LAWS200 Paralegal Accounting and Taxation
Department of Business Studies: Paralegal/Law
Course Number and TitleLAWS200 Paralegal Accounting and Taxation (Experimental)
Number of Credits3 credits
Minimum Number of Instructional Minutes Per Semester2250 minutes
PrerequisitesLAWS100 or LAWS110
Other Pertinent InformationNone
Catalog Course DescriptionThis course introduces principles, assumptions and concepts of financial accounting used by paralegals in the law office including payroll, income, and estate and trust taxation. It focuses on procedures and practices from the accounting cycle through financial statement presentation and court required accounting presentations. It presumes no previous accounting knowledge.
Required Course Content and Direction
- Be able to explain the meaning, users and uses of accounting.
- Understand how ethics impacts fundamental accounting concepts.
- Explain the meaning of generally accepted accounting principles, including the cost principles, the economic entity concept, the basic accounting equation and assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity, the time period assumptions and distinguish between the revenue recognition principles and the matching principles.
- Analyze the effect of business transactions on the basic accounting equation, and prepare an income statement, owner’s equity statement and balance sheet.
- Explain what an account is and how it helps in the recording process, the basic steps in the recording process.
- Explain the difference between a journal and a ledger, what posting is and how they help in the recording process.
- Prepare a worksheet, trial balance, adjusted trial balance, post closing trial balance and the content and purpose of each.
- Explain the need and identify the major types of adjusting entries and be able to prepare adjusting entries for prepayments and accruals.
- Explain the accrual basis of accounting.
- Explain the process of closing the books.
- State the required steps in the accounting cycle.
- Identify the sections of a classified balance sheet.
- Identify the unique features of income statement for a merchandising company.
- Explain the operation of a petty cash fund.
- Prepare bank reconciliation.
- Describe the application of the cost principle.
- Explain the concept of depreciation and compute periodic depreciation.
- Describe, compute and record the payroll for a pay period including payroll taxes.
- Explain how to locate and organize information necessary for the preparation of tax documents.
- Explain the use of the computer and the Internet in the collection of information, the preparation and filing of tax returns.
- Understand the ethical considerations of client accounting, and court reporting of financial information.
- Understand the relationships to each other and the concept of federal, state and local income taxation and of federal and state estate, gift and trust taxation
Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities:
- Introduction to accounting, its basic concepts and principles and the accounting model.
- The recording process
- Adjusting the accounts
- Completion of the accounting cycle
- Accounting for service operations
- Internal control and cash
- Accounting for payroll
- Ethical issues in the preparation of financial statements, tax returns and reports to the client and the court
- Concept of federal, state and local income taxation
- Concept of federal and state estate, gift and trust taxation
- Use of computers and electronic support tools in the preparation of tax returns and court documents.
Assessment Methods for Core Learning Goals:
Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Students:
- See course outline for required textbook and other supplements, such as textbooks, publisher’s student study guide, and computer software.
- Videos supplied by textbook publishers.
- Selected readings from The Wall Street Journal and accounting periodicals, such as Legal Assistant Today, etc.
Teaching Methods Employed
- METHOD OF EVALUATING STUDENT PERFORMANCE:
- Major exams
- Written homework assignments
- Class participation
- Preparation of written portfolio items including a set of working papers, income statement and balance sheet, bank reconciliation, the payroll for a pay period, and a set of quarterly and annual tax returns for a small law office
- INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS:
- Reading assignments
- Classroom lectures
- Discussion of questions, exercises and problems, cases and projects
- Audiovisual aids
- Computer exercises including obtaining federal and state tax return forms from 3 different states and one city, obtaining online the current rates for employment taxes.
- METHOD OF EVALUATING STUDENT PERFORMANCE:
Review/Approval Date - Unavailable