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Study Guide Acct 504

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College of Business & Management
ACCT504 Student Success Guide

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Table of Contents
Why a success guide? ................................................................................................................................. 3 What makes accounting challenging? ........................................................................................................ 3 How should I approach the course? ........................................................................................................... 3 Threaded Discussions.............................................................................................................................. 4 Homework Assignments ......................................................................................................................... 4 Course Project ......................................................................................................................................... 5 Midterm Exam ........................................................................................................................................ 5 Final Exam ............................................................................................................................................... 5 What resources are available? .................................................................................................................... 5

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Why a success guide? Students frequently approach accounting with a certain level of anxiety about the difficulty of the course, the amount of math required and similar concerns. The purpose of this guide is to share with you what previous ACCT504 students have done to succeed.

What makes accounting challenging? Studying accounting is not like reading a book or even like studying other topics such as management, history or human resources: o Each topic, assignment and exam builds on previous concepts and material covered in the course. If you fall behind, especially in the first 2 weeks of the course, it is very difficult to catch up. o Accounting books are densely packed with information – each page needs to be studied and understood before moving forward. Quickly scanning the text or skipping topics will not lead to success. o Like law or computer programming, accounting is a technical subject – it requires logical reasoning in order to apply what you have learned. Accounting terms do not always mean the same thing as the same words in everyday language. Reading alone is not enough to learn accounting. It is important to practice accounting to truly understand.

How should I approach the course? Do not fall behind – this is the single most important thing to remember as it will guide your actions throughout the course. To avoid falling behind: Participate actively in the class – not only posting in the discussions but taking the time to read the posts of your classmates and professor. Do not rely on memorization as a substitute for understanding – this applies to the mechanics of accounting and their application to solving accounting problems. Practice, practice, practice – accounting can only be mastered by solving problems and learning from mistakes. Reach out for help if something is not clear.

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Following are general approaches for completing each graded activity:

Threaded Discussions Start early in the week – using the online lecture and the iConnect Live Lecture as sources for initial comments. Use what you have learned from the text for subsequent posts to the threads as the week progresses. Use web research sparingly and only to improve your understanding of a concept – relying on researched material from external sources for posts will not help you learn accounting. Look for accounting problems posted in the discussion area and do your best to answer them. This is the time and place where errors will not affect your grade and will allow your professor to provide guidance. Review the solutions to problems carefully – so you can do well on the exams and assignments.

Homework Assignments There are 3 assignments in the course: Assignment Due Case 1: The Complete Week 3 Accounting Cycle Tips
Download the file in Week 1 and review the instructions and each tab to get a sense of what is required. Begin working on the assignment in Week 2 as the material needed to start has been covered in the course and Live Lectures. Ask questions as they arise.

Case 2: Internal Controls

Week 5

The material required to complete this assignment is covered in Week 4 including the discussions and Live Lecture. Download the instructions at the start of the week to understand what is required and to keep it in mind during the discussions. Ask questions as they arise.

Case 3: Cash Budget

Week 6

Download the assignment template and instructions as well as the practice Cash Budget at the start of the week. Complete the practice cash budget before reviewing the solution – this will greatly help in completing this assignment. Ask questions as they arise.

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Course Project Download the instructions during Week 1 to review the requirements. As explained in the instructions, download the financial statements for the 2 companies from the internet – this should be done as soon as possible to be sure you find the correct information. Download the Tootsie Roll/Hershey template – the ratios are based on financial statements in the text so you can see how each ratio was calculated and to practice. You may also use the template to submit your assignment rather than creating your own spreadsheet file. Work on the project throughout the course with a goal to submit the project draft (ungraded) due in Week 5 – students that submit a draft as a group score better than those that do not.

Midterm Exam The midterm consists of 30 multiple choice questions and 2 problem questions. Success on the exam is often related to how well students do on the multiple choice questions. Download a copy of the study guides during week 1 -­‐ successful students study the material as it is covered in Weeks 1-­‐ 3. Relying on looking up answers to the multiple choice questions while taking the exam simply does not work given the exam is timed.

Final Exam The final exam consists of 14 multiple choice questions and 6 problem questions. Success on the exam is often related to how well students do on the problem questions. Download a copy of the study guide during week 1. Successful students study the material as it is covered in Weeks 1-­‐ 7. Time management is critical as the problem questions are comprehensive – you want to maximize the time available.

What resources are available? Your professor -­‐ the single most important resource available to you. They can help you when you find material challenging. Contact your professor when you have questions. Live Lectures review the most relevant topics and recordings are available if you cannot attend the live session. Tutor Source – an online tutoring service provided to students at no charge. Practice Quizzes – at the end of the written lecture in the course, you will find online practice questions that are auto-­‐graded for immediate feedback. Exam Study Guides – provide extensive references to the text to help you focus your studies. Practice Problems – posted in the threaded discussion area by your professor and end of chapter problems with solutions available in Doc Sharing.

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