The use of the computer has revolutionized accounting practices and procedures. As a result, the emphasis in all accounting courses must shift from the mastery of manual techniques to the mastery of concepts as they apply to computerized accounting techniques. There are units in computer-augmented accounting in both the general- and the advanced-level courses of this accounting program. The emphasis in these units is on the use of the computer as a tool for performing accounting activities. Computer-augmented accounting instruction should be divided into two parts. The first part deals with training students to use computer hardware and operate accounting-related software programs. The second part concentrates on computerized applications of accounting principles.
In dealing with this content, teachers might: ■ introduce an accounting topic through short, manual learning activities to develop students’ accounting knowledge and skills; ■ apply and adapt the manual learning activities to a computerized environment through both teacher demonstrations and student activities; ■ compare and contrast the manual and computer pro¬ cesses as they relate to accounting; ■ require students to apply an accounting topic to a computer process individually or in groups.
Teachers should be prepared to select and implement software packages appropriate to the learner’s ability and curriculum focus. Students in accounting should have opportunities to complete applications using spreadsheet, data-base, and general-ledger computer programs. Wher¬ ever possible, general-ledger accounting software should be integrated to allow users to combine and manipulate applications and to allow automatic data exchange between applications. Sound pedagogical principles must be applied to the use of computers in accounting courses. Accounting courses offered at the general level of difficulty should stress the use of simple spreadsheets and permit the practice of basic data-entry skills. Using simple spreadsheet pro¬ grams to record transactions to columnar journals and to prepare work sheets and financial statements will help students develop good accounting practices, confidence, and self-esteem, as well as general computer literacy. Students could then progress to more sophisticated soft¬ ware, such as integrated general-ledger applications, subsidiary-ledger data-base applications, and spreadsheet applications in such areas as financial-statement analysis. Accounting courses offered at the advanced level of diffi¬ culty should stress the use of the computer to perform routine clerical accounting functions. Once students have mastered basic principles of debit and credit, the com¬ puter should be used to post, to take trial balances, and to prepare financial statements. In addition, students should have opportunities to: