Advances in Accounting Education: Teaching and Curriculum Innovations: Volume 13

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Although most accounting programs have made great strides in meeting assessment requirements of accreditation agencies, many have yet to actually use the data they compile to make tangible improvements (Bisoux, T. (2008). Measures of success. BizEd, March/April, pp. 22–30). This paper describes our college's assessment of learning experience in the principles of financial accounting course. Our program was based on the Association for the Advancement Collegiate Schools of Business's assurance of learning and continuous improvement paradigm. We specifically discuss how we used assessment information to promote course improvement through the sharing of teaching methodologies. Our assessment experiences in this introductory course highlight the potential value of such data in curriculum development and improvement.

This chapter describes an evening program of study to supplement the introductory accounting course. It uses cases, skits, and interactions with professionals to reinforce the meaning of the conceptual framework of accounting, expose students to ethical issues and conflicts, and demonstrate the lucrative career opportunities available in accounting, which we believe will ultimately help attract the “best and brightest” students to the accounting major and profession. We provide a detailed discussion to facilitate the adoption of the program by introductory accounting instructors at other institutions. Feedback received from all parties, including students, faculty, and accounting professionals, suggests that this curriculum innovation has exceeded the expectations of these stakeholders.

This chapter describes the use of an innovative instructional tool to teach managerial accounting concepts in a chemistry course at a small liberal arts college. Students engage in active learning by participating in a semester-long enterprise where they assume the role of both an entrepreneur and a manufacturer, as they explore different production combinations and plan profitability. This teaching tool offers several educational benefits. First, it actively engages students by requiring daily decisions having market consequences in a real-world setting. Second, it empowers students to create their own production environment and fosters cooperative learning. Finally, it develops in students an appreciation for the value of accounting information in decision-making.

This study investigates university students’ perceptions of (i) an introductory accounting course and (ii) the profession of accountancy. The study examines the extent to which these perceptions change during the students’ first semester of accountancy studies, and whether these perceptions relate to the students’ interest in the field of accounting. To investigate these issues, we survey 231 undergraduate students in their first semester of accounting studies at a large Greek university. In general, the results show that the students’ initial perceptions of the accounting profession are rather traditional and stereotypical, but that these perceptions generally become more “positive” at the end of their first semester after completing an introductory accounting course. Moreover, at the end of the semester, the students perceive the introductory course as being more rewarding and enjoyable than they had originally expected. The study also finds that students who are interested in accounting hold more positive views of the course and the profession (both at the beginning of the semester and at the end) than those who are not interested in accounting. The findings underline the important role of educators in influencing the perceptions and intentions of their students with regard to accounting study and profession.

With the changing business environment, skills rather than familiarity with rules are more important to accountants’ success. In response to mounting criticisms of accounting education and supported by calls from the Accounting Education Change Commission, efforts have been made by some accounting educators to adapt accounting education to this changing environment. However, there is little research to date about the individual characteristics that can be leveraged to improve the outcome of accounting education. We investigate three individual characteristics: anti-intellectualism, tolerance for ambiguity, and internal locus of control. The results show that all three variables may impact performance in accounting education and that the structure of an accounting program may reward characteristics that are not in line with skills required by the profession. Fortunately, the design of an accounting program may help students alter their skills to be more in line with professional requirements.

Most universities have relied on student evaluations as a source of evidence in their assessment of teaching performance. However, a complete evaluation of all dimensions of a faculty member's teaching requires multiple sources of evidence. The purpose of this chapter is to identify the sources of evidence that accounting chairs report they currently use to assess teaching. Calderon and Green first examined this issue in their 1997 study. However, their results may be outdated due to changes in accreditation requirements, teaching delivery methods, and the continued evolution of assessment tools. Responding department chairs report that peer observation followed by course syllabus, exams given in class, and instructor course notes are the most frequently used evidence types, with an average of 3.16 sources beyond student evaluations. The source and quantity of evidence vary across different types of institutions. While Calderon and Green reported that most schools use ad hoc and subjective sources of evidence, respondents in this study focus more on instructor-supplied materials and direct evidence from inside the classroom.

This study examines corporate governance and ethics (CGE) education by conducting a survey of academicians and practitioners in the United States. Results indicate that the demand for, and interest in, CGE continues to increase. More universities are planning to provide CGE education and many CGE topics are considered important for integration into the curriculum, although the degree of importance varies between academicians and practitioners. The two prevailing methods of CGE education integration are offering a stand-alone course in CGE or infusion of CGE topics into accounting courses. Results pertaining to the importance, delivery, and topical content of CGE education may be useful to universities that are, or are considering, integrating CGE into their curricula or redesigning their CGE courses. The CGE educational issues addressed in this study should help business schools design curricula to prepare students for the challenges awaiting them in the area of CGE.

We describe an innovative course whose purpose is to expose business students who are not accounting majors to the importance of accounting in the corporate world. We achieve this purpose by devoting most of the class time to speakers who work in the “real, global world,” such as auditors, corporate executives, and business journalists. Students do not prepare journal entries or financial statements. Rather, they listen to presentations by a variety of individuals, ask them questions, write reflections of each presentation, and do a term project focusing on a real corporation's accounting issues. The course structure has been successful at helping students gain an appreciation of the importance of accounting in the business world they soon will be entering. The course also helps students to develop critical skills, including attentive listening, asking questions (as opposed to only answering them), reflective ability, analytical ability, and writing skills. Student feedback has been a critical component to the continuous improvement in the course.

I present a background on the use and effectiveness of podcasting in higher education, and provide guidance on developing supplementary video podcasts for use in introductory financial accounting courses. Specifically, I discuss how to create, produce, and distribute exercise-based video podcasts that walk students through problems based on material covered during traditional lectures. I distributed a series of 10 exercise-based video podcasts to introductory financial accounting students at my institution during Fall 2011, and documented high levels of student satisfaction in terms of impact on exam performance. Overall, I contribute to the accounting education literature by illustrating how to use a technology in a way that considers the unique characteristics of introductory accounting courses.

We use data from a survey of 215 experienced practicing accountants to provide their level of agreement with various content categories of accounting ethics courses. Our results indicate that top choices of content include current ethical issues, professional codes of conduct, ethical judgment and decision-making processes and models, corporate codes of ethics, whistleblower protection, record retention, and theories of ethics. The respondents also somewhat agreed that ethics courses can influence attitudes and behavior, but they were neutral on whether ethics courses can reduce instances of Enron-like fraud. We discuss the implications of these results for accounting education and research.

This chapter describes a project used in an entity tax class to engage students in developing several competencies that are valued by academics and the professional accounting community. Instructors provide students with a single set of data from which to prepare tax returns based on three separate assumptions about the entity: it is (1) a partnership, (2) a C corporation, or (3) an S corporation. Instructors play the role of a tax supervisor in a professional firm and students play the role of junior tax professionals. The student must communicate with the instructor to obtain necessary information (beyond the facts listed in the project description) to complete the tax engagement. Completed manually at first, the project reinforces material learned in class, encourages professional communication, and deepens the students’ understanding of how the choice of entity affects business taxation. Once the manual preparation is completed, students prepare the same returns using a computerized tax preparation tool to enhance their learning with technology.

The reciprocal method for allocating support department costs is preferred over the direct and step-down methods because it captures all support services provided to other departments. However, even as business organizations increase the number of support departments and their costs, the adoption of the reciprocal method has been hindered by mathematical difficulties in solving simultaneous equations. This paper illustrates spreadsheet matrix functions that remove the difficulties associated with the reciprocal method. The algebraic expressions for reciprocated costs commonly presented in accounting textbooks are used to form an equivalent matrix relationship. Then spreadsheet matrix functions easily compute reciprocated costs for support departments from the matrix relationship, and also allocate the reciprocated costs to other departments.

This study examines an issue that confronts most instructors in the first financial accounting course at the postsecondary level, that is, some students have had a high school accounting course, while others have not. Specifically, this study investigates the effect a high school accounting course has on student performance in their first postsecondary level financial accounting course (midterm examinations and course grades). The results suggest this relationship is significant and positive, yet must be interpreted carefully. For example, scholastic aptitude, time management skills, and other intrinsic values also play an important role in student achievement.

This paper describes a series of cross-curricular exercises intended to introduce students to specific differences between US GAAP and IFRS, while also helping students understand how US GAAP and IFRS differently answer broader fundamental questions about accounting. These questions involve relevance, reliability, and managers’ use of judgment. Students play varying roles of financial statement stakeholders, according to the roles represented by three courses in the accounting curriculum. In all courses, the managers of the hypothetical firm face strong reporting incentives. Students make decisions according to the roles they play in each course. We observed that students not only identified the differences between US GAAP and IFRS, but also came to appreciate the potential impact of IFRS on stakeholders. Students also appreciated the effect of reporting incentives on managers under different reporting regimes.

In this paper, we describe our approach to incorporating the basics of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) into introductory financial accounting courses. Prior survey evidence suggests that IFRS receives little coverage in such courses, with two primary reasons being a lack of available time and insufficient IFRS teaching materials tailored for introductory financial accounting (Zhu, Rich, Michenzi, & Cherubini, 2011). The objectives for our IFRS procedures were to provide all business students with a basic knowledge of IFRS and an understanding of the similarities and differences between U.S. GAAP and IFRS. We utilized an integrated, comparison-based methodology, and developed teaching materials that were incorporated into each chapter discussion through short vignettes, brief examples, and a comprehensive exercise. Evidence from a student survey suggests that a strong majority believe that IFRS coverage is important, and that our procedures contributed to their learning on the topic. Furthermore, the student survey suggested that the comparative nature of our IFRS procedures enhanced understanding of U.S. GAAP. As a result, our procedures provide guidance to accounting instructors looking to introduce students to the basics of IFRS or other complex topics within the time constraints of a crowded course.

There is an ongoing discussion in the United States related to whether or not the United States should adopt International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released four proposals relating to the potential adoption of IFRS in the past five years. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has responded to these SEC releases with comment letters. We share our experience with a writing assignment based on these comment letters. The assignment requires students to research the FASB's website as well as the FASB's comment letters responding to SEC releases relating to IFRS. Students then evaluate the benefits and costs of IFRS adoption in the United States. The goals of the assignment are to introduce students to the history of accounting convergence and to allow students to critically assess the benefits and costs of U.S. adoption of IFRS. The assignment is suitable for international, intermediate, and advanced accounting courses.

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) are playing an increasingly important role in global financial reporting. As a result, colleges are incorporating the IFRS into their business curricula. This chapter presents an interactive team project that will help students become familiar with the IFRS by critically examining IFRS adoption in the United States. Examining adoption of the IFRS from different perspectives allows students to explore the views of the various participants in the regulatory process, including investors, auditors, public, and private companies. This project encourages active collaborative learning and develops fundamental skills, including critical thinking and information literacy.

This study examines an emerging source of supplementary IFRS teaching materials. These include professional and institutional webcasts and online videos. The study begins by identifying the sources of IFRS webcasts and online videos, and then provides analysis and guidance for using such media in different levels of accounting courses. We conducted a questionnaire survey that examined student perceptions about using IFRS videos and webcasts in international accounting courses. The survey results indicate that students value the use of IFRS videos and webcasts, perceive them to be effective and to increase their learning, and view them as pedagogical tools that they will look for in the future. This study is important for accounting educators as it provides a useful and engaging tool to deliver IFRS knowledge to students.

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Advances in Accounting Education
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