C or equivalent is recommended.

COURSE STRUCTURE

Small Business Finance is a three-credit online course, consisting of six (6) modules. Modules include topics, objectives, study materials, and assignments. Module titles are listed below:

ASSESSMENT METHODS

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

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded Introductions Forum, you are required to participate in six (6) graded online class discussions.

Communication with your mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online class discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses.

All of these responses must be substantial. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate or your mentor, state and support your position.

You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation, including your use of relevant course information to support your point of view, and your awareness of and responses to the postings of your classmates. Remember, these are discussions: responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, mature, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete six (6) written assignments based on a variety of topics covered in the course modules. These assignments are in the form of questions and problems.  

To answer the problems in these assignments, you will need to make calculations using a financial calculator, such as a HP-12C or similar model.  

You can use Excel in conjunction with the financial calculator to simplify the process of solving the problems, but you must submit your written assignments as a Word document, which means you will have to export your table(s), etc., from Excel into Word.

Please note that while you will be able to use a financial calculator to solve problems during the Midterm Exam, Excel will not be available.

Midterm Examination

You are required to take a proctored midterm examination.

The midterm exam is two hours long and covers all material assigned in Modules 1–3. It consists of questions and problems similar to the ones featured in your written assignments.

This is a proctored, closed-book exam, but you will be permitted to use a financial calculator. Excel will not be available during the midterm.

The exam requires that you use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during the exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in your exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

Final Project

You are required to produce a Final Project in the form of a Business Financial Plan and submit it at the end of the semester. Your financial plan will be produced in three stages.  

Consult the Final Project section of the course for details of what you need to do. Consult the course Calendar for due dates.



Turnitin Requirement for Final Project

You are required to submit the final project in this course to Turnitin.com, an academic plagiarism prevention site, prior to submitting the project within your course space. You will receive immediate written feedback from Turnitin regarding writing style as well as a plagiarism gauge with tips for proper citations. You then have the opportunity to edit your assignment with this feedback in mind and resubmit it to Turnitin for additional checking. Once you are satisfied with the project, you are required to submit the Turnitin feedback (also known as the originality report)  for the final version along with the project itself within the course space.

Read carefully the information found at the following link, as it will provide instructions for this requirement:

 

Turnitin FAQ Web Page

The course ID and password that you will need in order to create an account may be found at the following link. Look within Step 1, locating your course ID and password by semester.

Course ID and Password by Semester

This information can also be found within Using Turnitin for Assignments. You can locate this document in the topic list area of your course space.

Students please note: You have the option of submitting any of your assignments to Turnitin.com. Submit any additional assignments through the slots with the optional label. However, submitting other assignments is NOT a requirement and you should not submit originality reports for these assignments to your mentor.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

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:

A

=

93–100

C+

=

78–79

A–

=

90–92

C

=

73–77

B+

=

88–89

C–

=

70–72

B

=

83–87

D

=

60–69

B–

=

80–82

F

=

Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

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

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

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.

 

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:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at www.tesc.edu.

 

 

Plagiarism

Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. 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

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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