Student guide Faculty of Economics A.Y. 2010/11

Business and Accounting
Aim of the course
The Business Economics and Accounting course which opens the first year provides a unified introduction to the various aspects of operating a business and the methodology specific to this discipline. The firm is looked at comprehensively as a historical entity, as an agent of economic and social change, and as a decisional centre that fosters innovation processes and contributes to technological development.
Students will acquire the necessary elements for understanding how the various technical-professional functions within a firm contribute to securing its development and protracted functioning over time. At the same time, they will be made aware of the diversity of sectors and fields in which firms conduct their activities, and the intrinsic originality of any successful entrepreneurial formula.
The functioning of the business firm is explored in depth through two course modules: the first illustrates the fundamentals of business economics, while the second covers the topic of accounting systems within firms.
In the first module, students will encounter a vast array of concepts, models and interpretation tools to assist them in analysing and understanding the various economic aspects of the firm, examining in particular its different constituent elements, the types of decisions taken within firms, and the principal managerial and business-organisational approaches. Students will also be alerted to the perils inherent in a purely mechanical application of the proposed theoretical frameworks to real-world companies.
The accounting module, which follows the module devoted to the organisation and administration of the business firm, will then illustrate the logic behind the construction of financial statements, analysing the impact of the main business transactions on the documents that make up the statement (income statement and balance sheet). Students will also acquire the fundamental tools for understanding and interpreting the assets, income and financial situation represented in the statements, by examining the principal methods for the reclassification of the balance sheet and income statement, and through the construction of indicators. Finally, to complete the coverage of analysis methods, they will acquire the fundamental elements for drawing up and interpreting the cash flow statement.
The accounting module is divided into two parts. The first sets out the logic for constructing financial statements and their constituent documents, while the second focuses on reading financial statements with a view to understanding the assets, income and cash-flow dynamics reflected therein.
  1. Definition of the firm and of business economics. Institutions. Companies. Economic specialisation.
  2. Purposes of companies. Economic combinations.
  3. Institutional frameworks. Economic viability.
  4. Structure of the firm, economic environment, the competitive system.
  5. The competitive formula.
  6. Business decisions: economic, expansion, organisational.
  7. Inter-firm groupings.
  8. Institutional frameworks.
Part one:
1. Purposes of the financial statements and the double entry bookkeeping system for recording financial transactions.
2. Effects of the principal transactions and closing entries on the balance sheet and income statement schedules. Closing of the books.
3. The financial statement schedules required by the Italian Civil Code.
Part two:
1. Fundamental elements for reading and interpreting financial statements: reclassification of the balance sheet and income statement.
2. (Continued): Construction of the principal indicators or financial ratios.
3. (Continued): Preparation of the cash flow statement.
There will be a written examination
Reading list
Airoldi, Brunetti, Coda, “Corso di economia aziendale” Il mulino Bologna, latest edition.