College Meets Curriculum Criteria

BY RICHARD D. PARKER

The Crisis in Accounting Education” states that technology has made preparing and disseminating financial information so inexpensive that anyone with the right computer software can produce basic data. “Yet, many accounting educators have failed to restructure the accounting curriculum to equip graduates with the tools and expertise they need in today’s business world.”

This is not true at Olivet College because

Students use Excel, Power Point and Word to prepare templates for all accounting problems. They then use these templates during the testing process.

In intermediate accounting students learn how to make depreciation and amortization schedules in which the only input is the cost of the asset, its residual value and its life.

In tax accounting students create many of the tax forms, a tax calculator and a comprehensive questionnaire. The tax questionnaire functions as an input mechanism, and the system they create is set up to function like Turbo Tax.

In accounting information systems the students use the drawing features of Excel to create system flowcharts and all business forms. Students use this same template system in cost accounting and advanced accounting and to some degree in auditing.

The students are allowed to use their own templates to take the mid-term and final exams.

In accounting principles the students use the templates in an interactive tutorial, purchased from the bookstore to help them learn.

Student feedback from this unique system is very positive. I received an e-mail from a graduate who attributed his placement with a good starting salary not to his accounting or insurance education but to his spreadsheet education in Excel.

Richard D. Parker, CPA
Assistant Professor of Business
Olivet College
Eaton Rapids, Michigan

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