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ACC 345: Final Project Guidelines and Grading Guide Overview The final project for this course is the creation of a research paper, which will be submitted as a Word document. Research for the project will take place throughout the course, with class discussions about conclusions. The final product represents an authentic demonstration of competency because you will be performing market research on a company

ACC 345: Final Project Guidelines and Grading Guide

Overview

The final project for this course is the creation of a research paper, which will be submitted as a Word document. Research for the project will take place throughout the course, with class discussions about conclusions. The final product represents an authentic demonstration of competency because you will be performing market research on a company. The project is divided into three milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. The milestones are submitted in Modules One, Three, and Five. The final paper is submitted in Module Seven.

The final paper helps students to meet the following objectives:

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  • Explain the importance of various financial reports
  • Analyze financial reports to assess a company’s financial health
  • Interpret results and make recommendations

Main Elements

Discussion Board questions and activities that serve as milestones to a final paper:

  1. Identify a company to study and develop a hypothesis of the company’s financial health
  2. Analyze the company’s disclosures
  3. Perform and analyze a quality earnings assessment
  4. Analyze the statements of cash flows
  5. Analyze ROA, various turnover measures, and ROE
  6. Discuss steps for preparing a projected income statement and projected balance sheet
  7. Calculate and analyze liquidity and solvency
  8. Recast the income statement and judge hypothesis

Format

Milestone One: Identify a Company to Study

In task 1-2, you will select a U.S.-based publicly traded company that has not already been selected by another student. There will be a discussion forum where you will post your selection after reviewing other students’ posts to make sure that the company is not already taken. In the post to the discussion forum, you should list the name of the company, the industry the company is engaged in, the stock exchange it trades on, and the ticker symbol, and also post a link to the most recent annual financial report you will be using for the project. This should be done by Thursday of Module One, and you should make comments/questions to at least two other students by Sunday. This milestone is graded with the Discussion Rubric.

Milestone Two: Perform an Analysis of Your Chosen Company’s Balance Sheet

The first of three papers for this project is due at the end of Module Three. In task 3-3, you will perform a quality balance sheet assessment of the company you chose in Module One. This analysis will include a review of the current assets and liabilities and appropriate liquidity ratios, the capital structure, and the fixed and intangible asset accounting of the company. A thorough review of off-balance-sheet items should be included, such as leases and contingent liabilities. The format should be a Word document, following APA-style guidelines provided below. This paper should be approximately 5 pages of written text, not counting cover page, abstract, or reference page. You are encouraged to include diagrams or exhibits illustrating your work. The first two papers will become part of the final paper due in Module Seven. This milestone will be graded with the Short Paper Rubric.

Milestone Three: Analyze Cash Flow and Cash Management of Chosen Company

In task 5-3, you will analyze the statement of cash flow and cash management of your chosen company. A review of return on invested capital and profitability should also be made using a variety of appropriate ratios and horizontal and/or vertical analysis. . The format should be a Word document, following APA-style guidelines provided below. This paper should be approximately 5 pages of written text, not counting cover page, abstract, or reference page. This milestone will be graded with the Short Paper Rubric.

Final Submission: Final Paper

In task 7-2, you will submit the final research paper including a prospective analysis projecting the next year income statement and using this product to produce a valuation of the company stock going forward, plus the edited papers from Milestones Two and Three. It should be approximately 15 pages, including Milestones Two and Three from Modules Three and Five. The two milestone papers should be edited with corrections/additions made based on grading feedback. They become Parts 1 and 2 of the final paper, and then new content is added as Part 3, as described above. It should be a complete, polished artifact containing all of the main elements of the final product, reflecting the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course. This submission will be graded with the Final Paper Rubric (below).

Basic APA rules to be followed:

  1. Include a cover page
  2. Include an abstract page: Only the abstract and nothing else is on the abstract page. This is a brief one-paragraph description of what you will demonstrate to the reader of your paper.
  3. Each page should have a running header with the title of the paper and the page number.
  4. All pages in the paper use 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with a 1-inch margin all around.
  5. Any ideas or quotes taken from a source MUST be cited in the body of the text immediately following the idea or quote. The citation should include the last name of the author and the year of the publication. Any cited item should also appear on the reference page.
  6. All quotes MUST be enclosed in quotation marks. APA strongly discourages direct quotes of 40 words or more and requires special handling for such. For purposes of this project, quotes of 40 words or more are NOT PERMITTED. Use your own words to describe what you have learned.
  7. The last page should be the reference page. It is a page by itself, and it is titled simply References (see the textbook References page for an example). Any citation in the paper should have a matching reference listed on the reference page, and ONLY cited work belongs on the reference page. If you do not cite it in the paper, do not list it as a reference. Your textbook may be one of your references.

Deliverable Milestones

Milestone Deliverables Module Due Grading
One Identify company One Graded separately; Discussion Rubric
Two Balance sheet analysis Three Graded separately; Short Paper Rubric
Three Cash flow and cash management analysis Five Graded separately; Short Paper Rubric
  Final Project Paper Seven Graded separately; Final Paper Rubric


Final Paper Rubric

Requirements of submission: Written components of project must follow these formatting guidelines when applicable: approximately 15 pages (not including notes pages), double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins, and discipline-appropriate citations.

Instructor Feedback: Students can find their feedback in the Grade Center as an attachment.

Critical Elements Exemplary Proficient Needs Improvement Not Evident Value
Main Elements Includes all of the main elements and requirements and cites multiple examples to illustrate each element (25) Includes most of the main elements and requirements and cites one or two examples to illustrate each element (21.25) Includes some of the main elements and requirements     (13.75) Does not include any of the main elements and requirements   (0) 25
Inquiry and Analysis Explores multiple issues through extensive collection and in-depth analysis of evidence to make informed conclusions (20) Explores a few issues through collection and in-depth analysis of evidence to make informed conclusions   (17) Explores one or two issues through collection and analysis of evidence to make informed conclusions   (11) Does not explore issues through collection and analysis of evidence and does not make informed conclusions   (0) 20
Integration and Application All of the course concepts are correctly applied (10) Most of the course concepts are correctly applied (8.5) Some of the course concepts are correctly applied (5.5) Does not correctly apply any of the course concepts (0) 10
Critical Thinking Demonstrates comprehensive exploration of issues and ideas before accepting or forming an opinion or conclusion (20) Demonstrates moderate exploration of issues and ideas before accepting or forming an opinion or conclusion (17) Demonstrates minimal exploration of issues and ideas before accepting or forming an opinion or conclusion (11) Does not demonstrate exploration of issues and ideas before accepting or forming an opinion or conclusion (0) 20
Research Incorporates many scholarly resources effectively that reflect depth and breadth of research (15) Incorporates some scholarly resources effectively that reflect depth and breadth of research (12.75) Incorporates very few scholarly resources that reflect depth and breadth of research   (8.25) Does not incorporate scholarly resources that reflect depth and breadth of research   (0) 15
Writing (Mechanics/Citations) No errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations (10) Minor errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations (8.5) Some errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations (5.5) Major errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations (0) 10
Earned Total Comments: 100%

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