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Inside Teaching : April 2011
www.atra.edu.au | firstname.lastname@example.org CURRICULUM & ASSESSMENT 43 equity and receipts and payments; and rent expense for the payment when they inevitably land on their opponents’ property. Students record each transaction as we play the game, and prepare an income statement and balance sheet upon completion. Of course, reconciling the actual cash remaining with the cash at bank ledger account is always a challenge. The students usually don’t want to leave for their next class and ask if they can play it again the following week. Accounting is a natural part of everyone’s life. Every household needs to balance the budget; every business desires to make a profit; government and not- for-profit organisations are accountable for the revenue generated and the expenditure outlaid. The importance of good financial management is clearly obvious. Educators can easily, with a bit of effort, bring the subject to life with relevance, a positive approach and genuine enthusiasm. Accounting need not be boring. Boredom is a self- fulfilling prophecy generated by poor teaching, not by subject content. A recent project by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, ‘Accounting for the future: more than numbers 2009,’ found that the technical skills required of graduates are essentially basic accounting skills, like debits and credits. Interestingly, though, it’s the non-technical skills – like communication, teamwork and self-management – which the large accounting organisations say are equally important in accounting graduates. The challenge is therefore to make our classrooms exciting, engaging centres for learning, not only the basics of accounting process and function, but the equally vital people skills required to be successful in today’s fast-paced world. Wendy Collins is a Chartered Accountant and a lecturer in the School of Business at Christian Heritage College, Brisbane. She has a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a Master of Management degree and a Graduate Diploma of Education. Her special interests are in accounting, business planning and business communication.