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Welcome to Week 1 of DSGN 820!

In this first week we have a number of topics to cover, including:

  • Introduction to the course
  • Introduction to your eTextbook
  • Getting started with Visual Studio
  • History of the Internet
  • Introduction to HTML5 and CSS

Required Preparations

Please ensure that you have prepared the following prior to our second class in week 1:

  • Make sure you can access your eText
  • Make sure you can access our course in BrightSpace
  • Make sure you have Visual Studio install on your laptop
  • Make sure you can access your School OneDrive
  • Read Chapter 1 in your eText
  • Complete the "Getting to know you" Survey
Illustration displaying numerous symbols and web design tools/languages.

So you want to be a Web Developer?

The History of the Internet

As you might expect for a technology so expansive and ever-changing, it is impossible to credit the invention of the internet to a single person. The internet was the work of dozens of pioneering scientists, programmers and engineers who each developed new features and technologies that eventually merged to become the “information superhighway” we know today.

Long before the technology existed to actually build the internet, many scientists had already anticipated the existence of worldwide networks of information. Nikola Tesla toyed with the idea of a “world wireless system” in the early 1900s, and visionary thinkers like Paul Otlet and Vannevar Bush conceived of mechanized, searchable storage systems of books and media in the 1930s and 1940s. 

Still, the first practical schematics for the internet would not arrive until the early 1960s, when MIT’s J.C.R. Licklider popularized the idea of an “Intergalactic Network” of computers. Shortly thereafter, computer scientists developed the concept of “packet switching,” a method for effectively transmitting electronic data that would later become one of the major building blocks of the internet.

The first workable prototype of the Internet came in the late 1960s with the creation of ARPANET, or the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. Originally funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, ARPANET used packet switching to allow multiple computers to communicate on a single network. 

On October 29, 1969, ARPAnet delivered its first message: a “node-to-node” communication from one computer to another. (The first computer was located in a research lab at UCLA and the second was at Stanford; each one was the size of a small house.) The message—“LOGIN”—was short and simple, but it crashed the fledgling ARPA network anyway: The Stanford computer only received the note’s first two letters.

Symbolic representation of the Arpanet as of September 1974.

Symbolic representation of the Arpanet as of September 1974.

Encapsulation of application data descending through the layered IP architecture

Encapsulation of application data descending through the layers described in RFC 1122

The technology continued to grow in the 1970s after scientists Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf developed Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol, or TCP/IP, a communications model that set standards for how data could be transmitted between multiple networks. 

ARPANET adopted TCP/IP on January 1, 1983, and from there researchers began to assemble the “network of networks” that became the modern Internet. The online world then took on a more recognizable form in 1990, when computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. While it’s often confused with the internet itself, the web is actually just the most common means of accessing data online in the form of websites and hyperlinks. 

The web helped popularize the internet among the public, and served as a crucial step in developing the vast trove of information that most of us now access on a daily basis.

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1.1 Accounting: The Language of Business

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Understanding the Role of Accounting

Accounting is an information system that measures and records business activities. The role of accounting is to identify, record, and measure the transactions or activities in a business to be able to evaluate its performance and assess its financial health

- (Harrison et al., 2018, p. 3)

This information is communicated to stakeholders using financial statements that contain useful information to help them make rational economic decisions. Financial statements are prepared based on a set of accounting rules, such as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS); these help standardize accounting across businesses. Review the flow of accounting information diagram below.  

Graphic illustration displaying the 3 steps of the flow of information in accounting

The Flow of Accounting Information. People make decisions, business transactions occur, companies report their results. The process is cyclical.

This diagram illustrates the flow of accounting information and helps illustrate accounting’s role in business. The accounting process begins and ends with people making decisions.

Let’s apply the flow of accounting information to a real business: Apple Inc.

In this diagram, it begins with production. Apple Inc. produces a new annual line up of its iPhone. Then, it moves to purchasing. Customers make purchases at the store. From there is reporting. Revenues from the product and expenses from operating the store are reported in Apple’s quarterly and annual reports. These financial results inform managers’ decisions regarding product line, stocking, etc. This brings us back to production.

The Four Financial Statements

The flow of accounting results in transactions that are recorded and presented using four important financial statements to report the results to various stakeholders. We will explore these four financial statements further in the next topic.

Note: The order is important! The first is income statements, then statement of retained earnings, balance sheet, and lastly statement of cash flow. 

Users of Financial Information

These financial statements are used by different stakeholders. So, who are the users of financial information?

Managers: set goals, evaluate those goals, and take corrective action.

  • Most companies hire managers to oversee the day-to-day operations of the business (i.e., operating activities).

  • Managers make many business decisions using accounting info:

    • Should they build a new product line?
    • Should they open a regional sales office?
    • Should they acquire a competitor?
    • Should they extend credit to their major customers?

Investors: decide whether to invest in a business or evaluate an investment.

  • Investors are individuals/groups who provide capital to finance a business’s activities by purchasing ownership interest. They own shares of the business and are called shareholders.

  • Investors look for two sources of possible gain:

    • Sell ownership interest in the future for more than they paid.
    • Receive a portion of the company’s earnings in cash (dividends).
  • Investors (shareholders) use accounting information to find out how much income they can expect to earn on their investment and where to invest their money.

  • You too are an investor if you buy stocks, debt, or real estate! Financial information can help you decide where to invest your money.

Creditors: evaluate a borrower’s ability to make required payments.

  • Creditors provide capital to finance a business’s activities by lending money. Unlike investors, creditors do not own a share of the company.

  • For example, a bank lends funds to a company in the form of a loan that must be repaid by the company in the future along with interest.

Image 3

Banks loan companies funds, but must be repaid with interest.

Government and regulatory bodies such as Canada Revenue Agency (CRA): ensure organizations pay the correct amount of taxes.

  • Government and regulatory bodies use accounting information for taxation and regulation of the stock markets. 

  • For example, the CRA uses financial information to compute the sales and business taxes owed by a business and the Ontario Securities Commission requires periodic financial information from companies that are stock listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

Individuals: make investment decisions and/or manage a bank account.

  • Individuals like you and me use financial information to make daily purchasing decisions.

  • Do you budget your annual, monthly, or weekly spending? Even high-level budgeting of your tuition, rent, food, and transportation is, in a way, using financial information to determine your financial needs.

Not-for-profit organizations: use accounting information in virtually the same way as for-profit organizations.

  • Like for-profit companies, not-for-profit organizations use financial information to make decisions about their operations and investments, and to report financial information to their users.

  • Users of financial information for a not-for-profit organization include board members, managers, and the CRA.

  • The CRA has a designated non-taxable business status for approved not-for-profit organizations. These designated organizations need to comply with reporting requirements and do not have to pay regular business taxes like for-profit companies.

Financial vs. Management Accounting

Since different users have different reporting needs and underlying reasons for financial information, there are two types of accounting information:

Financial Accounting

Financial accounting provides information for different internal and external users:

  • Internal users
    • Managers

    • Investors

  • External users
    • Creditors

    • Government

    • Public

Financial accounting is the focus of our course!

Management Accounting

Management accounting provides the following information for internal users only:

  • Budgets

  • Forecasts

  • Projections

  • Detailed product level/department level information

This is most likely your next accounting course!

Types of Business Organizations

There are three main forms of business organizations: proprietorship, partnership, and corporation.

 

  Proprietorship Partnership Corporation
Owner(s) Single owner known as the proprietor Generally two or more partners are co-owners

Owned by shareholders and legally formed under federal or provincial law:

  • Public company: many shareholders (i.e. Apple)

  • Private company: small number of shareholders (i.e. a small business)

Personal liability of owner(s) for business debts Proprietor is personally liable Partners are usually personally liable Shareholders are not personally liable
Life of entity Limited by owner’s choice or death Limited by owner’s choice or death Indefinite (owned by shareholders)
Tax structure Included in personal taxes of the proprietor Doesn’t pay taxes as income flows through to individual partners and is taxed at their personal tax rate Corporation pays taxes and any dividends paid to shareholders are taxed at their personal tax rate
Examples

Common business structure for self-employed, small retail stores, or professional service providers:

  • Lawyers

  • Accountants

The Big Four accounting companies are all partnerships:

  • PwC LLP

  • KPMG LLP

  • Deloitte LLP
  • EY LLP

Public companies:

  • Apple Inc.
  • Alphabet Inc.
  • Amazon Inc.
  • Wal-Mart Inc.

Private companies:

  • IKEA
  • Koch Industries
  • Bechtel
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The Big Guide to Vividata

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