A set of skill-building live practice projects in accounting area were assigned to the first-year MBA new batch of 378 students by Professor Ashish Kumar at IIM Kashipur. Many of the students were from science backgrounds. Full details of Certification assigned to the students is available in this link: Certification Link
This blog provides an in-depth look, including feedback from Professors and students. The blog will focus on the following from an experiential learning perspective:
Important features of the certification and assignment
A detailed description of the included simulations
Feedback from Professor Ashish Kumar, IIM Kashipur
Important features of the skill certification
This certification was made compulsory for successful completion as part of the Accounting course. About 45 days were given to students to complete these exercises to obtain the certification.
Each simulation was built using real-time data (one day old) from Indian listed companies with a focus to build accounting and financial reporting skills.
Each simulation is required the students to “learn by doing”. The certification package is also included study material and video recording of solutions for similar live projects. The idea is to show how it is done and then enable them to solve it.
Student receives an auto-generated certificate and weblink based on average scores above 50%. Certificate can be used during interviews to demonstrate the skills to the companies during placements.
Brief details of live accounting projects included as part of skill certification were as below. The projects are set to move up from basic level to advanced level. Each of these simulations uses real-time data for a listed company and works on multiple companies so that each student gets different companies to work on. Time in brackets indicates the time for solving the simulation. For students who do not have Excel skills, and excel primer was also provided.
Preparing Income Statement & Balance Sheet (Time: 120 mins): Students are required to prepare a balance sheet and statement of profit and loss from the given trial-balance.
Preparing Common size Statement (Time: 60 mins): Learning how to prepare the common size statement of profit or loss statement and the balance sheet.
Preparing Cash flow Statement (Time: 120 mins): Understanding cash flow is essential for a business manager. This simulation will teach and test the preparation of the cash flow statement from a given profit & loss account and a balance sheet starting from profit before tax (similar to the published annual reports).
Recording Financial Transactions (Time: 120 mins): This exercise helps to understand the accounting equation and the principle of double-entry in summarizing the transactions that occurred during an accounting period. Besides, students have to complete the income statement and the balance sheet.
Ratio Analysis (Time: 180 mins): This simulation is comprehensive and covers profitability, valuation and Dupont analysis. This simulation uses real-time income statement and balance sheet for listed companies and works on multiple companies.
Comparative Ratio Analysis (Time: 180 mins): Ratio analysis simplifies the process of comparing the financial performance of multiple companies. In this simulation, students examined the financial statements of two companies operating in the same industry and analysed their financial prospects in terms of liquidity, debt, returns and efficiency.
Income Statement Analysis (Time: 120 mins): In this simulation, the student is required to analyze the operating performance of the company and comment on the health of the company. It is designed as a combination of MCQs that help to identify key trends in the sales and profit performance of leading companies.
Working Capital and Capital Structure (Time: 120 mins): Students analyse the efficiency of the working capital management and the capital structure of a company based on various parameters. This simulation is designed as a combination of data computation and MCQs to understand the important points while analysing working capital and capital structure.
Capex and Cashflow (Time: 120 mins): Analyze the capital expenditure and cash flow of a company based on various parameters. This simulation is a combination of data computation and MCQs to understand the critical points to ascertain the efficiency of cash flow management and capital expenditure planning.
The above real-time projects were selected for this class. Should you wish to learn our full range of simulations in the accounting and financial analysis subjects, please review our Simulations Compendium
How does the Simulation work
Students download a simulation as a password-controlled excel workbook. At the time of download, real-time data of a listed company is downloaded from our live terminal. A student has to solve and provide answers in the solution sheet. Based on answers, a scoring mechanism scores students answers and computations. The structure of the simulation is designed to depict a corporate work situation. The following blog and video demonstrates how the simulations work
Our blog on Accounting equation (Recording Financial Transactions) explains two key aspects, namely, mapping of transactions under account captions and also in mapping transactions to the Income statement and balance sheet.
This full video shows how the simulations on cash flow statement preparation from a provided Income statement and balance sheet.
How these workouts help a student
Provides extensive usage to live corporate data and also builds excel skills, necessary in the corporate world.
Ensures that students actually solve multiple accounting problems and thereby learn by doing, which is the best mode of practice.
Multiple attempts are provided so that mistakes are resolved.
Finally, the student gets an automated score record for use during placement interviews.
Professor Ashish Kumar’s Testimonial
“The idea of pre-curated workouts for accounting is meaningful. I see two real advantages. One, the certification approach ensures that every student completes (dirty hands) certain minimum workouts as a qualifier for the course and develops work skills and second, live projects provides a better orientation to the real world. These simulations complemented my course and are nicely packaged for easy use by students.
Further student feedback to these certifications was very positive. “
Student feedback and experience
Students experience were overwhelmingly positive.
95% of the 350 students were able to complete the certifications with an average 50% plus scores, the required certification grade. Student feedback was also very good. While student scores at IIM Kashipur cannot be shared, you can view sample scoring and certifications of our open candidates at LeaderBoard
Some of the comments received from students are as below:
“It could not come any more closer to real world financial decision making that too in packaged in timed modules.” Akash Pawar
The simulation helps to apply the knowledge and understand the concepts with the real-life case” Gowtham Raj.
“Amazing simulations” Anshul Verma
“the questions are explained explicitly in videos, so it is easy for anyone, who has excel knowledge, to clear it while watching the video” Muralidharan.
We are thankful to Professor Ashish Kumar, IIM Kashipur to introduce our Simulations in his class.
Thank you for reading about the innovative initiative to bring experiential learning to students and candidates. More information is available at www.equitylevers.com. We offer special pricing for Institutions. Talk to us.
Our future newsletters will focus on experiences at leading colleges with our real-time simulations in other subjects, including valuations, modelling, fixed income, Investments, derivatives etc.
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