This course introduces business decision-making using accounting information systems. Emphasis is on analyzing, summarizing, reporting, and interpreting financial information. Upon completion, students should be able to prepare financial statements, understand the role of financial information in decision-making and address ethical considerations.


This course is and introduction to many aspects of the private enterprise system and of the businesses that operate within this framework. Your experience in this course will enable you to gain a better understanding of what business is all about, how a business operates, and which business functions are needed in any business enterprise. The course will consist of lectures, readings, assignments, quizzes, and exams to help you apply, in a practical way, key concepts of a business environment.

There are no Prerequisites or Corequisites for this course.

Ruddlesden, D. Jerry

Adjunct Assistant Professor in Business
Part Time
A.A. (1989), Ambassador University; B.A. (1987), Marshall University; M.B.A. (2009), DeVry University
Subject Matter: 
Accounting and Business

Dalton Jerry Ruddlesden received his A.A. from Ambassador College in Big Sandy, TX, his B.B.A. from Marshall University in Huntington WV and his M.B.A. from Devry University. Before attending Ambassador College, he graduated from Marshall University with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting. At Ambassador his main area of focus was Theology, and he served on the Outreach Program and was a member of the Ambassador Choral. In 1989 he was hired into the work to serve as an accountant in the Caribbean Regional Office. In 1994 he began working for the Global/Living Church of God in the Finance Department and now is the Financial Controller for both Living Church of God and Living University, overseeing the accounting department and budgeting/cash flow forecasting. He is married to Susanne Ruddlesden who is a TV editor in the Tomorrow’s World studio and they have two children, Ana and Geoffrey. 

Course Credit: 
Three (3) semester credit hours
Instructional Objectives: 

The objective of ACCT 251 Financial Accounting is to introduce students to the study of accounting. Accounting has been often referred to as the language of business. We will identify the different forms of business and the three main types of activity. The main purpose of financial accounting is to measure and report the performance of a business to interested parties both outside and inside of the business. These interested parties use accounting information to make a variety of decisions such as: 

  • Investors - Deciding whether to purchase or sell a company’s stock. 
  • Bankers - Deciding whether to lend money to a business. 
  • Managers - Making day-to-day business decisions such budgeting, whether to increase inventory levels, staffing needs, advertising, etc,. 
  • Executives/Directors - Making decisions on the overall direction of the company including products, capital requirements and investments or to issue stock dividends 

Students taking Financial Accounting will learn to prepare and interpret the four basic financial statements which all publicly traded companies must prepare and make available to the public. These statements are the income statement, balance sheet, statement of owners’ equity and statement of cash flows. See the detailed Class Schedule and textbook chapters covered by this course. 

Required Texts: 

Kimmel, Paul, Jerry Weygandt and Donald Kieso. Financial Accounting: Tools for Business Decision Making. 6th ed. USA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2011.

(This text is designed to be kept as reference resource upon the conclusion of the course.)

Additional Readings: 

Additional readings will periodically come from church literature and other sources. The appropriate web links will be designated on the course website. Be sure NOT to miss these readings as listed on the lesson pages of the course.


Course lectures will take the format of both video and audio. PowerPoint slides will accompany lectures and videos will also periodically be available for download with lectures. See the course website for details.

Course Calendar: 


Lesson Topics Assignments
1 Introduction, Syllabus, Explain Assignments.
CH 1 & 2 Financial Statements
Post Icebreaker
Read   CH 1 & 2 – Homework and Quiz
2 CH 3 Accounting Information System Read   CH 3 – Homework and Discussion Forum, Quiz
3 CH 4 Accrual Accounting Concepts Read    CH 4 – Homework and Discussion Forum, Quiz
4 CH 6 Reporting and Analyzing Inventory Read    CH 6 – Homework and Discussion Forum, Quiz
5 CH 7 Fraud Internal  Controls and Cash Read    CH 7 – Homework and Discussion Forum, Quiz
6 CH 8 Reporting and Analyzing Receivables Read    CH 8 – Homework and Discussion Forum, Quiz
7 CH 9 Reporting and Analyzing Long-Lived Assets Read    CH 9 – Homework and Discussion Forum, Quiz
8 CH 10 Reporting and Analyzing Liabilities Read   CH 10 – Homework and Discussion Forum, Quiz
9 CH 11 Reporting and Analyzing Stockholders Equity Read   CH 11 – Homework and Discussion Forum, Quiz
10 CH 12 Statement of Cash Flows Read   CH 12 – Homework and Dicussion Forum, Quiz, Final Project
11 CH 13 Financial Analysis: The Big Picture Read CH 13 – Homework and Discussion Forum, Quiz, Final Exam
  Final Project – Statement Analysis  
  Final Exam - Covering All Lessons  
Course Requirements: 
  1. Due dates and extensions: Submit assignments on or before the date due. Students must complete the course by the last official dat of instruction as set forth in the academic calendar. No late or make-up assignments will be allowed except for extreme circumstances; permission of instructor is necessary.
  1. Icebreaker: All students are required to post a brief biography to the forum by Friday of the first week of class. The assignment is worth 25 points. Along with the biography that addresses the following questions, post two reply/comment posts on the biographies of your classmates. Please limit your comments to 200 words:
  • Your name and the church area that you attend.
  • How long you have been part of/attending the church.
  • Where you plan to attend the Feast of Tabernacles this year.
  • Why you are taking this particular course and what you hope to learn.
  • Whether or not you have taken any other Living University courses.
  1. Reading assignments: Students will be responsible for the chapter readings that correspond with the class lecture.  Be sure to read the chapter prior to logging in and completing the weekly assignment. Readings will correspond with in-class assignments and will help you be better informed. Completing the readings in advance will make the assignments make more sense to you!
  1. Discussion forums: Students will also be expected to take part in lesson discussion forums. Ten (10) of the eleven lessons will include discussions on a topic or news item related to the material covered in that lesson. Each discussion assignment will be worth 10 points (total = 100). Students will be required to respond to two of their peers in the discussion assignment.
  1. Writing Assignments: All writing assignments in this course should follow the MLA style as set forth in Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide (14th edition) by Lester & Lester. Please cite your sources and used quotation marks where needed. To submit your work, select the appropriate assignment from the Assignments tab to go to the Assignment Submission webpage. Use the file attachment feature below the textbox to upload your WORD document or EXCEL spreadsheet. Please do not use the textbox to post your assignment: the textbox is used for student/instructor communication only, pertaining to the assignment.
    • Homework: Homework will be given for each unit covered. It will be graded for completion 80% and accuracy 20%. Each unit will be worth 50 points (total =550). In order to learn the concepts, students must diligently keep up with the practice problems assigned for each unit.
    • Final Project. The final project will be due the last week of class and will consist of selecting a financial statement that should be approved by the professor. The student will write a brief analysis from the perspective of a potential Investor, Director or Lender and should consist of your findings based upon concepts obtained through the course. Students will include applicable pages of the financial statements that led to your conclusions and analysis. The written analysis should be a minimum of 3 pages and will be graded upon content (80%) and accuracy (20%). The final project will be worth 150 points.
  1. Quizzes and examinations: Eleven (11) quizzes and one (1) exam will be given throughout the course.
    • Quizzes: There will be a quiz on each of the 11 units covered in class. Quizzes will be multiple choice, matching or short answer, and open book and notebook. Quizzes will address chapter readings, assignments, and lectures. Your quiz is due the last day of each lesson. Quizzes are worth 25 points (total=275). IMPORTANT NOTE: Although the quizzes are open book and notebook, you really need to study ahead of time for these assessments. If you study ahead of time by reviewing your notes and the chapters covered, it will greatly expedite your quiz time on task. If you do not study ahead of time, the quiz will end up taking a great deal of time. There should be NO discussion with classmates regarding the quizzes.
    • Final Exam. There will a final exam at the end of the course covering cumulative topics and concepts from all lessons. The Exam will be a proctored exam worth 100 points. A proctored exam is one that is overseen by an impartial individual (called a proctor) who monitors or supervises a student while he or she is taking an exam. The proctor ensures the security and integrity of the exam process. The proctoring process helps assure that the student who takes a proctored examination in a course is the same person who enrolled in the course and that examination results reflect the student's own knowledge and competence.

Your course grade will be determined based on the number of points you have earned over the semester as follows:

Icebreaker 25      
Discussions (10 each x 10 points) 100   A 1080 points or above (90%)
Quizzes (11 each x 25 points) 275   B 960-1079 points (80%)
Homework (11 each x 50 points) 550   C 840-959 points  (70%)
Final Project  150   D 720-839 points  (60%)
Final Exam 100   F 719 points or below
Total 1200      

Students With Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities have a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. Students having a disability requiring an accommodation should inform the instructor by email (on the “Course Info” page click on the instructor’s name and then select “Send Email”).

Technology Access
This course requires web access and the student has to have an established e-mail account. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is necessary to view documents that are PDF files. One can download the reader free at

Course Evaluation
Student input is welcome for improving this course. Making suggestions by e-mail is helpful. Our goal in this course is to facilitate the successful achievement of all instructional objectives by all students. At the end of the course students have the opportunity of assessing the course. We want to make e-learning courses as effective as we can. We may also ask some other questions concerning a student’s experience in distance learning to help us improve our program. We appreciate students letting us know how we can improve our products and services for them and other distance learners.

Withdrawing From or Dropping This Course
It is the responsibility of a student to drop a course if he or she cannot meet the requirements of the course. Any student who stops attending a course without officially withdrawing from it risks receiving a punitive grade for that course. Withdrawal requests may be conveyed in any manner to the course professor, Registrar, or Vice President of Academic Affairs. This action is sufficient for ensuring any refund owed you. Please note the following: If a student drops a course on or before the “Last day to withdraw from a course without a grade penalty” as published in the University Academic Calendar, even if his or her work is not of a passing grade, then a “W” is recorded. If a course is dropped after that date, but before the last 21 calendar days of the semester, then the instructor determines the grade. The faculty member will at this time record a grade of “W” if passing (not computed in GPA) or “WF” if failing (computed in GPA). Students who drop a course, yet remain in one or more other courses during the last 18 calendar days of the semester, will receive a grade of “WF.” Students who completely withdraw from the University at any time during the semester may be given a grade of “W” on all courses. If students do not initiate the withdrawal process, the instructor is required to initiate the administrative process and to record a grade of “W” or “WF” for the course depending on the date the faculty member drops the student from the course. Students who register for a course as an audit, but then withdraw will be assigned a grade of “W” for the course.