Business Finance and Accounting

The aim of this module is to introduce international learners to the use of financial and accounting information in Irish business strategy, funding and operations, and to enable them to interpret the key financial statements of business.

On successful completion of this module learners should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental concepts of business financial management.
  2. Prepare a profit and loss account and balance sheet.
  3. Write a report interpreting a set of financial statements.
  4. Recommend the appropriate sources of funding in different situations.
  5. Analyse different financial scenarios with a view to making decisions and recommendations.
  6. Prepare budgets and projections for early stage and start up businesses.


Course Content:

Session 1

Introduction to Business in Ireland: an overview of business structures,  funding, investment, legislation and compliance.

Introduction to Accounting Basics: an overview of accounting principles, concepts, processes, techniques and terminology.

Session 2

Interpretation of Accounts: profitability, liquidity, efficiency, gearing and investment ratios analysis.

Session 3

Learner Preparation of Profit and Loss Account and Balance Sheet (Irish format).

Session 4

Sources of Funding in Ireland: State support and other support organisations;short-term and long term finance; funding with debt; funding with equity;  financial institutions;  application for finance, security, conditions, guarantees.

Session 5

Audit Report and Users of Accounts:  Purpose of audit and content of report; who are the users of accounts and what do they look for in accounts.

Session 6

The Business Plan: Preparing the Financial Section: key assumptions, income statement, cash flow projection and balance sheet.

Session 7

Investment Appraisal: accounting  rate of returnpayback period methoddiscounted payback period;  net present value; internal rate of return; risk factors.

Session 8

Short-term Decision Making: marginal costing techniquesbreak even analysis.

Session 9

Budgeting: the master budget; budgeted profit and loss account, balance sheet and cash flow forecast. Incremental, zero based, activity based budgeting; performance monitoring.

Session 10

Cash Flow Forecasting: creating, reviewing and manipulating the forecast.

Exam Preparation

Syllabus overview, learning objectives reviewed, exam technique, study methods.


Reading Lists and Other Resources

Textbook / Journal based Resources:

Atrill, Peter and Eddie McLaney. Accounting and Finance for Non-Specialists. Prentice Hall. 2010.

Cox, David and Michael Fardon. Management of Finance. Osborne Books, 1997.

Dyson, J R. Accounting for Non–Accounting Students. 6th ed. Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2003.

Giles, Richard. Finance & Accounting. The Institute of Commercial Management, 2011.

Allen, Kathleen R. New Venture Creation. 6th ed. South-Western, 2011.

Web based Resources: