By Dave Hendrick

Newswise — The University of Virginia Darden School of Business has launched a new massive open online course (MOOC), “Financial Accounting Fundamentals,” intended to introduce learners of all backgrounds to the fundamentals of financial accounting.

The five-week course, which starts 20 March, is taught by Darden Professor Luann Lynch and is available to an audience across the globe via the Coursera platform.

“This course offers the tools needed to understand a business bedrock: financial accounting,” said Lynch. “Whether you’re an investor, a small-business owner or just need help demystifying a unique financial language, this introductory course will offer practical solutions for immediate use.”

The course is grounded in the financial records of a fictional small business, and Lynch guides students through the three most commonly used financial statements: the balance sheet, the income statement and the statement of cash flows. Students go beyond recording transactions and learn how to both prepare financial statements and analyze them to draw basic conclusions about a company’s financial health.

Lynch, whose research interests include the design and impact of incentive and compensation systems, teaches the First Year Accounting course to Darden MBA students and an elective in management accounting to Second Year students. She is frequently lauded for her outstanding teaching: She received the UVA Alumni Board of Trustees teaching award and was recognized as an outstanding professor in BusinessWeek’s guide to the best business schools, among other honors.

Darden has a wide array of online education offerings, including free MOOCs, Executive Education courses and on-demand webinars.

Since the launch of the first course in 2013, more than 1.1 million people across the world have participated in a Darden MOOC.

Register for the “Financial Accounting Fundamentals.”

About the University of Virginia Darden School of BusinessThe University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.