Course 2018-2019 a.y.


Department of Accounting

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - M (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - IM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - MM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - AFC (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLEFIN-FINANCE (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLELI (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - ACME (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - DES-ESS (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  12 credits SECS-P/07) - EMIT (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - GIO (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus


To feel comfortable in this course, you should be familiar with Basic Financial Accounting topics and any Financial Statement Analysis Course provided at graduate or undergraduate Level.

Mission & Content Summary


The course develops students’ skills in understanding advanced accounting issues. Students get familiar with several relevant accounting events, among the others: companies mergers and disposals, understanding accounting quality, earnings quality and managerial activities and incentives to manipulate earnings. All event is dealt looking at the impact for market players and financial analysts. Case studies and illustrative examples from the financial press are used to increase familiarity with actual firms' financial statements and to emphasize the effect of financial accounting rules on the numbers presented in the financial statements. On the completion of this course, students should be able to: - Understand the determinants of accounting choices and rules. - Understand and evaluate economic consequences of accounting choices. - Assess the quality of financial statements. On the basis of all the above, the mission of this course is to give students skills for a comprehensive assessment of complex accounting issue focusing on accounting quality.


The most important topics we consider during this course are the following:

  • Accounting Quality.
  • Accounting for Merger and Acquisition (M&A) and companies disposals.
  • Audit Quality.
  • Market based accounting issues.
  • Hints on accounting implications following leverage buy-outs and management buy-outs.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understanding Mergers and Acquisition Processes.
  • Understanding determinant and economic consequences of audit quality.
  • Understanding implications for market participants of accounting and audit quality.
  • Understanding the firms’ key performance indicators.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Work properly on the accounting issues related to Mergers and acquisitions.
  • Able to understand overall accounting quality of a firm.
  • Understand the firms’ key performance indicators for market value based implications.

This in order to make financial and strategic decisions for the firm and to use such information on an investor perspective.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments


The learning experience of this course is based on: face-to-face lectures, Incidents and Projects presentations.

  • Face to face: lectures are interactive, as Accounting is a very practical course: real-life cases are presented during teaching, with the goal of linking the explanation to the “real world of business and accounts”. After each set of lectures regarding a certain topic, review sessions are discussed in class: the goal of the review session consists in showing the students how to approach the preparation of journal entries, of cash flow statement, of consolidation adjustment, and how to calculate financial ratios.
  • Incidents: papers, press news and practical small cases are provided and discussed in class.
  • Project: an assignment with the analysis of data, review of relevant literature and development of a key “accounting question” is given to students and discussed in class through a presentation.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


Students must register to seat for the exam. There is no partial exam. Final exam is written. The final grade of the course is as follows:

  • 50% Final written exam
  • 50% Assignment project.

Notwithstanding attendance is not compulsory and is not assessed through the “attendance” system. The written exam is based on a mix of open questions, closed questions and exercises, which aims to assess the student’s learning level of the theoretical notions and the main concepts, methods and tools shared in the course.

Teaching materials


The course material is exclusively represented by:

  • Penman, Stephen, Accounting for Value, Columbia Business School Press.
  • Slides - provided through Bboard.
  • Readings - provided through Bboard.

The course materials (e.g., hands outs and teaching notes) are regularly downloadable from Bboard platform. Teachers make the materials available throughout the course.

Last change 26/06/2018 21:52