Applied Accounting Analytics


Business and Accounting Essentials:

A McDonald’s E-Learning Project – 10th Edition

Business and Accounting Essentials - 10th Edition We designed this 10th edition project for students in a first-semester business or accounting course. Every business student needs to understand accounting, the language of business. The best way to accomplish this goal is to engage in the learning process. Throughout, this project engages the student in learning business and accounting by systematically working through concepts and questions.

To begin, students examine McDonald’s Corporation (or a company of their choice). They complete the project always considering two questions:

  1. How successful is McDonald’s (or my selected company)? And will it continue to be successful or ultimately become successful?
  2. Would I like to work for McDonald’s (or my selected company) and in what capacity?

Why is this project different? The typical business and accounting textbook identifies and describes essential business tools and analytical techniques. Our E-Learning Project engages students. Students experience how McDonald’s Corporation uses business tools and accounting techniques to manage its operations. Students not only see how McDonald’s Corporation generates shareholder wealth but how it gives back to society.

When students complete the project, there are two distinct take-a-ways. First, students express an excitement for business and accounting. Why? They understand how to evaluate a company systematically. And they have a skill to build upon when pursuing more advanced business and accounting topics. Second, students explore a professional career, and they recognize how the career fits into the business world.

Students learn through general guidance, as they investigate how and why McDonald’s Corporation uses specific business tools and accounting techniques. We selected McDonald’s Corporation as our focus company because of its commitment to education and student learning. McDonald's is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 37,000 local restaurants serving more than 69 million people in more than 100 countries each day. (McDonald’s website:

McDonald’s connects to the world with a website that offers an endless supply of essential business information. This information serves as our building blocks to learning. Initially, students engage in the learning process by answering specific questions about McDonald’s. Questions pertain to history, vision, social responsibility, growth, financial statements and more. The questions systematically expose the student to essential business and accounting terminologies, concepts and skills. Subsequent sections address specific business topics: international business, marketing, distribution, accounting and financial analysis.

Each section of the E-Learning Project first introduces the topic and then directs the student to the McDonald’s website for a real-world application. Learning occurs as the student reads the E- Learning Project, finds McDonald’s application and then responds to questions related to the topic. Upon completing this E-Learning Project a student understands how to use widely available business tools and accounting techniques to answer general and specific business questions.

We have taken considerable care to remove any confusion surrounding the learning process.

Students complete their understanding of McDonald’s Corporation by writing a memo explaining why they would or would not accept a job opportunity from McDonald’s Corporation.

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Introduction to the Corporate Annual Report:

SEC Form 10-K – 6th Edition

Introduction to the Corporate Annual Report This workbook makes the study of accounting and financial analysis an enjoyable and rewarding learning experience. Students learn accounting and financial analysis by systematically gathering financial and nonfinancial information to answer questions and make business decisions. The corporate annual report is the primary document used to drive the learning process. Students access Security & Exchange Commission (SEC) Form 10-K in this effort. We built this edition of the workbook around SEC Form 10-K because our research shows that most companies use the 10-K to comply with annual reporting requirements and the information is readily available.

Accounting terms and concepts are defined and illustrated as needed to support the student’s decision-making needs throughout the workbook. The work is active and driven by the student’s need to answer questions as they relate to his or her inquiry. Upon completing this project, a student understands how to use widely available accounting and related information to systematically answer business questions.

Illustrative questions are:

  • Would I like to work for this company?
  • Should I use this company as a supplier?
  • Is this company a solid investment, preliminary analysis?

This project is suitable for undergraduate and graduate students in accounting and finance courses. The learning activities stimulate a cross-functional, integrated application of business tools. Workbook tasks illustrate why and how accounting is the language of business. Students are required to access and use the corporate annual report (Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Form 10-K) and the company website in the evaluation of their selected company.

The learning experiences are active, and student driven. Accessing and interpreting information to arrive at a sound business decision drives the accounting and financial analysis learning process. NEW to this edition is students can use a downloaded Excel template where ratios are computed off cell referenced financial statement values.

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