Course Syllabus

Welcome to BUS 180: The Cycle of Cash!

This course provides the financial tools, skills, and judgment you need to create and read financial statements and to make correct financial decisions for a small business or new venture. This course will also review what it takes to start, acquire, or sell a small business from a financial perspective.

You will soon notice this course is different from accounting courses you may have taken in the past, as this course focuses on applying principles of accounting to a small business. There is less emphasis on journal entries and more emphasis on creating and using financial statements; in other words, more application and less theory. Remember, this course is directed towards helping business owners make sound financial decisions. 

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, you should be able to do the following. 

  1. Apply an understanding of the accounting cycle and cash flow of a business to make sound financial decisions.
  2. Determine the best metrics to use to help increase the continued success of a small business.
  3. Project how investments and operation decisions will affect the cash flow of the small business or new venture.
  4. Report your small business financial results to a third-party according to industry standards.


There is no prerequisite course. 

Any matriculated student may take this course. Be aware that you will need to create formulas in spreadsheet cells. Therefore, you will need to be very comfortable with basic algebraic skills that involve solving an equation for a variable using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

You will also use analytical skills to determine relationships between financial spreadsheet elements.

Required Materials


  • All study materials are provided in the course at no additional cost.


You will use Microsoft Excel 2016 or 2019 which is part of the Microsoft Office Suite, when completing assignments and projects in this course. As a BYU-Idaho student, you can download Microsoft Office for free. Visit the Downloads section of the University Store website, choose the option you prefer, and follow the instructions to download the software to your computer. 

Note: You will spend much of your time in this course using basic Microsoft Excel skills to build financial statements. It will be very helpful if you know what spreadsheets are and how to build basic formulas. If you have not yet taken BUS 115 or are unfamiliar with Excel, you are encouraged to spend some time on the Excel Resources page to familiarize yourself with basic Excel skills. At various points during the course, you may need to find and use external resources (like the help features within Excel, an internet or YouTube search, etc.) to obtain additional help performing Excel skills.

Course Structure

You will follow John Acosta's fictional Kalei Ukuleles business throughout most of the semester by learning to create the three basic financial statements for his business. You will also become familiar with Jack and Maggie’s Creative Cakes Company through your practice exercises. Later in the semester, you will work on financial statements for several other businesses such as First Cast Fishing Tackle, The Eager Egg Company, and Julie's Jewelry. We hope this variety will help you to apply real-life applications of the concepts you are learning and ultimately inspire you to start your own business.

The course is organized into weekly themes with corresponding modules.  Each week you will read articles and watch videos to learn new skills and concepts, attend or watch online help sessions, participate in discussion boards, and complete learning assignments and practice exercises. These activities will often include a short comprehension or completion quiz to help you prepare to complete one of five projects throughout the semester. These projects are like exams and will count toward most of your grade.

Week 01: Course Introductions

Week 02: Business Models and Revenue Streams

Week 03: Revenue Section of the Profit & Loss Statement

Week 04: Costs, Expenses, and Assets

Week 05: Projected Profit and Loss Statements

Week 06: Projected Balance Sheet

Week 07: Cash Flows and Transactions

Week 08: Building a Statement of Cash Flows

Week 09: Statement of Cash Flow

Week 10: Budgets and Variance Analysis

Week 11: Financial Ratio Analysis

Week 12: Manage Debt, Unique Selling Point, and Break-Even Analysis

Week 13: Financial Statement Analysis and Practice Final

Week 14: Final Exam and Course Conclusion

Navigating the Course

Begin each week by reading your instructor's announcement and the Introduction page for that week. Then proceed through the week in sequential order.

Grading Criteria

Grades are calculated based on the points you earn out of the total number of points possible. The Unit Projects and Final Exam are worth about 70% of your semester grade, with remaining assignments being worth about 30% of your grade. See the Grades page of the course for details.

Grade Scale

Your final grade will be based on the standard BYU-Idaho grading scale. 

Grade Percentage Range
A 100 - 93
A- 92.99 - 90
B+ 89.99 – 87
B 86.99 – 83
B- 82.99 – 80
C+ 79.99 – 77
C 76.99 – 73
C- 72.99 – 70
D+ 69.99 – 67
D 66.99 – 63
D- 62.99 - 60
F >60

Due Dates

You should work on course assignments each day to prepare for the three weekly due dates: one early in the week, one midweek, and one at the end of the week. See the Course Calendar for due dates in your time zone.

Late Work Policy

To help you prepare for the professional world, late work is not accepted. However, if a rare circumstance arises such as a hospitalization, death in the family, natural disaster, etc., please contact your instructor right away to discuss available options.

Academic Honesty

Our mission at BYU-Idaho is to develop disciples of Jesus Christ. As such, all students (both online and campus) and employees of the university are expected to be honest in all things. "We believe in being honest." (Article of Faith 1:13 

As part of the CES Honor Code, you are expected to complete your own work for each course so your instructor can verify your knowledge and skills as he or she grades your work. Violations of the Academic Honesty policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Posting or sharing your course work (projects, assignments, etc.) to InScribe, or any other online website, through electronic communication, or any other means. You may ask questions but Do Not post your spreadsheets.
  • Obtaining another person's work and submitting all or part of it as if it was your own work.
  • Posting or sharing course materials, including but not limited to, quiz and exam questions and/or answers, or any other materials from the course.
  • Obtaining quiz and exam questions and/or answers from any other website, person, or means.

If you choose to participate in any of the above actions or other actions which violate the Academic Honesty policy, the University has the right to change your course grade to an F now or at any time in the future (and/or take other action as outlined in the policy such as suspension or expulsion from the University). This means that even if your dishonesty is not discovered until after you complete your certificate or degree, the University still has the right to change your grade and revoke your certificate or degree.

If you violate copyright laws, you may also be prosecuted for your illegal actions.

The consequences of academic dishonesty are not worth the risk and the reward for honesty is worth far more than any grade. "All who know their hearts are honest are accepted of me" (Doctrine and Covenants 97:8. Thank you for your honesty and protection of academic integrity for you and your fellow students as you complete this and future courses.

Course Expectations

Effort to Learn

Learning is like exercise for your brain. Just as you can become sore after exercising your body, exercising your brain will sometimes feel uncomfortable or even hard to do. When you come across principles or assignments in this course that are difficult, this is good. It means you are learning!

You are invited to put forth your best effort to study, learn, and work hard in this course. Include the Lord in your studies and ask for His help. Take notes, review your notes, and put forth your best effort on each assignment. 

We hope you find inspiration in the truths about effort and learning placed below and on a few of the weekly Introduction pages. These truths can help motivate you to expend your best effort throughout the semester, even when you face difficult challenges. 

"Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection."

Doctrine and Covenants 130: 18

"Through prayer, fasting, and hard work, with a motive to serve Him, we can expect His grace to attend us. I can assure you from my own experience, that does not mean we will always be on the high end of the grading curve. It means that we will learn more rapidly and grow in skill beyond what we could do only with our unaided natural abilities."

Henry B. Eyring, Education for Real Life

Asking Questions

As you learn new skills, you will naturally have questions and seek answers. Remember, that it takes more time to receive answers to your questions in an online setting than in a traditional classroom. To obtain helpful answers in a timely manner, do the following: 

  1. At the beginning of the week, review the instruction pages of the upcoming week. Identify your questions and ask them early to ensure sufficient time to receive an answer before assignment deadlines.
  2. Ask more specific questions and provide context. 
    • Example: If you say, "The instructions are vague. I need help," your instructor or classmates cannot help you because you didn't ask a question and they can't determine what help you need.
      • Try asking something like, "In the [name of assignment], I don't know how to calculate the [fill in the name] formula. Can someone help me know where to find this information?"
      • By providing the context and asking a specific question, now you will receive the answer you need.
    • Example: Also be specific if you need help understanding a concept or principle. For example, if you are confused about gross profit and indirect expense you could ask, "How are gross profit and indirect expenses related?" 
      • Now your instructor or classmate clearly understands your question and can provide the answer you seek.

Remember to ask questions early and ensure your questions are specific. 

There is no tutor for this course.

Time Commitment

It is expected that the average student will spend three to four hours per week per credit to earn a B grade. Since this is a 3-credit course, it is expected that the average student will spend  from 9 to 12 hours per week to earn a B grade. Your individual circumstances may necessitate more time if you desire a higher grade or need more time to learn the material. Please plan your schedule accordingly.

College-Level Writing

Most of your work in this class will be done in a spreadsheet, but you will still need to communicate in writing and complete some written assignments. It is expected that you will use college-level writing, including the use of correct punctuation, capitalization, and good organization, to ensure your thoughts can be understood by others.

Communicating With Your Instructor

It is important that you begin each week by reading your instructor's Announcements. When you need to ask a question, you can reply to your instructor's announcement, use your inbox to send a message, send an email, or use another communication tool your instructor prefers. (Read your instructor's welcome email/announcement for details regarding his or her communication preferences.)

If you have a question about your grade or other personal question, do not post your question to your instructor's announcement because it is visible to the entire class. To ask questions about grades or other personal matters, you can directly send an inbox message or email (or call or text him or her if they chose to share their telephone number with the class).

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office (Links to an external site.) at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations (Links to an external site.). Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course may require synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies (Links to an external site.). It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due