Accounting Principles Education Using a Board Game

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ccounting Principles Education Using a Board Game

<Abstract> : This study provides a teaching method for accounting principles using a board game. Many students have negative perception that accounting is very difficult and boring due to the characteristics of its subjects. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a learning method using a board game effective in changing students perceptions of accounting subject more favorably and inducing students to get accounting knowledge more easily. This paper provides the scope of contents of an introductory accounting course which can be covered by a board game. This paper also shows that the basic accounting principles are closely connected to the way of recording the game results on a sheet. Hence, students can understand the basic principles of accounting during the game easily. The survey on the students who used the board game for their accounting principles courses shows that the board game was in fact an entertaining, useful and effective tool for accounting education. It demonstrates that a board game is a useful teaching method for the basic concepts and learning goals of accounting as well as a tool for creating interest and fun to students.


. Introduction

All the business majors of two-year colleges and four-year universities have accounting principles as a required course. A private university in Seoul even asks every bachelor student to take an introductory accounting course. It is because accounting is believed to be a basic knowledge needed working for a firm. Accounting knowledge is useful in understanding information on firms and developing careers.

Introductory accounting course is critical in making students interested in accounting area whether they are business majors or not. Most students know that accounting knowledge is beneficial in getting jobs. However, many of them give up taking accounting courses feeing that they are too stressful and/or boring at their first experience.

For a long time, most of textbooks on accounting principles have explained the accounting concepts and technical terms (for example, debit and credit) of the double entry system from their beginning parts. This approach makes many students lose their interests in accounting very quickly

The students’ notion that accounting is ‘number crunching’ or ‘bean counting’ should be eradicated to change their negative perceptions (Cory 1992). Mladenovic (2000) told why this notion ought to be changed. Stereotypical negative perception has impact on learning process and outcome and then on choice of academic major and career.

Quite a few professors at universities have tried to find the ways to change negative perception of students on accounting. It is quite meaningful doing that since perception itself affects a lot student attitude to accounting learning.

This study suggests a learning method based a board game making students interested in accounting. This approach has not been widely used but can be effective, inducing students to


get hold on accounting knowledge playing an interesting game. This work is meaningful in the following senses. First, it designs in detail the teaching method of accounting principles based on a board game. Matching of the learning contents of accounting principles and the game rules is provided and hence instructors can use the game according to their own learning objectives. Second, a survey is used to show that the board game is an effective tool for learning the basic concepts of accounting.

This paper is organized as follows. In the section II, prior research on active learning pedagogy for accounting education to improve students’ participation and satisfaction is summarized. Section III has the guideline of how to use a board game called Blue Marble for accounting principles. Section IV explains how to use a worksheet based the accounting equation for transaction recording and accounting cycle practice activities. Section V has the survey results showing the effectiveness of the board game for accounting learning. Section VI concludes the papers.

. Prior Researches

Criticism on the lack of diversity in accounting education has been raised since the 1950s(Parker 2001). Accounting education (especially financial accounting classes) with too much focus on technical details generates unfavorable perceptions of students on accounting and lowers their interests in further study (Geiger and Ogilby 2000). Accordingly, many previous researches suggest that instructors should make efforts to increase interest and involvement of accounting students and that it is important to promote the ability to apply their knowledge to various situations more than the ability to simply understand GAAP (Haywood et al. 2004; Fessler 2008; McGowan 2012; Warren and Young 2012).


current changes and debates within the financial accounting domain by monitoring a wide range of sources and using a newsletter format to present their findings. This task is designed to increase student engagement and interest in accounting issues and to present accounting as a dynamic, interactive social construct. Further, it demonstrates the significance of creativity as an effective tool for enhancing student engagement and the advantages of this assessment task for group work.

Haywood et al. (2004) used an alternative approach based on Bingo games to using a traditional lecture to teach ethics. Using games made learning more fun and also helped to maintain student interest and involvement in the learning process. Student feedback was positive and encouraging on the use of this format to teach ethics and professional responsibilities.

Various kinds of activities such as games, role play, quiz shows, singing audition, newsletters, and practical team projects have been tried to keep students interested and involved in accounting learning (Knechel 1989; Cook and Hazelwood 2002; Haywood et al. 2004; Braun and Sellers 2012; McGowan 2012; Warren and Young 2012; Paik 2010; Koo and Park 2015).

The board game Monopoly has been used for practice of accounting cycle. Knechel(1989) asked his students to prepare journal entries to record the events of the Monopoly that affected their own financial positions. At the end of the game, the players were required to post the entries to the General Ledger. A few adjustments were then required, and Income Statement and Balance Sheet were prepared. Students were required to turn in their General Journal, General Ledger, Income Statement, and Balance Sheet. With a total time of four hours, this approach consumed less time than the typical practice set but achieved many of the same learning objectives. The most difficult transactions encountered


were discussed in detail. Finally, the students were asked about their personal reaction to the assignment; they reported much satisfaction with it. The students actually became quite excited and competitive about the game.

Warren and Young (2012) describe a best practices course entitled ‘‘Integrated Accounting Principles’’ covering financial and managerial accounting. This course focuses on accounting knowledge and skills development in the learning goals, and is taught with an active learning pedagogy using summary writing of publication articles, business plan project, annual report treasure hunt, simulation(Monopoly game), and financial statement analysis in a six-hour format.

To illustrate the process of the creation of an accounting system for a new business, Warren and Young (2012) adapted Knechel(1989)’s Monopoly simulation exercise to the course material. In this exercise, the students play two rounds of the board game Monopoly in class. In the first round, the students create a spreadsheet to record the business transactions for the first accounting period for a rental real estate business. At the end of the first round, the students are asked to prepare financial statements for the first accounting period, and to use their experience during the first round to prepare a budget for the second accounting period. A couple of weeks after the first round, the students play the second round of the simulation. This round is a continuation of the first round, and all properties purchased during the first round carry over to the second round. In addition, the students have received their graded assignments from the first round. The requirements for the second round include: correcting the mistakes from the first round, closing the books from the first round, recording the business transactions from the second round (the second accounting period), preparing financial statements for the second accounting period, and preparing an actual-to-budget variance report for the second accounting period. The purpose of this simulation is to


demonstrate an accounting cycle where business managers: plan-manage-report-analyze-plan.

Koo and Park (2015) introduced teaching methodologies using multi-media platforms, a board game, stage performances, and quizzes in Accounting Principle classes at two Korean universities. They showed the positive results of a survey that activity-based learning put together is more effective and interesting to the students. Students expressed positive changes in their perceptions of Accounting subjects and active engagement in their Accounting learning. They did not check the effectiveness of individual innovative tools.

This paper is different from the prior works using board games (Knechel 1989; Warren and Young 2012; Koo and Park 2015) in the following respects. First, it shows more specific details matching the events of a board game to the transactions and concepts of accounting principles. Second, it suggests how to modify the game rules to incorporate the important contents of accrual accounting like receivables, payables, and bad debts expenses. Third, it empirically shows with a survey that a board game is effective in changing negative perceptions of students on accounting into more positive one, raising their interest in accounting and achieving learning objectives of Accounting Principles.

. A Board Game and Accounting Principles

The Blue Marble is a board game where players buy lands and build hotels and buildings in the major cities of the world to collect rents from other players visiting their properties. The Blue Marble is a Korean game very similar to Monopoly and its mobile verson, Marble of Modu(everyone) has been quite popular to young Koreans. <Tables 1-4> shows the steps of using this game for an introductory accounting course.


<Table 1> Step 1: Setting-up a Game

Team Contents Activities

2 to 4 teams of 2 persons play games against one another

General board game rules learned

Books for accounting recording selected

Business rules agreed

Business for each team picked Real estate renting or trading business picked

Step 1 is setting up a game. Students learn the general rules of game to play first and select books to record transactions in the game. Books could be in the format of Excel spreadsheet, Word, or other programs. Players agree on some business rules such as borrowing from the bank and resales of properties at discount by the teams in short of cash. Four to eight students play the game in a group. Two to four of 2-person teams play games against one another. One person, the CEO in a team makes business decisions of purchases, building, borrowing and so on. The other, the CFO in the team keeps their accounting records. The team size of two is ideal for cross checking and collaborative work experience.

Step 2 is playing the board game and recording transactions, as summarized in <Table 2>. Two rounds of the game are played at minimum, with three hours each. Students can understand accounting cycle naturally, playing two rounds of carrying-over games. The first round has only cash-basis transactions and the second round introduces accrual accounting with credit-basis transactions. The third round using General Journals and General Ledgers can be added.


<Table 2> Step 2: Playing Games

Learning objectives Contents Activities

Recording transactions Accounting equation

Accounting cycle for service business

Accounting cycle for merchandising business Revenue and expense recognition

Recording on books. Playing two or three rounds of games Worksheet tables made by hands or Excel program

Transactions in the game are rather simple and straightforward. The fundamental concepts of accounting reveal in simple transactions. Only simple explanation of assets, liabilities, owners’ equity, revenues, and expenses is given and deeper discussion on these accounts is avoided in Step 2. Students just learn how to use the worksheet based on the accounting equation (Assets = Liabilities + Owners’ equity) to record all the transactions they face, playing games.

Step 3 is closing accounts and making financial statements, as summarized in <Table 3>. In Step 3, students calculate the ending balances of all the accounts in the worksheets first. The balances of cash and tangible assets on the worksheet are cross-checked with the balances of cash and property cards in hand. It is checked whether the accounting equation holds with the ending balances of all the accounts in the worksheet. If it does not, each record of transactions is double-checked to find any mistakes in initial entries.

<Table 3> Step 3: Making Financial Statements

Learning objectives Contents Activities

Balance Sheet Income Statement Cash Flow Statement

Closing accounts. Making Financial Statements

Ending balances of accounts calculated.

Financial statements tables made by hands or Excel program


Students make financial statements, using the numbers in the worksheet and templates provided by the instructors. First, they prepare their Income Statements, classifying numbers in the revenues and expenses accounts and calculating incomes. Second, they complete the Balance Sheets, using the ending balances of the worksheet with the retained earnings reflecting the incomes. Finally, cash amounts coming in and going out in the worksheet can be classified into the three activities of operating, investing, and financing and summarized in the form of the Cash Flow Statements.

Step 4 is analyzing financial statements, as summarized in <Table 4>. Students can learn how to analyze financial situation of business based on the ratios of accounting numbers.

<Table 4> Step 4 : Analyzing Financial Statements

Learning objectives Contents Activities

Financial Statements Analysis. Financial Ratios Profitability Ratios Efficiency Ratios Liquidity Ratios Leverage Ratio

Financial ratios calculated by hands or Excel program

These four steps of accounting learning process can be compared with the typical contents of Accounting Principles textbooks in <Table 5>. In the second round of game, transactions for accrual accounting such as credit sales, accounts receivable, accounts payable, unpaid expense, and interest expense can be added. When rental revenues and rental expenses are recognized at the payers’ turn, their cash payments are delayed and accounts receivables and unpaid expense accounts are used for record of credit transactions. At the collectors’ turn, cashes are collected for credit sales and the balances of accounts receivable and unpaid expense are reduced. If the payer goes bankrupt before making payment, Bad Debt Expense


is recorded (direct write-off method).

<Table 5> Accounting Principles textbooks and accounting learning process with a board game.

Accounting Principles Text Contents Board Game

Steps Activities

Accounting in Action

What is accounting Step 1 Selecting Business: Rental or trading

The Basic Accounting Equation Step 2 Understanding the worksheet structure

Financial Statements Step 3 Understanding the statement templates

The recording Process

The account

Steps in the Recording Process The Trial Balance

Step 2

Step 2 Step 3

Understanding accounts in the worksheet

Recording numbers in the worksheet

Calculating the ending balances and checking the accounting equation

Completing the Accounting Cycle

Using a Worksheet Step 3

Calculating incomes.

Preparing financial statements Closing the Books Step 3

The Classified Statement of Financial

Position Step 3


Merchandising Operations

Recording Purchases of Merchandise Recording Sales of Merchandise Completing the Accounting Cycle Forms of Financial Statements

Step 2 Step 2 Step 2 Step 3

Playing a game of real estate trading business


Classifying Inventory

Determining Inventory Quantities

Inventory Costing

Statement Presentation and Analysis

Step 2 Computing Cost of Goods Sold using Specific Identification

Fraud, Internal Control, and Cash

Fraud and Internal Control Cash Control

Control Features: Use of a Bank Reporting Cash

Step 3 Comparing the book balance and the real balance of cash.

Accounting for Receivables

Types of Receivables Accounts Receivable Notes Receivable

Statement Presentation and Analysis

Step 2 Using Accounts Receivable and Bad Debt Expenses for credit sales.

Plant Assets, Natural Resources, and Intangible Assets

Plant Assets

Extractable Natural Resources Intangible Assets

Statement Presentation and Analysis

Step 2

Recording acquisition and disposal of lands and buildings. Loss on disposal is used if necessary.


Current Liabilities Non-Current Liabilities

Step 2 Recording Accounts Receivable and Borrowings.


Corporations: Organization, Share Transactions, Dividends, and Retained Earnings

The Corporate Form of Organization Accounting for Share Transactions Dividends

Retained Earnings

Statement Presentation and Analysis

Step 2

Recording Initial Paid-in Capital and Retained Earnings at the end of the game,


Why Corporations Invest

Accounting for Debt Investments Accounting for Share Investments Valuing and Reporting Investments

Statement of Cash Flows

Statement of Cash Flows: Usefulness and Format

Preparing the Statement of Cash Flows-Indirect Method

Using Cash Flows to Evaluate a Company

Step 3 Preparing the Statement of Cash Flows from the worksheet.

Financial Statement Analysis

Basics of Financial Statement Analysis Horizontal Analysis

Vertical Analysis Ratio Analysis

Earning Power and Irregular Items Quality of Earning

Step 4 Calculating financial ratios

In the real estate trading business, accounting for merchandise inventories of land and buildings is learned. Cost of Goods Sold is reported using the individual acquisition cost. That is, the specific identification method is used. In the rental business, acquisition and disposal of lands and buildings as plant assets are recorded. In case that these plant assets are


sold at the price lower than the acquisition cost, Loss on Disposal of Plant Assets is explained.

Borrowings and payment of related interests are introduced to give the concepts of liabilities and liquidity management. Teams in short of cash borrow from the Bank and pay it back to avoid interest payment when their liquidity recovers.

. Worksheet for Accounting Cycle

A worksheet plays a critical role of connecting a board game to learning of accounting cycle from initial transaction entries to financial statements preparation. The worksheet is the template of expanded accounting equation with assets, liabilities, owners’ equity, revenues, expenses, and dividends accounts. It is the same table for transaction analysis in most textbooks. Typical textbooks use the transaction analysis as a stepping stone to the journal entries. However, the journal entries of debits and credits look too complicated and stressful for most beginners to grasp. It is easier and clearer to complete the accounting cycle using only the worksheet without debits and credits.

In fact, the worksheet is the comprehensive table equivalent to a general journal, a general ledger, and a trial balance all combined together. Each column(①) of the worksheet represents an account in a general ledger. Each line (row, ②) of the worksheet is used to record a transaction like a journal entry in a general journal. At the end of the game, the ending balances of all the accounts are computed in the last line(③), which is equivalent to a trial balance.

Financial statements can be prepared directly from the worksheet. The Income Statement is made using the columns of revenues and expenses. The Balance Sheet is


prepared with the ending balances in the last line and the retained earnings updated. The Cash Flow Statement is made with cash increases and decreases in the cash column of the worksheet classified into the three activities of operating, investing, and financing.

<Table 6> The worksheet

No. Assets⑤ = Liabilities⑥ + Owners

Equities ⑦ + Revenues⑧ -Expenses⑨ -Dividends

Ca sh A cc oun ts R ec ei va b le L ands Build ings A irpl ane = Borrow ings A cc oun ts P aya b le U npa id E xpe ns es P ai d -in C ap ita l Re ta in ed E arni n gs Re nt al R eve n ue s S ubs idi es M is ce lla ne o us Re ve nue s Re nt al e xpe ns es M ai nt en anc e E xpe ns es L os se s on D is pos al of A ss ts T ax es … 1 ① = 2 ② = 3 = Total ③ ④ = ⑩

Accounting beginners do not know how to record the events of a board game in the worksheet based on the accounting equation. The tables of example transactions are provided like <Table 7> and <Table 8>. <Table 7> is for the basic game of real estate rental business. Transactions 1 through 13 are the original events in the game. The other transactions (14 through 19) are added by instructors to cover more accounting contents.


<Table 7> Recording Transactions on the Worksheet: Rental Business

No Board Game Events Accounting Transactions


(A: Assets L: Liabilities OE: Owners Equity R: Revenues E: Expenses)

Original Events

1 Divide money among teams. Pay capital in business for

cash. A:(+)Cash, OE:(+)Paid-in Capital

2 Buy lands on the board where you

arrive the first time Buy lands for cash. A:(+)Lands, A:(-)Cash

3 Add buildings on your lands paying

cash to the bank.. Acquire buildings for cash. A:(+)Buildings, A:(-)Cash

4 Receive rental fees from other players visiting your properties.

Receive rental revenues for

Cash. A:(+)Cash, R:(+)Rental Revenues

5 Sell your properties to the bank or others at discount for cash.

Dispose of buildings for cash.

A:(+)Cash, A:(-)Buildings E:(+)Loss on Disposal of Assets 6 Pay rental fees to others. Pay rental expenses for cash A:(-)Cash, E:(+)Rental expenses

7 Pay maintenance fees. Pay maintenance expenses

for cash.


E:(+)Maintenance Expense 8 Pay corporate taxes for cash. Pay taxes for cash. A:(-)Cash, E:(+)Tax expenses

9 Collect rental fees from other players using your airplane.

Collect rental revenues for

Cash. A:(+)Cash, R:(+)Rental Revenues

10 Pay Social Security Tax. Pay social security tax for

cash. A:(-)Cash, E:(+)Social Security Tax

11 Pay travel expenses. Pay travel expenses for cash. A:(-)Cash, E:(+)Benefit Expense

12 Pay school tuitions. Pay training expenses for

cash. A:(-)Cash, E:(+)Training Expense

13 Pay medical fees for check-up. Pay medical expense for

cash. A:(-)Cash, E:(+)Benefit Expense


14 Borrow money from the bank. Borrow cash from the bank. A:(+)Cash, L:(+)Borrowings

15 Pay interests to the bank. Pay interest expense to the

bank. A:(-)Cash, E:(+)Interest Expense

16 Get a right to collect rental fees

later. Have credit sales

A:(+)Accounts receivable, R:(+)Rental Revenues

17 Collect rental fees unpaid yet. Collect accounts receivable.


A:(-)Accounts receivable

18 Delay the payment of rental fees due.

Recognize unpaid rental expense.

L:(+)Unpaid expense, E:(+)Rental expense

19 Pay the rental fees to be paid Pay unpaid rental expense for cash.


L:(-)Unpaid expense

<Table 8> shows the transactions for real estate trading business. Two teams run trading business while the other two keep rental business. Traders buy lands from the bank and sell them to renters by bidding. The concepts of inventories and cost of goods sold are introduced in these trading activities.

<Table 8> Recording Transactions on the Worksheet: Trading Business

No. Board Game Events Accounting Transactions Entries:

1 Buy lands to sell for cash

Buy lands as inventories A:(-)Cash A:(+)Inventories

2 Sell lands to other players Sell merchandise inventories for cash

A:(+)Cash, R:(+)Sales A:(-)Inventories, E:(+)Cost of Goods Sold

. Learning Effectiveness of a board game


related to the game activities on positive perception change, motivation generated, and uses for learning. They took the accounting principles courses designed for the freshmen at the two universities in medium size cities. The board game activities were implemented at the beginning of the semester. <Table 9> shows the categories of survey questions provided in five-point Likert scales.

<Table 9> Survey Question Categories

<Table 10> summarizes the sample distribution of answers. The total sample is 94 students with 53.2% male and 46.8% female. This course is designed for freshmen and hence, 78 persons (83%) took it for the first time and 72 (76.6%) were freshmen.

Categories Question Numbers

Effect on motivation for accounting classes 1, 2, 5

Effect on active participation 20, 21

Effect on practical applicability of learning 14

Effect on class satisfaction 17, 22, 23

Positive perception on board game activities 8, 12, 24, 25 Usefulness of board game activities for learning specific


- Bookkeeping, Cash control, Transactions, Accounting equation, Assets, Liabilities, Equity, Revenues, Expenses, Financial statements, Accounting cycle

3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13 15, 16, 18, 19, 26, 27, 28


<Table 10> Sample Distribution

Gender Taking Course Years

M F First



time Freshmen Sophomore Junior Senior Number of people (%) 50 (53.2%) 44 (46.8%) 78 (83%) 16 (17%) 72 (76.6%) 13 (13.8%) 6 (6.4%) 3 (3.2%) Total 94 (100%) 94 (100%) 94 (100%)

This study reports the averages and frequency of answers for all the survey questions. The results for motivation (Q1, Q4, and Q5), participation (Q20, Q21), and applicability (Q14) are shown in <Table 11>. Increased interest in accounting after the game (Q1) is on average 3.94. More fun (Q2) and higher motivation (Q5) for accounting classes averaged 3.8 and 3.9 each. Around 70% of students were more motivated for accounting study after the game. Playing roles in teams (Q20) and sharing opinions actively (Q21) are both, on average, 4.1, showing active participation of students to the activities. Applicability to practice of knowledge learned in the game (Q14) is 3.8, on average.

<Table 11> Effects of the Board Game 1

No. of answers (%)

Motivation for accounting classes Active participation Applicability Q1 Interests Q2 Fun Q5 Motivation Q20 Active Role Q21 Opinion sharing Q14 Practical application

No. % No. % No. % No. % No. % No. %

5 (Very positive) 23 24.5 21 22.3 22 23.4 33 35.1 36 38.3 21 22.3


3 24 25.5 26 27.7 26 27.7 18 19.1 18 19.1 32 34.0

2 3 3.2 4 4.3 5 5.3 2 2.1 2 2.1 4 4.3

1 (Very negative) 1 1.1 1 1.1 0 0.0 1 1.1 1 1.1 1 1.1

Total 94 100 94 100 94 100 94 100 94 100 94 100

Average 3.9 3.8 3.9 4.1 4.1 3.8

The effects of the board game in the respect of satisfaction and perception on the activities and accounting are positive with the scores averaged in the range of 3.8 to 4.1 as in <Table 12>.

<Table 12> Effects of the Board Game 2

5 (Very positive), 1 (Very negative)

Satisfaction Perceptions on the activities and accounting Q17 Usefulness for learning Q22 Class satisfaction Q23 Willingness to recommend Q8 Relevance Q12 Value Q 2 4 P o s i t i v e perception c h a n g e Q25 Accounting is easy

No. % No. % No. % No. % No. % No. % No. %

5 42 44.7 41 43.6 38 40.4 44 46.8 40 42.6 23 24.5 20 21.3 4 36 38.3 32 34.0 36 38.3 37 39.4 36 38.3 35 37.2 30 31.9 3 13 13.8 14 14.9 14 14.9 8 8.5 12 12.8 32 34.0 34 36.2 2 3 3.2 6 6.4 5 5.3 2 2.1 4 4.3 2 2.1 7 7.4 1 0 0.0 1 1.1 1 1.1 3 3.2 1 1.1 2 2.1 3 3.2 Total 94 100 94 100 94 100 94 100 94 100 94 100 94 100 Average 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.2 4.2 3.8 3.6

Usefulness of board game activities for learning specific contents are shown in <Table 13> and <Table 14>. The board game helped learning Bookkeeping (Q3), Accounting equation (Q4), Revenues (Q6), Expenses (Q7), Transactions (Q9), Income statement (Q10),


Balance sheet (Q11), Cash control (Q13), Tangible Assets (Q15), Equity (Q16, Q18), and Net incomes (Q19 with their average scores in the range of 3.9 to 4.1.

<Table 13> Effects of the Board Game 3 5 (Very positive), 1 (Very negative) Q3 Bookkeeping Q4 Accounting equation Q6 Revenues Q7 Expenses Q9 Transactions Q10 Income Statement

No. % No. % No. % No. % No. % No. %

5 * 33 35.1 28 29.8 25 26.6 29 30.9 29 30.9 25 26.6 4 42 44.7 47 50.0 53 56.4 51 54.3 46 48.9 47 50.0 3 16 17.0 15 16.0 14 14.9 12 12.8 14 14.9 18 19.1 2 2 2.1 3 3.2 2 2.1 2 2.1 4 4.3 4 4.3 1 ** 1 1.1 1 1.1 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 1.1 0 0.0 Total 94 100 94 100 94 100 94 100 94 100 94 100 Average 4.1 4.0 4.1 4.1 4.0 3.9 Q11 Balance Sheet Q13 Cash control Q15 Tangible Assets Q16 Paid-in Capital Q18 Retained Earnings Q19 Net Income

No. % No. % No. % No. % No. % No. %

5 28 29.8 28 29.8 28 29.8 29 30.9 32 34.0 27 28.7 4 46 48.9 41 43.6 40 42.6 46 48.9 42 44.7 39 41.5 3 15 16.0 23 24.5 23 24.5 16 17.0 15 16.0 24 25.5 2 4 4.3 0 0.0 3 3.2 3 3.2 5 5.3 4 4.3 1 1.1 1 1.1 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 Total 94 100 94 100 94 100 94 100 94 100 94 100 Average 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 4.1 3.9


The additional transactions of credit sales, borrowings, and interest payment were introduced in the second round of the game at one of the two universities for this study. <Table 14> reports the results of this subsample. Understanding accounting for credit sales (Q26), borrowing (Q27), and interest payment (Q28) was better, thanks to the game and their scores averaged at 4.0 and 4.1.

<Table 14> Effects of the Board Game 4 Q26 Credit sales Q27 Borrowing Q28 Interest payment

No. % No. % No. %

5 (Very positive) 19 27.9 22 32.4 19 27.9 4 30 44.1 32 47.1 34 50.0 3 17 25 13 19.1 14 20.6 2 2 2.9 1 1.5 1 1.5 1 (Very negative) 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 Total 68 100 68 100 68 100 Average 4.0 4.1 4.0

It is empirically significant that all the average scores are bigger than the score 3 of no effect, showing the overall positive effects of the board game activities.

Ⅵ. Conclusions

Accounting principles students at two universities played the board game Blue Marble at the beginning stage of the course. They recorded the events of the game before deeper learning of the accounting concepts and terms. It could be easily done only with simple


guideline on how to use the worksheet based on the accounting equation. Students could learn naturally and easily the basic concepts of the double entry system and the accounting cycle.

The effectiveness of a board game for accounting learning is shown in this paper in the following four respects. First, it demonstrated how the events of game play are matched to accounting principles contents. Second, the entries in the worksheet based on the accounting equation are listed for individual events of the game. Third, additional game events are suggested for accrual-basis accounting. Fourth, the student survey results showed that the game was in fact effective in changing student perception positively and motivating and helping accounting study.

Learning by playing a game may not be enough for deeper issues of accounting methods. However, instructors can use the board game effectively at the beginning to get students attention, to stimulate their interests and to make clear what is going on in the introductory accounting course.



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negative --- ---

Very positive

Q1. I got more interested in the accounting class after playing

the board game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q2. I had more fun in the accounting class after playing the

board game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q3. I got to understand how to record the business

transactions on books after playing the board game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q4. I got to understand the relationships of assets, liabilities,

and owners’ equity after playing the board game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q5. I got motivated for an accounting principle class, after

playing the board game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q6. I got to understand what revenues are. after playing the

board game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q7. I got to understand what expenses are, after playing the

board game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q8. I think that a board game and accounting principle

course are closely related. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q9. I got to understand accounting transactions and

accounting equations, after playing the board game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q10. I was able to make the income statement, after playing

the board game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤


board game.

Q12. I think that the board game is meaningful and valuable. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q13. I got to know the importance of cash control and

management through the board game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q14. I can apply what I’ve learned through the board game to

practice. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q15. I got to understand tangible assets through the board

game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q16. I got to understand paid-in capital through the board

game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q17. Overall, the board game was helpful in learning. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q18. I got to understand retained earnings through the board

game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q19. I got to understand net income through the board

game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q20. I played my role in my team faithfully. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q21. I shared opinions actively. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q22. Overall, I am satisfied with the class using the board

game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q23. I am willing to recommend a course using the board

game to other friends. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤


more positive one, after playing the board game.

Q25. I got to think that accounting is easy, after playing the

board game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q26. I got to understand credit based transactions through

the board game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q27. I got to understand borrowings through the board

game. ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Q28. I got to understand interest payment through the board