AIR Winter 2011

A Simplification and Visualization of Teaching the Direct Method for Computing Cash from Operations

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), in cooperation with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), has issued a discussion paper “Preliminary Views on Financial Statement Presentation” proposing a new format for financial statements October 2008. Based on this proposal, there will be major changes for the presentation of all three of the major statements: Statement of Net Income (SNI), Statement of Financial Position (SFP), and the Statement of Cash Flow (SCF). The proposed SCF follows the current format of SFAS No. 95 in presenting cash flows in three sections: operating, investing, and financing. However, there is one major change that will affect the teaching of the SCF in accounting, and that is the requirement for presenting the direct method of presenting cash from operations.

The authors will present an alternative version of teaching the direct method for the Cash Flow Statement that will hopefully enhance the understanding of students.
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A Reminder: It’s the Little Things

Students actually do sometimes listen to what we say and observe what we do. In addition to learning accounting in the introductory course, students often take away life lessons that have nothing to do with accounting per se. These intended and even unintended messages about behavior, attitude, philosophy, and so many other issues may initially appear as little things of no lasting importance. But in spite of the pressures of outcomes assessment on faculty, and perhaps because of the heuristic experience for students, these little things can be big. The purpose of this paper is to remind instructors about the importance of these little things.
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Synchronous (Live) Class Sessions in Online Accounting Courses

This article focuses on the incorporation of synchronous (live) sessions in online accounting courses to provide what is termed a voice/visual learning environment. The technology allows application sharing whereby instructors can show on their computer screens virtually any software application including PowerPoint Presentations, Word documents, and Excel spread sheets. Both instructors and the students should have a combination of headsets and microphones. Andragogy and engagement theories emphasize the importance of students being actively engaged in the learning process.
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A Mixed-Methods Pedagogical Approach to an Introductory Course to IFRS

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) have been adopted by more than 100 countries across the globe. One of the few remaining economic powers yet to adopt IFRS is the United States. The likelihood of IFRS adoption in the US increased in 2007 when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) removed the requirement for non-US companies registered in the United States to reconcile their financial reports with US GAAP, should their accounts comply with IFRS. In addition the SEC is considering possible incorporation of IFRS into the US domestic financial reporting system from approximately 2015 or 2016 (SEC 2010). Consequently, US colleges and universities are paying increasing attention to IFRS and the incorporation thereof into their accounting education programs. A recent survey of US academics suggested that more than half of the respondents expected IFRS to have been significantly incorporated into their curricula by 2011 (Munter and Reckers 2009). When incorporating IFRS into their curricula, these academics will need to select appropriate pedagogy to support IFRS’s inclusion. Given that the objective of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is ‘to develop a single set of high quality, understandable, enforceable and globally accepted financial reporting standards based upon clearly articulated principles’ we propose that IFRS education too be principle-based.
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Time-Value-of-Money—“Let’s Make a Deal”, Time-Line Diagrams and ‘Simple’ Formulas, and a Bond Pricing Example

Students in introductory Financial Accounting frequently fail to appreciate the importance of time-value-of-money. They simply view time-value-of-money as a ‘memorize the formulas’ and plug in the numbers to solve a mathematical problem. The students frequently fail to ‘recognize’ the key information given in the problem and what is the ‘unknown’ they need to solve for. We use the following three techniques to: pique students interest in the topic, help students understand the ‘whys’ behind the calculations, and enable the students to solve many time-value-of-money problems without complex mathematical formulas or financial calculators: 1.) Investing for Retirement situations to illustration the ‘power’ of time-value-of-money, 2.) Television game show “Let’s Make a Deal” to identify factors underlying the determination of interest rates, 3.) “Time-line diagram”” and “”simple”” formulas.
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Teaching The Principles Course: A Special Challenge for Senior Faculty

The effective teaching of principles of accounting requires both talent and dedication. Although gifted individuals can be found anywhere in the ranks, the most experienced and talented teachers are usually assigned to upper division and graduate classes. Principles of accounting classes are often taught by part-time instructors, new Ph.D.s, or graduate students who, though dedicated, may not be the most appropriate teachers for the principles course. Because the first priority of part-time teachers has to be their fulltime jobs, they may have difficulty developing innovative teaching techniques and maintaining regular contact with students. New Ph.D.s must put their research efforts ahead of teaching in order to gain tenure, and graduate students need to regard themselves as students first and teachers second. Moreover, new Ph.D.s and graduate students often do not have the experience necessary to undertake advanced teaching techniques. This leaves talented senior faculty members as the most logical choice to teach the principles classes. They alone have the experience and can put teaching as their top priority. But why should senior faculty members agree to teach he principles course when they can usually pick and choose any course they want?
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Accounting Instructors’ Report, Winter 2011: Table of Contents