This course is designed to provide a broad base coverage of issues related to accounting, such as: basic accounting concepts & their applications to businesses, capital raising, financial planning, managerial accounting principles & concepts, management planning & control, as well as taxation that are relevant to (future) business owners and entrepreneurs. Business owners and entrepreneurs need the general foundation to help plan and control business operations and finance as well as discussing and negotiating with other stakeholders of the business.
At the same time, this is an SMU-X module, which offers an experiential learning opportunity for students. The course allows students to translate classroom knowledge and theory into practical solutions for real organizations. Students will be expected to venture beyond prescribed readings and text. They will also participate in a consultancy project. Through the project, students will learn how to solve business problems with guidance from the faculty and project sponsor mentors, from problem definition to final client presentation – while simultaneously testing their skills in real world settings. Hence, this course is PROJECT-HEAVY (both individual & group project) & involves lots of hands-on work. Students may refer to https://x.smu.edu.sg/courses for more information on SMU-X and the various courses offered under SMU-X.
Students are also advised that there is an alternative non-X version of the same module (Accounting for Entrepreneurs) which is less project heavy but involves more quizzes and there will be a Final Exam. Therefore, please consider carefully which version of ACCT002 you will be taking.
All School of Accountancy courses are designed to meet certain learning goals and objectives. Some learning goals are addressed at course level, some at program level. This course specifically contributes to the development of the following course level learning goals:
Students are expected to demonstrate the following technical abilities upon completion:
- Understand and able to choose among different incorporation options available to entrepreneurs, in particular the incentives, income tax and corporate tax implications in Singapore
- Understand the general terms on financial statements without going through detail double entries and to apply them to real businesses.
- Compute simple ratios and make inferences based on reasonable examination of financial statements, which are critical for business and funding purposes
- Understand and be able to manage critical factors which include short and long-term financial-planning, pricing of products, and managerial planning and control systems for small businesses as well as new start-ups.
- Understand the increasing relevance of recent trends, such as: sustainability accounting; and how it affects the bottom line for entrepreneurs.
- Appreciate the importance of having good business ethic.
In addition, learning outcomes should be beyond just technical proficiencies. In particular, this course seeks to develop certain skills and attributes.
- Analytical: Analytical skills will be developed through various problem solving and case analyses. The course will provide the tools for students to use and analyse accounting data, financial reports and information to make informed decisions.
- Communication: Students will be required to actively participate in the class discussions and through written report and discussion of the company analysis project.
- Team work: Team projects, discussions and presentations will be important elements of the course. All students will be required to work in teams. They are expected to work as partners and share the work load.
- Active learning: Students will be expected to venture beyond prescribed readings and text. The company analysis project will allow students to take an active role in their understanding of how the end products of an accounting system serve information need of users.
- Professional ethics: Ethical issues are discussed and cases will be reviewed. This introductory course provides the opportunity to emphasize the needs for the highest ethical behaviour for corporate executives and corporations.
The pedagogical approach to this course consists of three interlocking elements:
- Instructor-facilitated Learning: Facilitation, Clarification, Synthesis
- Individual Learning: Preparation, Analysis, Action
- Collaborative Learning: Teamwork, Discussion, Sharing
The role of the instructor is to facilitate, provide clarification of critical concepts, not to read out pages of the textbook to you. Often, it is important to be able to see the “trees from the forests” and synthesise on why certain things matters are just as important as how specific processes/procedures are performed.
Students are reminded that their individual contribution to learning starts before class. Students should prepare by pre-reading, analysing the materials/tasks/cases to be covered before coming to class and actively participate in class discussions. Preparation is the prerequisite for analysis which will allow you to take action in your individual learning.
Collaborative learning elements are developed through your contribution to your classmates learning experiences, either through teamwork in tackling your project or other assigned tasks, and being willing to contribute to class discussions and share your findings and work so others will benefit. Naturally, your individual preparation, analysis and action will determine how much you are able to contribute to collaborative learning.
Learning activities are planned to take into account these three elements of learning. Both the technical learning and skills objectives will be developed through a blend of theory and practice. Each topic starts with discussions of technical knowledge, followed by a practical session, using exercises, discussions, case analysis, and other class materials to enforce students’ understanding of the topic.
- Theories are what you learn in the methodological, structured and systematic study of a discipline. The materials used in the class (described in part F below) will help students learn, understand and practice the important issues in accounting for entrepreneurs (which cover taxation, simple auditing and fraud prevention, financial-planning, and ratio analysis) and theories for the purpose of starting your own business.
- Cases are examples that we bring in to class to introduce the relevance of theories and concepts in actual accounting practices. Several cases will be discussed to help you appreciate the real-world importance of the theories and concepts you read.
I strongly encourage you to discuss with me any problems that you may have with this course as soon as they arise. Please do not allow problems to accumulate because it will be more difficult to solve them later.