Self-Study
15
Basic
Accounting
There are no prerequisites.

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Course Description

Designed to give new controllers a firm foundation in the concepts of managing the accounting department, locating GAAP information, and knowing what to do with key accounting information, The Essential Controller is an invaluable resource you can turn to for guidance. Whether your business is large, small, or medium-sized, the materials provide a complete overview of the controller's responsibilities and the role that today's controllers should be playing. This course offers new coverage of finance strategy, updates taxation strategy, and includes a new controller checklist you can use to stay on track.



Instructor

Steven M. Bragg, CPA

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, is a full-time book and course author who has written more than 70 business books. He provides Western CPE with self-study courses in the areas of accounting and finance, with an emphasis on the practical application of accounting standards and management techniques. A sampling of his courses include the The New Controller Guidebook, The GAAP Guidebook, Accountants’ Guidebook, and Closing the Books: An Accountant’s Guide. He also manages the Accounting Best Practices podcast.

Steven has been the CFO or controller of both public and private companies and has been a consulting manager with Ernst & Young and an auditor with Deloitte & Touche. He holds an MBA from Babson College, a Master of Finance from Bentley College, and a BA from the University of Maine (summa cum laude).



Course Specifics

Accounting
Sep 12, 2018
There are no prerequisites.
SS1123366
374
None


Compliance Information

103220
Qualifies for CA Fraud: No


Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Identify the tasks and role of the accounting function
  • Recognize the role of the controller, citing differences between a traditional controller and the controller of the present
  • Recognize the importance that ethics play in the role of an accountant, noting the impact of ethics on the accounting role
  • Identify the proper steps to take when confronted with ethical issues

Chapter 2

  • Recognize the different functions that a controller is responsible for
  • Identify the key tasks in the controller’s job description
  • Specify the key elements in managing rapid growth

Chapter 3

  • Recognize the new role the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) needs to take on in today's business climate
  • Identify the major tasks the CFO is responsible for
  • Specify the key elements in communicating change within the finance department and the organization as a whole
  • Identify important characteristics that help executive teams drive change

Chapter 4

  • Associate the tasks of the accounting department to a specific job title
  • Note the average time consumed to find and fix errors, identifying locations to spot errors as well as ways to correct those errors
  • Recognize the tools used to determine if implementing a new best practice will be beneficial
  • Identify the most common functions in the accounting department that get outsourced, citing the main concerns in creating contracts for each

Chapter 5

  • Cite the purpose of cost accounting
  • Identify different tools used to collect data
  • Recognize the major differences between the main costing methodologies
  • Recognize the three main cost variance categories, identifying the main causes of each of the major variances

Chapter 6

  • Specify the importance of ratios used to analyze business functions
  • Identify ratios used to analyze business functions, noting their characteristics
  • Compute return on assets, cash flow return on assets, and return on shareholder equity given a set of circumstances
  • Cite the factors that a controller should consider when analyzing ratios

Chapter 7

  • Specify the uses and objectives of internal controls
  • Identify members of a company with oversight of internal controls, including their order of responsibility
  • Identify the common controls that are used based on financial statement groupings
  • Recognize the general types of fraud and their identifying characteristics
  • Identify the low/high level indicators a controller can use to uncover fraud
  • Specify the actions that can be taken when fraud is discovered
  • Recognize the components and requirements of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, identifying attributes a company’s controls must contain

Chapter 8

  • Identify the different types of fast closes, noting the main differences between each type
  • Specify the activities that can be done before the closing period ends as well as the activities that should wait until after the closing period ends
  • Recognize ways to improve the speed of the closing process

Chapter 9

  • Cite the rationale behind the different reporting relationships the internal audit function can have within a company
  • Recognize the different characteristics a successful audit committee has
  • Specify the different roles the audit committee is usually granted
  • Identify eight internal audit objectives as well as the activities associated with accomplishing each objective

Chapter 10

  • Note the components of the recruiting process, identifying the different sources to find new hires and the factors that lead to a successful hire
  • Recognize the differences between horizontal and vertical promotion
  • Cite the importance of low turnover, identifying ways a controller can reduce their turnover rate
  • Identify the three different types of communication a controller should use in their day-to-day activities, noting the characteristics of each type
  • Recognize the importance of motivating employees, citing the motivational factors in a multi-layered motivational system

Chapter 11

  • Recognize the typical audience the investor relation function serves
  • Identify the benefits and risks associated with disclosing company information to investors
  • Specify financial market objectives

Chapter 12

  • Recognize the five main tax saving strategies, identifying when each strategy would be the most beneficial


Table of Contents

Learning Objectives

Chapter 1 Accounting in the Corporation

Importance of This Chapter

Tasks of the Accounting Function

Role of the Accounting Function

Role of the Controller

Impact of Ethics on the Accounting Role

Evolving Role of Accounting

Chapter 1 Review Questions Review

Chapter 1 Review Question Answers and Rationales Review

Chapter 2 Controller’s Responsibilities

Importance of This Chapter

Variations on the Title

Planning Function

Control Function

Reporting Function

Accounting Function

Additional Controller Functions in Smaller Companies

Controller’s Job Description

Relationship of the Controller to the Chief Financial Officer

Future Changes in the Controller’s Origins and Responsibilities

Managing Rapid Growth

Chapter 2 Review Questions Review

Chapter 2 Review Question Answers and Rationales Review

Chapter 3 Chief Financial Officer: From Controller

Facilitator of Change

Importance of This Chapter

Understanding What Chief Executive Officers Want

 

 

Task of the CFO

Develop and Communicate a Compelling Finance Agenda

Build a Commitment to Change within Finance

Change Executive Management Practices

Enlist the Support of the Chief Executive Officer

Mobilize the Organization

Institutionalize Continuous Improvement

Chapter 3 Review Questions Review

Chapter 3 Review Question Answers and Rationales Review

Chapter 4 Operational Accounting

Importance of This Chapter

Create Departmental Job Descriptions

Create a Departmental Training Program

Clear Out Excess Documentation

Streamline the Accounting Workflow

Document All Major Processes

Correct the Underlying Causes of Errors

Use Best Practices

Outsource Selected Accounting Functions

Chapter 4 Review Questions Review

Chapter 4 Review Question Answers and Rationales Review

Chapter 5 Cost Accounting and Costing Systems

Importance of This Chapter

Purpose of Cost Accounting Information

Input: Data Collection Systems

Processing: Data Summarization Systems

Processing: Job Costing

Processing: Process Costing

Processing: Standard Costing

Processing: Direct Costing

Processing: Throughput Costing

Processing: Activity-based costing

Processing: Target Costing

Outputs: Cost Variances

Chapter 5 Review Questions Review

Chapter 5 Review Question Answers and Rationales Review

Chapter 6 Ratio and Trend Analysis

Importance of This Chapter

How to Use Ratios and Trends

A Caveat

Measures for Profitability

Measures for the Balance Sheet

Measures for Growth

Measures for Cash Flow

Measures for Nonfinancial Performance

Interrelationship of Ratios

Setting Up a System of Ratios and Trend Analyses

Chapter 6 Review Questions Review

Chapter 6 Review Question Answers and Rationales Review

Chapter 7 Internal Control Systems

Importance of This Chapter

Objectives

Responsibility for Internal Controls

Examples of Internal Controls

When to Eliminate Controls

Types of Fraud

Preventing Fraud

How to Deal with a Fraud Situation

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Chapter 7 Review Questions Review

Chapter 7 Review Question Answers and Rationales Review

Chapter 8 The Fast Close

Importance of This Chapter

Different Types of Fast Close

How to Achieve a Fast Close

Enhanced Closing Process

Chapter 8 Review Questions Review

Chapter 8 Review Question Answers and Rationales Review

Chapter 9 Internal Audit Function

Importance of This Chapter

Reporting Relationships

Composition of the Audit Committee

Role of the Audit Committee

Internal Audit Objectives

Internal Audit Activities

Managing the Internal Audit Function

Chapter 9 Review Questions Review

Chapter 9 Review Question Answers and Rationales Review

Chapter 10 Recruiting, Training, and Supervision

Importance of This Chapter

Recruiting Sources

Factors to Consider When Recruiting

Factors to Consider When Promoting

Importance of Reduced Turnover

Importance of Developing Career Plans for Employees

Importance of Communications with Employees

How to Motivate Employees

viii Conte

Chapter 10 Review Questions Review

Chapter 10 Review Question Answers and Rationales Review

Chapter 11 Controller’s Role in Investor Relations

Importance of This Chapter

Objectives of the Investor Relations Function

Evolving Nature of the Function

Communication Vehicles

Investor Relations

Investor Relations Message Recipients

Information Needs of the Financial Analyst

Information Needs of Other Groups

Disclosure Policy

Organization Structure for Investor Relations

Role of the Controller and Other Principals

Some Suggested Financial Market Objectives

Some Suggested Methods

Chapter 11 Review Questions Review

Chapter 11 Review Question Answers and Rationales Review

Chapter 12 Taxation Strategy

Importance of This Chapter

Accumulated Earnings Tax

Cash Method of Accounting

Inventory Valuation

Mergers and Acquisitions

Net Operating Loss Carryforwards

Nexus

Project Costing

Property Taxes

S Corporation

Sales and Use Taxes

Transfer Pricing

Unemployment Taxes

Chapter 12 Review Questions Review

Chapter 12 Review Question Answers and Rationales Review

About the Author

Index

Glossary

Final Examination

Answer Sheet

Course Evaluation

 



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