Appendix A Final Project Overview and Timeline Final Project Overview The final project for XACC 280 is a 1,750- to 2,050-word paper in which you provide a comprehensive analysis of the financial health of two companies, compare the companies, and make recommendations to improve the financial status of each. The paper, with citations and references, must follow APA formatting guidelines. The final project is designed so you can apply the concepts and skills learned in this course to a real-life financial accounting analysis. It incorporates your foundational knowledge?resulting from completion of Discussion questions, CheckPoints, Exercises, and Assignments?into a paper that describes your financial analyses and conclusion. The paper will include the following: ? An introductory paragraph with: o A statement of the purpose of your paper. o A synopsis of what readers can expect to find in the paper. It is best to write this after writing the rest of the paper. ? Vertical analyses for both companies. You can use your calculations from the Checkpoint Ratio, Vertical, and Horizontal Analyses, providing you show your work. ? Horizontal analyses for both companies. You can use your calculations from the Checkpoint Ratio, Vertical, and Horizontal Analyses, providing you show your work. ? Ratio analyses for both companies, including a test of: o Liquidity. You can use the Current Ratio you compute in the Checkpoint Ratio, Vertical, and Horizontal Analyses, and another ratio. Show your work. o Solvency. Use at least two ratios and show your work. o Profitability. Use at least two ratios and show your work. ? An explanation of which company appears to be more financially sound: o Each company might have strengths in different areas. Be sure to distinguish these areas; for example, one might have greater liquidity, while the other more solvency. o Point to the data for each comparison you make. ? At least three recommendations you can make, within the context of law and ethics, so each company can improve its financial health. ? A concluding paragraph that summarizes what you did, what you found, and what you recommend. As you compare the two companies, you might find it beneficial to use a table or a spreadsheet with columns for each company, so the reader can easily compare their ratios by looking across a row. Discuss your findings in a brief narrative, then move on to the next part of your analysis using a similar table or a spreadsheet and an explanation. Final Project Timeline You should budget your time wisely and work on your project throughout the course. As outlined below, some assignments in the course are designed to assist you in creating your final project. If you fulfill the requirements of the course activities and use the feedback provided by the instructor, you will be on the right track to successfully complete your project. ? Suggested in Week One: After you complete Discussion Question 1, you will have some notions about what each of the four financial statements can tell you about a company. Although not part of the assignments for this week, you can look at Appendices A and B in Financial Accounting to identify the financial statements in these annual reports. List for yourself the page numbers and information you think might be important to your analysis later on. ? Suggested in Week Six: After you view the two PhxKlips? Financial Statements and Income Statements for the Exercise, reexamine Appendices A and B to locate the financial statements that provide data for your analysis in the final project. Add this to your notes from Week One. In completing the comprehensive Application in Week Six, you develop financial statements from raw data. Make sure you can trace how data is derived on a financial statement, and its meaning. ? Due in Week Seven: In participating in Discussion Question 1 in Week Seven, you select ratios that you think are the most important. For Discussion Question 2, you use vertical, horizontal, or ratio analyses to assess the financial health of Quality Department Store. Your comments and those of your classmates in these two discussions prepare you to use the tools of analysis you will employ in the final project. The CheckPoint in Week Seven requires that you perform rudimentary vertical, horizontal and ratio analyses on Pepsico, Inc. and Coca-Cola, the two companies you compare in your final project. You can use the ratios you develop here as the basis for your financial analysis in the project. You can select additional data you would analyze. It is suggested that you begin the analyses for the final project. ? Suggested in Week Eight: Continue working through the analyses you started in Week Seven. ? Due in Week Nine: Submit your final project.
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