AIR Summer 2008

Business Data Analysis With PivotTables

The primary objective of an accounting system is to “summarize transactional data into useful management reports that management can use to manage the business” (Kieso et al., 2006). A powerful vehicle that helps us to achieve this objective is the Microsoft® Excel PivotTable. It provides us a powerful tool to organize and summarize data, and display the output in different views. Displaying summarized data in different views allows us to make comparisons, explore relationships, and identify trends, i.e., convert data into information.

The purpose of this paper is two fold; one is to demonstrate the ease of creating a PivotTable report, and the other, to illustrate its essential features, i.e., the use of PivotTable to count frequency, perform calculations, sort data, group data, collapse/expand data, and filter data. Instructors teaching accounting information systems or computerized accounting may spend a session on PivotTable.

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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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Integrating Assessment of Student Learning into the Accounting and Finance Curriculum: A Course-Embedded Technology Project

The AACSB Eligibility Procedures and Standards for Business Accreditation (AACSB 2007), approved in 2003 and fully implemented in 2005, explicitly recognize the importance of assessment of student learning in the continuous improvement of the curriculum in its Assurance of Learning Standards. This change in the Assurance of Learning Standards requires all business schools (those currently accredited by AACSB and those seeking initial accreditation) to adapt their assessment activities to meet the new standards. In response to the new Assurance of Learning standards, we have developed a capital budgeting project appropriate for cost accounting, intermediate accounting, or financial management courses to assess students’ ability to use technology appropriate to their discipline.

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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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The Use of Peer Review to Develop Writing Skills in an Introduction to Accounting Class

For more than two decades, accounting professionals have called for improvements in the education and skill development of accounting students. This paper focuses on one approach to address the development of written communication skills, peer review of student papers. Peer editing or peer review has been widely used in composition and business communication classes, but it has not been widely adopted in accounting classes.

This paper briefly reviews the calls for improved written communication skills, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of peer editing of writing as a skill development tool, describes the application of peer review in an introduction to management accounting course, and includes documents that may be used to support a peer editing process.

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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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Accounting Instructors’ Report, Summer 2008: Table of Contents

TRENDS
What Do You Need To Know About IFRS?
Belverd E. Needles, Jr., Ph.D., CPA, DePaul University
Marian Powers, Ph.D., Northwestern University
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