上学期的后半学期(10月22日到12月10日,7周左右)上了四门必修课,说实话其中有点无趣的是 Accounting 这门课。或许,最实用的东西在最开始看都是无趣的,呵呵。

教授

教我那个班的 accounting 教授是 Prof. Sunil  Dutta:

Prof. Sunil  Dutta

他来自印度,1996年之后在 Haas 做教授,现在还兼任 Haas School PhD Program 的 Director.
BS, Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India, 1984.
MS, Applied Chemistry, University of Minnesota, 1988.
MBA, Accounting, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, 1993.
PhD, Business Administration, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, 1994.

课本

这门课用这本书做课本,Financial Accounting for MBAs, 4th edition, by Easton, Wild, Halsey, and McAnally, 2009, Cambridge Business Publishers, ISBN: 978-1-934319-34-5. 这本书写的很好。

内容

大体上是跟着那课本学:

Module 1 Financial Accounting for MBAs
Module 2 Introducing Financial Statements and Transaction Analysis
Module 3 Accounting Adjustments and Constructing Financial Statements
Module 4 Analyzing and Interpreting Financial Statements
Module 5 Reporting and Analyzing Operating Income
Module 6 Reporting and Analyzing Operating Assets
Module 7 Reporting and Analyzing Intercorporate Investments
Module 8 Reporting and Analyzing Nonowner Financing
Module 9 Reporting and Analyzing Owner Financing
Module 10 Reporting and Analyzing Off-Balance-Sheet Financing

对我这样从未接触过 accounting 的人来说,这是一门扫盲课。

主要就是不停的琢磨那几张财务报表(Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Statement of Cash Flows),牢记最基本的等式:Assets = Liabilities + Equity,以及填鸭了N多专有名词、缩写和概念例如 Assets, Liability, Equity, liquidity, Contributed Capital, Retained Earnings, cash, inventory, PPE (Property, Plant and Equipment), Accounts Payable, Wages payable, Market Value vs. Book Value, Debit, Credit, Journal Entry, T-Account, Net Income, Accounts Receivable, COGS (cost of goods sold), Return On Assets, Return On Equity, Notes Receivable, FIFO, LIFO, Depreciation…………

除了被灌输了这许多基本概念外,我觉得还比较重要的是理解 Financial accounting is not an exact science,也就是说公司在做财务报表的时候,有很多地方可以有不同的选择(说白了也就是有不同的做帐方法),因此作为投资者,在看财务报表的时候要多个心眼。

在第一节课上,教授就告诉我们 Warren Buffett 的三个对投资者的建议:

  • Beware of companies displaying weak accounting.  There is seldom just one cockroach in the kitchen.
  • Unintelligible footnotes usually indicate untrustworthy management.  If you cannot understand a footnote, it is usually because the CEO does not want you to.
  • Be suspicious of companies that trumpet earnings projections and growth expectations.  Business seldom operate in a tranquil, no-surprise environment, and earnings simply do not advance smoothly.

现在回头看,Buffet 就是 Buffet 啊,果真是字字珠玑。

Accounting 虽然有点机械和无趣,但 accounting 经常被称作 the language of business,所以 accounting 的基础重要地位不言而喻,所以我想我会在二年级再选一些适当的选修课来加深对 accounting 的理解。