ACE 345: Finan Decision Indiv Sm Bus
This is a small business finance course (which is much shorter and simpler than the actual full title). It covers the fundamentals of finance – preparation and analysis of the financial statement system, time value of money and applications to investment decisions, basics of credit markets and evaluation, basics of investment, risk management and insurance markets. Everything is covered from a small-business or personal perspective, as opposed to corporate finance courses.
Prerequisites (Must be complete BEFORE taking this course):
ACCY 201 or equivalent
Instructor Teaching the Course:
This course is taught by the instructor below. You may click on their name to learn more about them. Teaching schedules vary by semester. Please check the Course Explorer for the most up-to-date information about the sections they will teach.
View the Course Explorer:
See when the course is offered as well as section details here: https://courses.illinois.edu/schedule/terms/ACE/345
Fall 2018 Restrictions
Restricted to students in Agricultural and Consumer Economics, Technical Systems Management, Crop Sciences, or Food & Agribusiness Management with sophomore, junior, or senior class standing.
Additional Course Information
Read more about what Dr. Paulson has to say about ACE 345!
Is this class discussion-based or lecture-based? How would you describe your teaching style?
The class is a large lecture. I definitely lecture, but try to get students involved with questions (answering and asking) and by doing examples during class time.
How are students evaluated (e.g. multiple choice or essay tests, papers, etc.)?
There are regular homework assignments (roughly 8 throughout the semester), 2 midterm exams, and a cumulative final. Students also earn “points” for grading through participation/attendance, a short writing project where they interview someone working in a (broadly defined) finance profession, and a blog posting requirement once during the semester.
What careers does this course help prepare students to pursue?
Students go into a range of careers in agriculture. Sales, marketing, lending positions with agribusiness companies/institutions. I’ve also had some student take the course who are start their own business (or are interested in that), or go into a smaller/family business or back to work for the family farm.
What courses can students take to prepare for this material?
Some knowledge of the financial statement system is helpful, which is why the ACCY prerequisites are there. Some experience working in Excel is also helpful since the in-class examples and homework assignments are built in to spreadsheet files.
In what ways does this course prepare students to move through the program and/or into the work force?
I think the basic finance concepts are very useful for anyone, regardless of what type of career you end up in. The examples and exercises we do in class to apply these concepts are also very useful for students who end up in a role where they are involved with any type of business decision-making. I’ve had a number of students email me a few years after taking the course to let me know that they used a class file/template and adapted it for something in their job. The most recent example is a student who used one of the Excel templates from class to create a proposal for his supervisor to justify an investment within his company.
What is your background in Agricultural and Consumer Economics?
I have a MS and PhD in Economics from Iowa State, and my research program has always been focused in decision-making under risk within agriculture.
What is your attendance policy?
I don’t have an explicit attendance policy, but attendance is highly encouraged, and a small portion of the grade is associated with attending class through participation. I understand that students occasionally have conflicts with other activities that might force them to miss classes during the semester, but I think regular attendance helps to better prepare students for the assignments and exams since we work through similar types of problems in class.