Accounting Theory & Research – acc541 (3 credits)

This is the first core course in the Master of Science in Accounting (MSA). In this course, students apply accounting research tools to current accounting issues. Other topics include research of accounting questions related to: inventory, fixed assets, leases, derivative instruments, debt, contingencies, segment reporting, pensions, business combinations, consolidations, stockholder’s equity, and a program overview.

This graduate-level course is 6 weeks. This course is available to take individually or as part of a degree or certificate program. To enroll, speak with an Enrollment Representative.

Original Pronouncements

  • Identify the sources of current practice and thought in accounting.
  • Explain the relationship between the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).
  • Use tools available to University of Phoenix graduate students.
  • Identify the program objectives for the MSA.

Inventory and Fixed Assets

  • Describe the current practice and thought on inventory valuation.
  • Describe the current practice and thought on tangible fixed assets.
  • Describe the current practice and thought on intangible assets.
  • Describe the current practice and thought on allocation of fixed asset cost.


  • Apply the current practice and thought on classifying leases.
  • Explain the current practice and thought related to direct financing, sales type, and operating leases.

Derivative Instruments, Debt, and Contingencies

  • Explain the reporting requirements for contingencies.
  • Apply the theory of impairment to a debt restructuring.
  • Explain the concept of fair value measurement for derivative instruments and hedging activities.

Combinations, Consolidations, and Stockholder's Equity

  • Analyze accounting consolidation theory as it relates to special purpose entities (SPE).
  • Evaluate accounting treatment of share-based payment. 

Segment Reporting and Pensions

  • Evaluate the application of operating segment reporting.
  • Differentiate the reporting requirements for defined contribution, defined benefit, and other postretirement benefit plans.

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