Introduction to Finance and Accounting Specialization by University of Pennsylvania


About this Specialization

Learn the basics of finance and accounting. Build a foundation of core business skills in finance and accounting

This specialization provides an introduction to corporate finance and accounting, emphasizing their application to a wide variety of real-world situations spanning personal finance, corporate decision-making, financial intermediation, and how accounting standards and managerial incentives affect the financial reporting process.

It begins with concepts and applications like time value of money, risk-return tradeoff, retirement savings, mortgage financing, auto leasing, asset valuation, and many others. The specialization uses Excel to make the experience more hands-on and help learners understand the concepts more directly. From valuing claims and making financing decisions, to elements of a basic financial model, the coursework provides a solid foundation to corporate finance.

The specialization then moves to financial accounting, enabling learners to read financial statements and to understand the language and grammar of accounting. The coursework introduces bookkeeping fundamentals, accrual accounting, cash flow analysis, among much else! Finally, using the foundational knowledge of accounting, the specialization teaches learners how to understand and analyze key information that companies provide in their statements, including types of assets and liabilities and longer-term investments and debts, and finally the difference between tax reporting and financial reporting.

Check: Harvard University Free Online Courses


  • Discounting and compounding arbitrary cash flow streams in order to value different claims and make better financial decisions.
  • Difference between NPV and Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
  • Classification of cash flows into operating, investing, and financing activities
  • How companies account for investments in debt and equity securities

The English language courses offered by US EMBASSY

Applied Learning Project

This specialization uses a series of homework, quizzes and an optional Excel spreadsheet to help learners gain a more comprehensive understanding of essential concepts of corporate finance and accounting. The coursework introduces bookkeeping fundamentals, accrual accounting, cash flow analysis, and more! From valuing claims and making financing decisions, to elements of a basic financial model, the coursework provides a solid foundation to corporate finance.

How the Specialization Works

Take Courses

A Coursera Specialization is a series of courses that helps you master a skill. To begin, enroll in the Specialization directly, or review its courses and choose the one you’d like to start with. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. It’s okay to complete just one course — you can pause your learning or end your subscription at any time. Visit your learner dashboard to track your course enrollments and your progress.

Hands-on Project

Every Specialization includes a hands-on project. You’ll need to successfully finish the project(s) to complete the Specialization and earn your certificate. If the Specialization includes a separate course for the hands-on project, you’ll need to finish each of the other courses before you can start it.

Earn a Certificate

When you finish every course and complete the hands-on project, you’ll earn a Certificate that you can share with prospective employers and your professional network.

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There are 4 Courses in this Specialization

COURSE 1 Fundamentals of Finance

In this course, you’ll learn the basic fundamentals of corporate finance. Based on the pre-term qualifying courses for Wharton MBA students, Professor Jessica Wachter has designed this course for learners who need a refresher in financial concepts, or for those who are learning about corporate finance for the first time. You’ll identify foundational concepts in corporate finance, such as NPV, Compound and Simple Interest, and Annuities versus Perpetuities. You’ll also learn how to apply the NPV framework to calculating fixed-income valuation and Equity, using hypothetical examples of corporate projects. By the end of this course, you’ll have honed your skills in calculating risk and returns to optimize investments and be able to assess the right set of financial information to achieve better returns for your firm.

COURSE 2 Introduction to Corporate Finance

This course provides a brief introduction to the fundamentals of finance, emphasizing their application to a wide variety of real-world situations spanning personal finance, corporate decision-making, and financial intermediation. Key concepts and applications include: time value of money, risk-return tradeoff, cost of capital, interest rates, retirement savings, mortgage financing, auto leasing, capital budgeting, asset valuation, discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis, net present value, internal rate of return, hurdle rate, payback period.

COURSE 3 Introduction to Financial Accounting

Master the technical skills needed to analyze financial statements and disclosures for use in financial analysis, and learn how accounting standards and managerial incentives affect the financial reporting process. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to read the three most common financial statements: the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. Then you can apply these skills to a real-world business challenge as part of the Wharton Business Foundations Specialization.

COURSE 4 More Introduction to Financial Accounting

The course builds on my Introduction to Financial Accounting course, which you should complete first. In this course, you will learn how to read, understand, and analyze most of the information provided by companies in their financial statements. These skills will help you make more informed decisions using financial information.

Check: Stanford University Free Online Courses


Jessica Wachter

Dr. Bruce I. Jacobs Professor in Quantitative Finance

Jessica Wachter is currently an associate editor at the Review of Financial Studies, the Journal of Economic Theory, and Mathematics and Financial Economics. Previously, she served on the board of directors of the American Finance Association. She has been a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research since 2008. Her research interests include asset pricing models that incorporate rare events, models of portfolio allocation, and financial econometrics.

Brian J Bushee

The Geoffrey T. Boisi Professor

Brian Bushee is the Gilbert and Shelley Harrison Professor of Accounting at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining Wharton in 2000, he was an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Business School and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago. He has also worked as a Senior Credit Analyst for CoreStates Financial Corp. and as a National Office Researcher for Coopers and Lybrand L.L.P. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and A.B. from Duke University. His research focuses on the impact of information intermediaries—such as institutional investors, sell-side analysts, and the business press—on corporate disclosure decisions and on the stock market pricing of information. Professor Bushee currently teaches an MBA elective titled Problems in Financial Reporting and has taught the MBA introductory financial accounting course at Wharton, Harvard, and Chicago. He also teaches in the Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists and in a number of Wharton Executive Education Programs. He has won the MBA Excellence in Teaching Award and the Helen Kardon Moss Anvil Award, which is awarded to the one Wharton faculty member “who has exemplified outstanding teaching quality during the last year.”

Michael R Roberts

William H. Lawrence Professor of Finance, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Michael R. Roberts is the William H. Lawrence Professor of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Roberts earned his BA in Economics from the University of California at San Diego, and his MA in Statistics and PhD in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Roberts’ primary areas of research are corporate finance and banking. He investigates the determination of corporate capital structure and payout policy, and their impact on corporate investment and equity returns. He also studies the pricing, design, and renegotiation of debt securities. More recently, Professor Roberts has begun investigating the impact of government policies on corporate behavior. His research has received several awards including two Brattle Prize Awards for Distinguished Paper in the Journal of Finance, and best paper awards at the Financial Management Association’s and Southwestern Finance Association’s annual meetings. In 2012, he was honored as a Rising Star in Finance by Fordham University. Professor Roberts is the co-editor of the Journal of Finance and serves on numerous editorial boards. In addition to his research, Professor Roberts has won multiple teaching awards instructing undergraduates, MBAs, PhDs, and executives. In addition to his experience at the Wharton School, he has taught at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and the University of California at Berkeley.

The course of Fundamentals of Accounting Specialization by the University of Illinois

Offered by University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn) is a private university, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. A member of the Ivy League, Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and considers itself to be the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.

Headquarters: Philadelphia, PA, The United States of America

Notable alumni

  • Elon Musk
  • Donald Trump
  • Warren Buffett

What is the University of Pennsylvania known for?

The University of Pennsylvania is a private institution that was founded in 1740. … The University of Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia, was founded by Benjamin Franklin. The Penn Quakers have more than 25 NCAA Division I sports that compete in the Ivy League, and are noted for successful basketball and lacrosse teams.

Does University of Pennsylvania give scholarships to international students?

Since international students are generally not qualified for federal-based scholarships, the University of Pennsylvania offers its institution-funded, need-based financial aid. Prospective applicants can only submit their application for financial assistance along with their university application.

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