About this Specialization
100% online courses

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible Schedule

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 8 months to complete

Suggested 3 hours/week
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Arabic...

Skills you will gain

Income StatementCostFinancial StatementBalance Sheet
100% online courses

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible Schedule

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 8 months to complete

Suggested 3 hours/week
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Arabic...

How the Specialization Works

Take Courses

A Coursera Specialization is a series of courses that helps you master a skill. To begin, enroll in the Specialization directly, or review its courses and choose the one you'd like to start with. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. It’s okay to complete just one course — you can pause your learning or end your subscription at any time. Visit your learner dashboard to track your course enrollments and your progress.

Hands-on Project

Every Specialization includes a hands-on project. You'll need to successfully finish the project(s) to complete the Specialization and earn your certificate. If the Specialization includes a separate course for the hands-on project, you'll need to finish each of the other courses before you can start it.

Earn a Certificate

When you finish every course and complete the hands-on project, you'll earn a Certificate that you can share with prospective employers and your professional network.

how it works

There are 5 Courses in this Specialization

Course1

Understanding Financial Statements: Company Position

4.7
313 ratings
84 reviews
This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of financial statements with an emphasis on the balance sheet. However, to understand accounting driven financial statements, it is important to recognize that accounting is less about counting and more about measuring. “What is it that is being measured?” Well, as the course unfolds, you will learn about the three measurement questions and how the balance sheet helps to answer the first two of these questions. By touring a real company and interviewing real business people, the course describes the basic content of financial statements in a simple yet relevant context. The goal of the course is to leave a lasting impression about what balance sheet consists of and what it reveals. The next course in the Fundamentals of Accounting Specialization completes the conversation by addressing the remaining measurement question. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: • Describe the purpose of a balance sheet. • Define the three components of a balance sheet. • Recognize and understand the meaning of several items typically presented on a balance sheet. • Explain the broader purpose of financial statements and the role of accounting in producing the financial statements. • Read and, to some extent, interpret real-world balance sheets. If you enjoy this business course and are interested in an MBA, consider applying to the iMBA, a flexible, fully-accredited online MBA at an incredibly competitive price offered by the University of Illinois. For more information, please see the Resource page in this course and onlinemba.illinois.edu....
Course2

Understanding Financial Statements: Company Performance

4.6
152 ratings
33 reviews
This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of financial statements with an emphasis on the income statement. Building on the foundation formed in the first course, you will learn about the third of our three measurement questions and how the income statement helps to answer this final measurement question. Returning to the real business people introduced in the first course, this second course describes the basic content of income statement in a simple yet relevant context. The course ends by summarizing many of the lessons learned in both courses to leave you with a lasting impression about what financial statements are and how accounting can work for you. We all know that accounting is “the language of business”; let’s make learning this language engaging, and perhaps even fun! Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: • Describe the purpose of an income statement. • Define the basic components of an income statement. • Recognize and understand the meaning of several items typically presented on an income statement. • Explain the broader purpose of financial statements and the role of accounting in producing the financial statements. • Read and, to some extent, interpret real-world income statements. If you enjoy this business course and are interested in an MBA, consider applying to the iMBA, a flexible, fully-accredited online MBA at an incredibly competitive price offered by the University of Illinois. For more information, please see the Resource page in this course and onlinemba.illinois.edu....
Course3

Accounting for Business Decision Making: Measurement and Operational Decisions

4.2
61 ratings
11 reviews
Accounting information is the lifeblood of the organization as it facilitates and influences operational and strategic decisions intended to achieve organizational goals. Organizations benefit from three decision-oriented roles of accounting: measurement, control, and communication. This course provides an introduction to accounting’s measurement role inside of an organization and how accountants communicate information that helps managers and employees make operational decisions. In particular, you will learn how cost information is created and organized to help managers and employees conduct profitability analyses, develop and choose products, make pricing decisions, and make common business decisions. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: • Identify the nature, purpose, and importance of different types of decision-useful accounting information. • Create, organize, and communicate cost information to best suit common operational decisions. • Use accounting information to manage products, control costs, and leverage other drivers of operational success. If you enjoy this business course and are interested in an MBA, consider applying to the iMBA, a flexible, fully-accredited online MBA at an incredibly competitive price offered by the University of Illinois. For more information, please see the Resource page in this course and onlinemba.illinois.edu....
Course4

Accounting for Business Decision Making: Strategy Assessment and Control

4.3
34 ratings
5 reviews
Accounting information is the lifeblood of the organization, as it facilitates and influences operational and strategic decisions intended to achieve organizational goals. Organizations benefit from three decision-oriented roles of accounting: measurement, control, and communication. This course provides an introduction to accounting’s role in helping managers develop and implement, and improve the organization’s strategy. In particular, you will learn how non-financial and financial information is created, organized, and communicated to help managers make strategic decisions, as well as measure strategic success. This course also provides an introduction to accounting as a control function inside the organization, which helps influence the alignment of managers’ and employees’ decisions with organizational goals. You will learn about different types of controls, including process controls, budgets, and performance measurement and evaluation tools and techniques. Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: • Create and communicate accounting information that facilitates strategic decisions. • Use accounting information to develop, implement, and improve organizational strategy. • Implement controls that align managers’ and employees’ decisions with organizational goals. • Measure and evaluate manager and employee performance to control and motivate operational and strategic decision-making. If you enjoy this business course and are interested in an MBA, consider applying to the iMBA, a flexible, fully-accredited online MBA at an incredibly competitive price offered by the University of Illinois. For more information, please see the Resource page in this course and onlinemba.illinois.edu....

Instructors

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Kevin E. Jackson

Associate Professor of Accountancy and PwC Faculty Fellow
Department of Accountancy, College of Business
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Gary Hecht, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Accountancy
Department of Accountancy, College of Business
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Sharon P. Cox, Ph.D.

Lecturer
Department of Accountancy

About University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a world leader in research, teaching and public engagement, distinguished by the breadth of its programs, broad academic excellence, and internationally renowned faculty and alumni. Illinois serves the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and finding solutions to critical societal needs. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes! To get started, click the course card that interests you and enroll. You can enroll and complete the course to earn a shareable certificate, or you can audit it to view the course materials for free. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. Visit your learner dashboard to track your progress.

  • This course is completely online, so there’s no need to show up to a classroom in person. You can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device.

  • This Specialization doesn't carry university credit, but some universities may choose to accept Specialization Certificates for credit. Check with your institution to learn more.

  • Time to completion can vary widely based on your schedule, most learners are able to complete the Specialization in 5-7 months.

  • No background knowledge is necessary for this Specialization.

  • It is recommended that the courses in the Specialization be taken in the order outlined. Some courses do list other courses as prerequisites. In the Capstone Project, you will have the opportunity to synthesize your learning in all four courses and apply your combined skills in a final project.

  • You will be able to understand the financial statements that managers create and provide to company stakeholders (including current and potential stockholders, creditors, regulatory agencies, etc.). You will also be able to identify and understand the nature, purpose, and importance of different types of decision-useful accounting information, and apply this information to common business decisions.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.