In order to become successful accountants, accounting students must learn a wide array of skills, mathematical concepts, and software. In the midst of imparting all of this technical knowledge, it’s common for instructors and schools to overlook an important part of the field of accounting: ethics. Teaching students ethics in accounting is far less common than it should be. Once you step back and consider its importance, you’ll likely be inspired to spend some time focusing on ethics with your students.
Unethical accounting practices don’t just cost companies a few dollars. Although accountants often assume they are doing little harm by engaging in unethical practices from time to time, the truth is, poor accounting can bring down entire companies. Many businesses have crumbled to the ground following an accounting scandal that started as a simple breach of ethics and quickly grew into something larger.
By showing students examples of instances in which a lack of ethical accounting practices brought down big companies, you are demonstrating to them just how much power they will actually hold in their future positions. You’ll also show them that what starts off as a small breach of ethics can have profound effects that they never predicted; it’s better to adhere to ethical practices from the very beginning.
Labyrinth Learning provides the materials you need for teaching students ethics in accounting. Contact us to learn more about our learning software that benefits both instructors and students.
Teaching new subject matter can sometimes be difficult – one way to get information across easier is by using an activity that students are already familiar with. For example, you can actually use the popular board game Monopoly in order to teach students accounting. The following are tips on how to teach accounting with Monopoly:
Ask your students to use profit and loss sheets while playing the game and to predict expenses and income as they go. Make it so that a single trip around the board equals a single month on their profit and loss statements.
Compare the management of personal and business expenses in real life with playing the game by highlighting the importance of anticipating their expected income and their expenses. Discuss what happens if they don’t plan properly, using examples of losing businesses and homes in the game to mirror real life consequences.
Require that receipts be written out whenever money is used within the game, whether it’s for purchases or for paying rent. These receipts will be used for when the students are writing up their profit and loss statements.
Ask your students to create a graph that compares their initial predictions with their actual expenses and income to see how things change as the rounds progress. This will help them see whether they became better at making financial predictions or worse.
Use these tips regarding how to teach accounting with Monopoly. Contact us at Labyrinth Learning for additional teaching resources and advice.