Harvard Business School On-Line Modules for Accounting and Finance Now Available to HLS Students

On an experimental basis, the Law School is making available two online courses from the Harvard Business School, one on accounting and the other on finance. These courses are a pre-matriculation requirement for all incoming MBA students at the Harvard Business School. Each course takes approximately 10 hours to complete although students with strong backgrounds may complete them in less time. A fuller description of these offerings appears below.  The offerings are on a no-credit basis.  If you are interested in taking either or both of these on-line courses, please contact Lisa Junghahn, one of the HLS reference librarians, who has kindly agreed to serve as liaison for this initiative. Ms. Junghahn can be reached at Ljunghahn@law.harvard.edu or 617-496-2123.

In addition to these new self-teaching modules, the Law School curriculum this year includes an unusually large number of courses on accounting, a critical subject in today's world in which all students should have basic familiarity. The most rudimentary coverage – typically a week or two of classes – comes in the Analytical Methods courses taught by Professor Kathryn Spier in the Fall and Mr. David Cope in the Spring. A more complete introduction is available in Visiting Professor Bala Dharan’s one-credit Introduction to Accounting and Corporate Financial Reports offered in the Fall. Advanced coverage of the subject is available in Professor Dharan’s one-credit Spring offering on Financial Statement Analysis: Getting Behind the Numbers and Visiting Professor Roman Weil’s two credit course, Financial Accounting. Descriptions of all these course offerings are available in the HLS course catalog.

Financial Accounting: An Introductory Online Course

This online course is designed to give students a better understanding of (1) basic financial accounting terms and concepts; (2) the financial statements--balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows--that firms use to describe their businesses; (3) the approach used to construct the financial statements; and (4) some simple ratios that capture key elements of firm performance. It describes the key business activities for Global Grocer, a new, small retail franchise specializing in gourmet foods and specialty kitchen implements from around the world--including its set-up and subsequent operation. Through a combination of voice, graphics, and text, shows how Global Grocer's business activities are recorded and captured in its financial statements. Students are encouraged to apply their learning throughout the course by using the many practice problems included. The course includes pre- and post-test assessments.

Finance: An Introductory Online Course

This online course is designed to help students understand the basic principles of Corporate Finance, the essential tools for financial analysis, and introductory models and frameworks used in corporate financial decision making. The topics include ratio analysis, cash cycle, pro forma forecasting, financial statement analysis, capital structure, time value of money, project valuation, WACC (weighted average cost of capital), DCF (discounted cash flow) analysis, CAPM (capital asset pricing model), valuation, and sensitivity analysis. Narrated animations and numerous exercises help students grasp difficult concepts quickly. The course includes both pre and post-assessment tests. The course presumes that students possess a working knowledge of financial accounting (such as “Financial Accounting: An Introductory Online Course”).

Last modified: October 10, 2008

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