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Lectures: Monday & Wednesday 10:00 to 11:30 am MCML 154

Labs: Friday (mandatory 12:30 to 2:00 pm MCML 154

(Not every Friday: check MFRE schedule)

Online: Canvas , Piazza, Other


This course is designed to introduce Reporting, Analysis, and Investment concepts and frameworks that are most relevant to the financial and sustainability management of businesses involved in the food and resource sector. Topic coverage includes financial statement development and interpretation, financial analysis and performance evaluation, sustainability frameworks and metric identification, metric benchmarking and sustainability reporting, and investment analysis of capital, saving, loans and green/sustainable financing ventures.


Instructor: Kelleen Wiseman, MBA in Agribusiness, PhD


Office hours: M/W 11:30-12:30 MCML 154 OR 329

Course Assistant: Xiao Han, MFRE


Office hours: Thursday 10-11 am MCML 348


By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the unique characteristics of the food and resource sector that impact the Reporting, Analysis, and Investment decisions for a firm.
  • Describe key attributes for quality financial and sustainability reports.
  • Develop a XLS dashboard to conduct analysis and provide graphics for financial and sustainability reporting.
  • Outline data storytelling practices that effectively communicate financial and sustainability insights for a firm in the food and resource sector.

Financial Reporting and Analysis

  • Develop and interpret the main financial management statements: Balance Sheet, Net Worth, Changes in Owner Equity, Accrued Net Income, and Cash Flow.
  • Evaluate a firm’s financial performance using marketing and financial analysis models: Industry and Competitive Frameworks, Ratios, Dupont, Common Size Statements, Breakeven Analysis & Financial Leverage.
  • Outline the definition, impact and mitigation options for business and financial risk.

Sustainability Reporting and Analysis

  • Identify and describe the major sustainability frameworks used by firms involved in the food and resource sector.
  • Describe the key environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics used by firms to measure sustainability and illustrate how the materiality matrix can be used to prioritize ESG metrics for a firm.
  • Identify benefits and challenges for firms when they participate in Sustainability Reporting
  • Describe the steps for sustainability reporting for a firm involved in the food and resource sector.
  • Develop and benchmark the Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions metric for a firm using conversion factors and scopes.
  • Outline the definition, impact and mitigation strategies of climate risk.

Investment Analysis

  • Critically conduct investment decisions by applying the techniques of time value of money (internal rate of return (IRR), net present value (NPV), profitability index, and payback period) for capital and green investments.
  • Compare the different forms of financing options for firms in the food and resource sector including equity, green bonds, debt/loans.


In-Class Activities (Best 4 of 6) Throughout the term 6%
Participation Throughout the term 5%
Assignments 1, 2, 3 (Best 2 of 3 assignment) 10%
Financial and Sustainability Metric Report & Presentation 20%
Midterm 25%
Final Exam 34%
TOTAL 100%


Grade based upon the best 4 of 6 assignments.

Objective: To encourage students to engage in class/labs, increase awareness of type of exam questions to expect, and practice developing clear and concise answers to bigger concept questions.

  • Individual 10 minute in‐class activities will be completed throughout the term. These will not be announced ahead of time and must be completed individually and without the use of course materials in approximately 10 minutes and submitted on Canvas in the class during which they were assigned.
  • Grading Rubric: 0 missing information/poor; 0.5 adequate but needs details/work; 1 satisfactory.
  • Late submissions will not be accepted. There are no do‐overs or extra credit for missed activities. If you miss an activity for any reason, you will receive a grade of 0 in that activity.
  • Solutions: Posted shortly after the in-class activity has been provided in class.


Objectives: Students have the opportunity to challenge themselves to produce a deeper analytic report by combining a firm’s financial and sustainability analysis using data storytelling and XLS dashboard.

  • Dates & Details: A handout outlining dates and content requirements will be provided in the second week of classes.


Grade based upon the best 2 of 3 assignments.

Objective: To provide students with the opportunity to practice applying course concepts/models and encourage a practical understanding of the concepts that goes beyond memorization of description.

All assignments should follow this protocol:

  • Working with Others on an Assignment: You may work with other students, but you must turn in your own individual assignment. If you have an answer that is too close to another student’s answer, you will both be given a 0 in the question &/or assignment without recourse and this will be handled according to the policies of the program/university.
  • Assignment Schedule: Due dates/times will also be posted on the MFRE Schedule assignments (View schedule online). Assignments will be posted approximately 7 to 10 days prior to due date. Solutions to assignments will be posted via the course web site shortly after the due date/time.
  • Late Assignments not accepted. To be fair to all students, late assignments are not accepted and there is no partial score for late submissions, no makeup assignment, and no reallocation of marks, do‐overs, or extra credit options.
  • Best 2 of 3 Assignment grades counted as your score: Three assignments will be provided during the course. You can complete all 3 assignments and I will use the best 2 of 3 scores or you can complete only 2 assignments and I will use those 2 grades to compute your assignment grade. Your choice. No need to decide ahead of time.
  • Excel must be used for all financial‐based assignments. Please ensure your Excel follow Best Practices for Excel (developed during our lab) and Academic Dishonesty & Plagiarism (See syllabus information).
  • Format for Assignments:
    1. Title page with course number, assignment number, student name and UBC number
    2. Answers provided in the correct order and PDF format. Be sure that your answers from excel worksheets is readable – often they are much too small to read.
    3. You can cut/paste/screen shot your Excel financial statements to the solutions document but be sure it is readable.
    4. Excel file must also be uploaded with assignment.
    5. Be sure to show your work on all assignment ‐ not just a single answer.
    6. Messy or disorganized assignments are not acceptable and will result in either a zero or reduced grade.


Objective: Exams are a form of learning activity that motivate students to study and uptake course content. In addition, exams provide feedback that students can then use to improve their understanding.

  • Exam Length and Format: Exam format will include short answer and computational questions. Examinations will be closed books and closed notes. All exams will be cumulative. The midterm will be 80 minutes during class time and the final exam (TBA 2 to 3 hours). Exams dates will be posted on the MFRE Online Schedule.
  • Calculator Use: During the midterm and final exam, students will be permitted to use a non‐programmable calculator with built‐in or preprogrammed financial and scientific functions. The calculator must NOT be capable of storing text or alphanumeric data or provide Internet connectivity. Calculators that meet these requirements are available from the UBC Bookstore and Staples. Non‐regulation calculators will be removed, and no replacement calculator will be provided. Students will not be permitted to use programmable calculator even if you clear all programs out of the memory of the calculator. The checking of calculator memory is just too cumbersome and is disruptive for other students as they write their exam.
  • Unable to Write Exam Due to Illness: If you are unable to write an examination, you must have a verifiable doctor note, contact me before or immediately after the scheduled exam date/time and present documentation explaining your absence. If the excuse is considered legitimate, then the weight of the exam will be transferred to the final exam. There will be no makeup midterm examinations.


Objective: To encourage students to be an active class participant and contribute to collective knowledge for the course.

Opportunities for Participation:

  • Contributing content, questions, or answers to discussions during labs and classroom discussion sessions.
  • Asking quality questions and answering instructor and other student’s questions during class and on online platforms
  • Contributions during labs: Labs are meant to be interactive. Be ready to follow along and answer and ask quality questions.
  • Pre-Lecture Questions: Before a lecture, students are encouraged to submit questions about the lecture content via online Polls or Google Docs
  • “In the News” Wednesday: Students are encouraged to submit current news/events/articles (via Canvas by Tuesday 8pm) that are connected to our current lecture topics. We will take a select set of this class on Wednesday.

Class Participation Rubric

Category Exceptional








Frequency of


Student initiates

contributions regularly during

class /online platforms.

Student initiates

contribution semi-regularly

during class

/online platforms.

Student makes

occasional contribution.

Student does not

attend many lectures

or does not initiate any


Quality of


Contributions are always

insightful & constructive; uses

appropriate terminology.

Contributions balanced

between course content and

not opinions but are specific,

thoughtful criticisms or


Contributions mostly

insightful &

constructive; mostly

uses appropriate



comments are too

general, an opinion

and not course content

focused, or not

relevant to the


Contributions are


constructive, with

occasional signs of


Student does not use

appropriate terminology;

comments not always

relevant to the


Contributions are

uninformative, lacking

in appropriate


Heavy reliance on

opinion & personal

taste versus critical use

of course content.



Objective: To provide the opportunity to use/discuss/integrate course principles to real world settings and advance XLS and data storytelling skills.

  • FRE 516 lab dates available on MFRE online schedule.
  • Lab content included in exams.

Topic Coverage:

  • Best Practices for XLS.
  • Financial/Analysis/Technical/XLS skill development using cases. For some labs, only partial case solutions may be provided, so be prepared to write down answers and key points from the lab.
  • Characteristics of quality financial and sustainability reports.
  • XLS dashboard analysis and graphics techniques useful for financial and sustainability reporting.
  • Data storytelling practices useful for communicating financial and sustainability insights for a firm in the food and resource sector.


  • Students should check all their assignments/papers/group reports for plagiarism prior to submission. This can be done by submitting materials to the Turnitin service and reviewing the similarity index reports
    • Turn it in Login (website) AND Student Guide to MFRE Student Guide To Setting Up And Using Turn It In on the Student Portal (website).
      • Use Class ID 3546663 and Enrollment Key 13669038 to access MFRE course folder, submit assignments/papers, and review similarity index reports.
    • You do not have to upload the turn it in report with your submission – this is for your use.
  • The Instructor/Course Assistant will submit all assignments/papers/group reports to Turnitin. Plagiarism : All incidences of plagiarism will be turned over to the MFRE Academic Director and managed via the MFRE program policies.


Together, we will use ChatGPT in FRE 516 to conduct business research, check grammar and logic, and develop outlines as a way of testing ChatGPT as a research assistant tool. However, in order to develop your own FRE 516 competencies and practice analytic skills, I will request that you DO NOT use AI to develop your report or assignment content, conduct analysis, and/or create presentation content.

To Note: Using these models to generate content or conduct analysis for assessments without proper citation and/or if asked not to use AI, is considered plagiarism and academic misconduct. If students are encouraged to use AI for select uses for submitted assessment, they must cite the AI generator using citations consistent with the UBC Academic Honesty Standards.


WEEK TOPIC READINGS Available on Canvas
Week 1 Overview of the course syllabus: Reporting, Analysis, and Investment


  • Food and Resource Sectors Defined
  • Characteristics of the food and resource sector
Weeks 2/3/4/5/6 Overview:
  • Financial Management versus Accounting
  • Major Financial Statements

Financial Statement Development & Interpretation

  • Net Worth, Balance Sheet & Depreciation
  • Net Income
  • Cash Flow
  • Statement of Owners Equity
  • Connecting the Statements

Performance and Potential Evaluation


  • Ratios/Dupont Analysis
  • Common Size Analysis
  • Risk Assessment: Financial Leverage and Breakeven Analysis


  • Industry and Competitive Frameworks
Readings on Canvas
  • Financial Management
  • Depreciation
  • Balance Sheet
  • Net Worth Statement
  • Net Income Statement: Accrued
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Linking the Financial Statements of Changes in Owner Equity
  • Financial Analysis
  • Sector Profile
  • The Structural Analysis of the Industry: Michael Porter

Additional Readings

  • Financial Statements and Business Decisions
MIDTERM - October 26


Sustainability Frameworks

Metrics to Measure Sustainability

  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics
  • Materiality matrix and its use to prioritize ESG metrics for a firm.
  • Benefits and Challenges with Sustainability Reporting
  • Steps for Developing a Sustainability Report (ongoing)

Sustainability Metric Data Collection, Analysis and Reporting: The Case of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

  • Scope 1, 2, 3 Defined
  • GHG Data Collection, Conversion Factors, What if Analysis
  • Benchmarking and Reporting

Risk Assessment: Climate Risk

On Canvas
Weeks 10/11/12/13 Time Value of Money
  • Future/Present Value, Annuities, Interest Rate, Compounding
  • Savings, Loans, Green Financing

Investment Decision Tools:

  • Internal Rate Of Return (IRR), Net Present Value (NPV), Profitability Index, And Payback Period

Financing Options for Capital and Green Projects

  • Compare the different forms of financing options for firms in the food and resource sector for equity, green bonds, impact investing, debt/loans.
On Canvas



There is no required distribution of recordings of class. Recording will be provided based upon on the decision of the course instructor. Classes are designed as and are intended to be in‐person.


All materials of this course (course handouts, lecture slides, assessments, course readings, etc.) are the intellectual property of the instructor or licensed to be used in this course by the copyright owner. Redistribution of these materials by any means without permission of the copyright holder(s) constitutes a breach of copyright and may lead to academic discipline and could be subject to legal action. Further, audio or video recording of classes are not permitted without the prior consent of the instructor.

Missing Classes/Labs

Students are expected to attend all classes, labs, or workshops. If you cannot make it to a class, lab, or workshop due to a medical or personal emergency, please email your instructor, your course assistant, and Olivier Ntwali, MFRE Program Coordinator ahead of time to let them know.

Respectfulness in the Classroom

Students are expected to be respectful of their colleagues at all times, including faculty, staff and peers. This means being attentive and conscious of words and actions and their impact on others, listening to people with an open mind, treating all MFRE community members equally and understanding diversity.

Respect for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The MFRE Program strives to promote an intellectual community that is enhanced by diversity along various dimensions including status as a First Nation, Métis, Inuit, or Indigenous person, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, social class, and/or disability. It is expected that all students and members of our community conduct themselves with empathy and respect for others.

Centre for Accessibility

The Centre for Accessibility (CfA) facilitates disability‐related accommodations and programming initiatives designed to remove barriers for students with disabilities and ongoing medical conditions. If you are registered with the CfA and are eligible for exam accommodations, it is your responsibility to let Olivier Ntwali, Academic Program Coordinator, and each of your Course Instructors know. You should book your exam writing with the CFA using its exam reservation system: for midterm exams or quizzes, at least 7 days in advance; and final exams, 7 days before the start of the formal exam period.


Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty and plagiarism are taken very seriously in the MFRE program. All incidences of plagiarism will be escalated to the MFRE Academic Director with penalties ranging from a mark of zero on the assignment, exam or course to being required to withdraw from the program. Note: If a student needs to extend his/her program due to a failed course or unsatisfactory progress, they will have to pay the full MFRE tuition fees for that term/s.

Academic misconduct that is subject to disciplinary measures includes, but is not limited, to the following:

  • Plagiarism, which is intellectual theft, occurs where an individual submits or presents the oral or written work of another person as his or her own. In many UBC courses, you will be required to submit material in electronic form. The electronic material will be submitted to a service which UBC subscribes, called TurnItIn. This service checks textual material for originality. It is increasingly used in North American universities. For more information, review TurnItIn website online.
  • Using Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT, Bard, or other Generative AI models to generate content or conduct analysis for evaluations, without proper citation and or if asked not to use AI, is considered plagiarism and academic misconduct. If students use AI in their submissions, they must cite the AI generator using citations consistent with the UBC Academic Honesty Standards.
  • Cheating, which may include, but is not limited to falsification of any material subject to academic evaluation, unauthorized collaborative work; or use of unauthorized means to complete an examination.
  • Working with Others on an Assignment: You are encouraged to work with other students, but you must turn in your own individual assignment. If you have an answer that is too close to another student’s answer, this will be considered academic dishonesty and this will be handled according to the MFRE and UBC policies.
  • Resubmission of Material, submitting the same, or substantially the same, essay, presentation, or assignment more than once (whether the earlier submission was at this or another institution) unless prior approval has been obtained from the instructor(s) to whom the assignment is to be submitted.
  • Use of academic ghostwriting services, including hiring of writing or research services and submitting papers or assignments as his or her own.

Student Responsibility: Students are responsible for informing themselves of the guidelines of acceptable and non‐acceptable conduct for examinations and graded assignments as presented via MFRE Code of Conduct; MFRE Turn it in, Course Syllabus, MFRE Instructors; Canvas and UBC academic misconduct policies.

Penalties for Academic Dishonesty: Penalties for academic dishonesty are applied at the discretion of the MFRE program. Incidences of academic misconduct may result in a mark of zero on the assignment, examination, or course, required withdrawal from the program, and/or the matter being is referred to UBC Graduate Studies.