Syllabus for FSA-712



Financial Statement Analysis provides a broad framework of knowledge and tools for evaluating a firm’s business operations and predicting its future condition. The course is designed to develop a critical, user’s perspective to analyze and interpret financial statements to gain further insights into firms’ performance. The course describes the details of financial statements and their use by investors, creditors, analysts, auditors, and other interested parties.  

Main topics include, but are not limited to, financial ratio and profitability analysis, pro forma forecasting, earnings analysis, risk analysis, quality of financial reporting, and evaluating firm’s financial health.

The course is targeted to a wide range of students, including those preparing for careers in general management as well as in investment banking, financial analysis, and consulting.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Analyze information needs and the purpose of financial reporting. (CO 1)
  2. Explain the effects of accrual accounting on expense recognition. (CO 2)
  3. Explain the purpose of the Pro Forma Financial Statement. (CO 3)
  4. Apply sensitivity analysis to projected financial statements. (CO 4)
  5. Describe credit risk analysis techniques. (CO 5)
  6. Explain the fundamental analysis of equity valuation. (CO 6)
  7. Predict financial stress for companies listed in the stock market. (CO 7)


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

  1. Fridson, M., & Alvarez, F. (2011). Financial Statement Analysis: A Practitioner’s Guide (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

ISBN-13: 978-0-470-63560-5


Financial Statement Analysis is a three-credit online course, consisting of five (5) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and assignments. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Nature of Financial Reporting
    Course objective covered in this module: 1
  2. Module 2: Expense Recognition
    Course objective covered in this module: 2
  3. Module 3: Forecasting Financial Statements
    Course objectives covered in this module: 3, 4
  4. Module 4: Credit Analysis
    Course objectives covered in this module: 5
  5. Module 5: Equity Analysis
    Course objectives covered in this module: 6

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take a proctored midterm examination, 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 five (5) Discussion Forums.

Synchronous Events

You are required to participate in two (2) synchronous activities.They will occur in Weeks 4 and 7. Students will dial into a teleconference number (provided by your mentor) at a set time. Your mentor will work with the class to propose a time that works best and accommodates the majority. Students will prepare to discuss the topic given for that event. Topics will be determined by your mentor in discussion with the class.

*Mentors instructions for this activity are available in the instructor's resources area of the course Web site.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete five (5) written assignments, one per module. These written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Cumulative Midterm Assignment

During Week 4, you are required to complete a cumulative midterm assignment.

Final Project

For your final project, which is worth 30 percent of your total grade, you will write a research paper of 10-12 pages about measuring and predicting financial stress for business enterprises. The accounting literature includes several financial stress prediction models for business enterprises. The most common models are Altman Z-Score and Ohlson O-Score. These models are basically focusing on financial ratios, earnings measures, market values, and cash flow. The financial stress prediction models can be used as early warning tools to direct company’s management to take the necessary corrective action before the company goes into financial difficulties and bankruptcy phases.

Your paper should present comprehensive discussion and analysis of at least three financial stress prediction models. The paper should present an application of one of these models on two companies listed in the stock market. You should present valid conclusion and clear opinion on each company’s financial stress status.  The student should use the University’s Digital Resources and e-library to access the reading materials for this module.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (5)—20 percent
  2. Written assignments (5)—20 percent
  3. Synchronous Events (2)—10 percent
  4. Cumulative midterm assignment—20 percent
  5. Final project—30 percent

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:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.
  2. Take time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.
  4. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
  2. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.


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 takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or the College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.


Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. 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, 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 the 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.

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