Curriculum and Programs

Statement of Cash Flows

The statement of cash flows is a required financial statement, just like the income statement and balance sheet. Its purpose is not to measure the quantity of the cash flow during any given accounting period; that could be obtained simply by comparing the total of all cash increasing activity with all cash decreasing activity during the accounting period. The statement of cash flows examines a qualitative feature, specifically the reliability, of cash flows during the accounting period.
This paper covers the classification of the statement of cash flows, as well as methods of compiling the statement of cash flows. It also provides an example of the methods used for Operating activities.
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Teaching Auditing Students About Internal Controls From an Internal Audit Perspective

In the Sarbanes-Oxley era there is a real need for a good understanding of the different responsibilities and reliances that can be placed on the work of others. External auditors must have a good comprehension of the types and extent of work that internal auditors do. Since most universities do not provide a stand-alone course on internal auditing, students must rely on what they learn in the mainstream auditing class to obtain their understanding of what an internal auditor does. This paper provides auditing instructors a vehicle for teaching the need for, and the approach to, how internal auditors do their jobs.
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Implementation of the Wall Street Journal Project in Intermediate Accounting Courses: A Follow-Up

Robert Morris University (RMU) offers a bachelors degree in accounting and has established a good reputation for preparing students for entry into the work force. RMU
is successful in placing graduates in a variety of accounting positions ranging from public accounting, to management accounting, to internal auditing, to government.
Krause (2006) reports that the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) project gives students an awareness of emerging professional issues, an understanding of the importance of staying current, and improves their written communication skills. Use of the WSJ project in Intermediate Accounting courses that I have taught also demonstrates to students that they are capable of reading and understanding the WSJ, that the topics we discuss in class are relevant both to the practice of accounting and to business in general and that ethical business behavior is very important, if not critical, in the current business environment.
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Can You Teach Ethics in Beginning Accounting?

I often ask the following question at accounting educator conferences: “Can you teach ethics?” In response, I get a variety of answers, but many, perhaps a majority of instructors say: “No, you can’t teach ethics. Ethics is taught at home” or “Ethics is learned long before college.” This leads to the question: “What is ethics?” It is of course rooted in a person’s basic values and morals. Ethics relates to the decisions that people make based on their values and morals. Accounting teachers have little to do with affecting the values and morals that students bring to class. Read More…

Building the Income Statement from the Bottom Up: Explaining to Students the Purpose of Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis

The intent of this paper is to suggest a method for assisting Accounting faculty when making the transition from Financial to Managerial Accounting, more specifically when introducing the concepts of cost behavior and cost-volume-profit analysis for the first time. In the teaching of most Accounting courses, instructors focus of getting students to understand that the calculation of net income or operating income or any income related amount is a top down calculation. By this I mean we teach our students that to determine the profitability of a business (to prepare an Income Statement), we start at the top with revenues. Working our way down the income statement, we next subtract expenses. In our earliest financial accounting classes we stress the basic concept of determining profitability is to subtract total expenses from total revenues and in all succeeding financial accounting courses, while we may add some additional intricacies, we continue to follow that approach: Revenues minus Expenses = Income.

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What Do You Need To Know About IFRS?

International financial reporting standards (IFRS) are here: The SEC now accepts IFRS as issued by International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) from foreign company registrants. Further, the AICPA says that IFRS are high quality accounting standards under the ethics code and may be used currently by non-registered private companies in lieu of U.S. GAAP. Also, the SEC has announced a roadmap to decide in 2011 whether registered public companies are permitted or will be required to use IFRS as a substitute for U.S. GAAP as early as 2014. One clear conclusion from these developments is that, for at least a period of time, knowledge of both U.S. GAAP and IFRS will be required. Since most business students take only beginning accounting, IFRS is not a subject that can be reserved for upper level courses. IFRS must be integrated into the curriculum starting with the first accounting course. What do you as an accounting instructor need to know about IFRS? And what should you tell your students?
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Using Analogies to Help Students Learn Fundamental Accounting Concepts in the First Week of the First Accounting Course

Hanson and Phillips (2006) provide evidence that using analogies can be a powerful method for teaching accounting concepts. Prior research (Gentner 1989; Ross 1984) has shown that people often develop analogies that share superficial similarities between the source topic (what the student already knows) and the target topic (what the student is attempting to learn). When students first learn about business balance sheets, they often draw upon their pre-existing knowledge and form an analogy between the business balance sheet and personal net worth. This choice can be very helpful, but part of their pre-existing knowledge does not apply to the business balance sheet. Zook (1991) has demonstrated that students may focus on irrelevant features when analogies are used. Thus, it is important that students understand the parts of the analogy that can be helpful.
Paris and Glynn (2004) demonstrate that analogies are more effective when they are elaborate. Elaborate analogies fully elaborate on the structural features of a target
topic that are also present in a source topic. They show that elaborate analogies contribute to students’ more fully comprehending new concepts. This paper describes an
elaborate analogy that may be used during the first week of a first financial accounting course to help students understand fundamental accounting concepts. This analogy is used in the form of two related in-class exercises that may be used in a single day or used on separate days.

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Eight Things to Look for When Choosing Integrated Course Solutions

As publishers continue to move their titles from basic eTextbooks and online resources to highly-integrated whole-course solutions, the array of choices in their catalogs – including eTextbook formats and digital resources — can be overwhelming. A new white paper discusses the customer usage data that has inspired publishers to accelerate their delivery schedules for personalized, integrated course solutions. Here is a list of what to look for when evaluating the latest generation of digital resources: A streamlined, efficient reading experience and a cohesive, useful set of resources that is available to the student, on demand, in order to make the learning Read More…

Integrating Gift Cards into the Accounting Curriculum

Gift cards have become an increasingly popular way of conducting business. Tower Group estimated that $97 billion was spent on gift cards in 2007. Although this figure was expected to decline to about $88.5 in 2008 it still represents a sizeable portion of the retail industry. Since many students are familiar with these cards accounting instructors have a unique opportunity to enhance students’ comprehension of both business and accounting concepts. This paper will discuss the two types of gift cards, review gift cards in comparison to other ways of transacting business and explain the accounting for these cards. The paper concludes by offering suggestions for the effective use of these and for establishing a more consistent accounting for them.
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A Visual Representation of the Statement of Cash Flows

In this article, the authors present a visual representation of the statement of cash flows, which can be used as an illustrative demonstration of related concepts in accounting courses.

This article is from the Accounting Instructors’ Report, an electronic journal that provides teaching tips and insights to those who teach accounting and other business courses.

Dr. David O’Bryan, College of Business, Pittsburg State University
Dr. Jeffrey J. Quirin, School of Accountancy, Barton College of Business, Wichita State University

Read A Visual Representation of the Statement of Cash Flows.