October 29, 2018, BY Beth Kaszuba

What Class? Foundations of Accounting II

Who Teaches It? Professor Stacy Mastrolia, accounting & financial management

"This course exposes students to the art and science of analyzing and interpreting economic events. While required for accounting & finance majors, it is also popular with students who are interested in entrepreneurship.

"The class, in which students learn to prepare and analyze financial statements for an organization, is rooted in my interest in active learning. Students must read and prepare for discussions outside of class, so our time together can be used to work on problem-solving and problem-solving techniques.

"One of our texts is a novel I was invited to coauthor with other professors who are also interested in active learning. My goal in joining the project was to bring to life business language, accounting topics and ethical situations, using a more creative delivery mechanism than a traditional textbook. The plot centers around a jewel theft in Myanmar, and the protagonist is an accounting professor who also has a forensic accounting practice. During the course of the novel, students are shown 15 to 20 professions available to accounting- and finance-trained professionals.

"The novel also presents numerous ethical dilemmas, giving students a glimpse into how issues can arise during real events and business transactions, and challenging them to consider how they might respond to similar circumstances. Finally, the novel slowly reveals that one of the protagonist's clients has engaged in fraud, allowing students to see how improperly reported accounting transactions might be investigated and uncovered. Students consistently tell me that the book provided them with a more holistic view of the accounting and finance professions, financial transactions and reporting, and personal and professional ethical dilemmas.

"My goal is to help students build a strong foundational knowledge of accounting and financial management. Students should gain a solid knowledge of financial reports — what is in them, what is not, and how they are prepared and presented. Accounting is referred to as the 'language of business,' and I hope students continue to build their business vocabulary and their understanding of how organizations work. I also hope students realize that a career in accounting and financial management will be exciting, varied and interesting, as well as useful and important to society."

See what else Bucknell offers in the Department of Accounting & Financial Management.

Are we missing out on a cool class? Send suggestions to coolclasses@bucknell.edu.