ACC 311 - Intermediate Accounting - spring 2012
Instructor:   Sandy Roberson, CPA
Office phone: (864) 294-2225

This syllabus and related point allocations for purposes of grading may change during the term.  Any changes will be announced in class and posted to Moodle.

Office:  Hipp Hall 201F
Office hours: MW from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., and by appointment
Web address:
Home phone:  (864) 246-5642

Course Learning Objectives
In this class you will, of course, learn technical accounting content.  Significant time will also be dedicated to helping you to develop your analytical skills, research skills, problem solving skills, interpersonal skills and both written and verbal communication skills.

Upon successful completion of this course you should

Text:  Intermediate Accounting 14th Edition, Kieso, Weygandt and Warfield, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2012

Text Web site:  The text web site is a good source of various resources to help you in your study of intermediate accounting.  It is located at

Answer Key: The problem answer key is available on Moodle.  The solutions manual is a valuable tool for checking your work and providing solutions to extra problems that you may wish to work prior to an exam.  Do not, however, rely on the manual to help you get through the homework - if you do,  you will regret this decision at exam time.

Class Format:  We will begin the study of each chapter with a brief discussion of the chapter, focusing on the more complex material.  Prior to coming to class, you should read the assigned material so that you have an idea of the areas where you have questions and you are prepared to participate in discussions and in class exercises.  Frequently, an intermediate chapter will begin with a review of material covered in your introductory accounting course.  We will generally not spend time discussing this material.  Homework may be assigned to help you insure that you understand the review material before moving on to related more complex concepts. You will be responsible for all of the chapter material (whether specifically discussed in class or not) unless otherwise noted.    Accordingly, if you have questions regarding a particular topic that is not discussed, please raise them.  As a part of the chapter discussion, we will often work problems in class to further reinforce certain concepts discussed.

Written Assignments from the Text: Each reading assignment will be accompanied by a written assignment.  None of the assigned items will be collected; however, certain assigned items will be reviewed in class.   The items reviewed in class are generally the more difficult problems so it is critical that you work these problems before we go over them.  For the items not reviewed in class, you should compare your solution to the solutions manual which is available on Moodle.  If you do not understand the solution or have questions about it, you should raise questions in class or see me outside of class.

VITA Service Learning Project: This course will encourage you to reflect on the question, “As an educated professional, what is my responsibility to my community?” through discussion, writing and participation in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).   In addition, participation in VITA will expose you to various ethical issues in the community and the tax system while enhancing your communication, analytical and organizational skills.   15% of your grade in this course will be based on your participation in VITA.  You are expected to complete a minimum of 12 hours of service in the VITA program along with the training necessary for you to become a certified tax return preparer under the program.  See separate VITA document for further details regarding training, service and grading.  If you have issues or concerns relative to completing the VITA service learning project, you must discuss this with Professor Roberson no later than  January 11.

An important component of any service learning project is reflecting on your experiences.  Relative to your VITA experiences you are expected to prepare reflective writings after each volunteer session and at the end of your VITA service.  See separate VITA document for further details.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

- Margaret Mead

IFRS: International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are becoming increasingly important in our global economy.  Accordingly, IFRS related questions or problems will be part of your homework assignments throughout the term.  The IFRS material will be one of the self learning components of this class, and related homework items will generally not be reviewed in class so be sure you compare your solution to Moodle and raise any questions you have in class.  Exams will include IFRS related items based on the text material, class discussions, and related homework assignments.

FASB Codification Research Assignments:  Researching and resolving financial reporting questions is an acquired skill. To give you an opportunity to acquire this valuable skill, there will be accounting standards codification assignments associated with many of the major topics studied during the term.  These assignments will help you to develop your research skills and allow you to experience firsthand the judgment involved in the application of accounting standards.  Because the Codification assignments specifically relate to the technical material being studied and will often provide insights into that material, they are due once coverage of the related chapter is completed (see separate handout for additional details).

Ethics and Professionalism:  Professionalism is related to the ethical conduct of a select group of people.  Throughout the term, we will discuss the importance of ethics in the accounting profession and discuss ethical decision making in an accounting context.  During the term you are expected to conduct yourself with a high level of professionalism. This means, among other things, that you will attend class on time, prepare for every class meeting, hand in assignments on time, work with colleagues, respect everyone in the classroom, including the professor, and abide by Furman's policies on academic integrity.

Group Activities:  Due to the importance of teamwork skills in the workplace, informal groups will be used for various class activities. Class preparation will be critical to effective group participation.

Outside Readings and Communication Exercises: Because it must meet the needs of an ever changing business environment, accounting is a discipline that is constantly evolving.   To give you an understanding of this aspect of accounting and to insure that you are aware of the most significant issues facing the profession today,  I may occasionally assign outside readings relating to current accounting issues which we will discuss in class.  The readings may also be a source for exam questions.

Effective communication skills are important in this class and in the "real world". It is not enough to possess technical competence and an ability to analyze and solve problems, you must also be able to clearly express your conclusions and basis for reaching them.    Accordingly, during the term  I may assign short papers, cases or other written or verbal communication exercises.  These exercises may, among other things, require you to read an article and provide your reactions to the material read, complete a case study or complete a group exercise.   Your grade on communication exercises will be based on the substance of your comments as well as your ability to communicate your thoughts clearly and succinctly. Communication exercises will make-up no more than 2% of your total grade.

Accounting Majors' Checklist:  To help you prepare for your future, you are required to complete the Accounting Majors Checklist.  The Checklist is  posted to Moodle.

Exams:  There will be three exams during the term that will represent approximately 80% of your final grade.  Exams will be held outside of normal class meeting hours (generally in the evening or late afternoon) to allow for adequate time to test the material covered.  Each exam will be 2  to 3 hours in length.

Material Covered
Exam 1 Chapters 1, 2, 3A, and 5
Exam 2 Chapters 4, 6 and 7 
Final Exam Chapters 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 

Graded exams will not be reviewed in class in their entirety.  However, you may review your test in my office outside of class and I will be happy to discuss any questions that were not covered in class.  Although exams will be maintained on file in my office, you are welcome to review them or discuss them with me at any time during the term.

Class Attendance and Participation: Attendance is a very important part of this course and is expected.  On occasion, the class will be divided into groups to work particularly challenging problems.  When this occurs, please keep in mind that your participation and contribution to the group effort is important to the learning process of the entire group.

You will be held accountable for material discussed in class that is not in the text.

University policy will be followed regarding the handling of excessive absences (see the current Furman University Catalogue).

Final Grade:  Your final grade will be determined based on your total number of points earned as a percentage of the total points available.

Grading Scale

98% - 100%
A = 93% - 97%
A- = 90% - 92%
B+ = 88% - 89%
83% - 87%
B- = 80% - 82%
C+ = 78% - 79%
C = 73% - 77%
70% - 72%
D+ = 68% - 69%
63% - 67%
D- = 60% - 62%
Below 60%

Academic Integrity:  Your enrollment in this class signifies that you accept the rules of academic honesty provided in the Helmsman. Any violation is grounds for an "F" in this course.  Cheating on assignments, plagiarism, and other similar conduct will result in immediate dismissal from this course.

Students with disabilities who need academic accommodations should contact Ms. Gina Parris in the Office of Disability Services.  After meeting with her, contact me.   It is important that you do this early in the term.

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