US20140138914A1 - Accounting double-entry recording process educational game and associated methods - Google Patents

Accounting double-entry recording process educational game and associated methods Download PDF

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US20140138914A1
US20140138914A1 US14084153 US201314084153A US2014138914A1 US 20140138914 A1 US20140138914 A1 US 20140138914A1 US 14084153 US14084153 US 14084153 US 201314084153 A US201314084153 A US 201314084153A US 2014138914 A1 US2014138914 A1 US 2014138914A1
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entry
game
user
interface
general ledger
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US14084153
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Lay Lian Lim
Aewin Yow Sheng Ng
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FP Consultants International Pte Ltd
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FP Consultants International Pte Ltd
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00003Types of board games
    • A63F3/00063Board games concerning economics or finance, e.g. trading

Abstract

A game system is provided to demonstrate how to utilize double-entry to manipulate balances for different account types. The system may include game-play instructions, game-play pieces and a game board, which may include visual representations of an income statement, a balance sheet, a general ledger, customers, and suppliers. The game-play pieces may include a place marker, a list of business activities, a balance sheet, an income sheet, a journal, monetary units, a monetary unit storage container, a monetary unit carrier, chits, debrief questions and model answers. The game-play instructions may include instructions to divide a group of players into teams, to assign each player a job role, an explanation of job roles, an explanation of accounting principles, and an instruction to enter information contained in the list of business activities into the income statement, the balance sheet, and the general ledger.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/727,794, filed on Nov. 19, 2012, titled Accounting Double-Entry Recording Process Educational Game and Associated Methods, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated into this application by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to the field of educational games and, more specifically, to the field of accounting double-entry recording process educational games and associated methods.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • It is commonly known that games can be utilized for instructional purposes to assist in retaining the interest of the pupil. Especially with particularly technical or complex subject matter, educational games can provide an effective means for overcoming perplexity, frustration, or disinterest. It is also commonly known that different stimuli elicit different responses from different students. One student may learn more from an educational board game while another student may learn more from an educational game software product.
  • There are numerous devices that have attempted to provide an accounting educational game. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,767,210 to Joffe discloses a method of teaching financial management of an enterprise, the method comprising the steps of providing objects representing a balance sheet and an income statement, providing monetary markers, selecting an instruction to illustrate a financial transaction, directing the movement of the monetary markers among the objects to represent the selected instruction, and representing, by the distribution of the monetary markers among the objects, a financial condition of the enterprise. The objects representing a balance sheet and an income statement may be provided by a single object including both financial documents, or by a composite of two distinct objects. The objects may be provided in the form of a game board or in the form of a computer software program. The balance sheet and income statement each consist of a grid with various boxes arranged in columns. The boxes are labeled with account titles. There is one revenue account representing all sources of revenue for an enterprise and fourteen expense accounts. The boxes representing various accounts may be color-coded, e.g., asset accounts may be colored blue, liabilities accounts may be colored red, revenues accounts may be colored green, and expenses accounts may be colored yellow. A balance sheet worksheet and an income statement worksheet may be provided. The monetary markers may be carried by a tray, representing a source of funds.
  • U.S. Patent Publication No. 2009/047,637 by Frampton discloses a learning system and method to teach students with basic literacy the essential principles of accounting. Using a business simulation, students develop an accounting system for themselves. The learning system and method employs the visual, auditory, kinesthetic, gustatory, and olfactory senses. Students create a three dimensional accounting system and continually tell the story of the business as it evolves. The learning system includes a starting sheet having a use of funds column and a source of funds column. Each column is represented by a non-verbal symbol. The first and/or second non-verbal symbol can be one of color, sound, texture and fragrance. The use column is subdivided into at least one subsection, one of which is marked “assets”. The source column is also subdivided into at least one subsection, one of which is marked “liabilities”. The system also includes a transaction diary in which each page is divided vertically into a number of identically marked horizontal slips. The original page has three vertical columns: a white column for documenting the details of each transaction, a first column having the first non-verbal symbol, and a second column having the second non-verbal symbol. Transaction receptacles are provided. The method of teaching accounting includes the step of providing a starting sheet having a use column and a source column. The method also includes the step of representing a first action by a first non-verbal symbol and representing a first reaction by a second non-verbal symbol. The method further includes the step of representing the use column by the first non-verbal symbol and representing the source column by the second non-verbal symbol.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,336,019 to Schroeder discloses an accounting game comprising a rectangular game board having two sets of blank columns printed thereon and a sheet of separable game pieces each having an accounting legend thereon or a numerical legend. Each set of boxes has a column of small boxes and a column of larger boxes. The front surface of the game board and the rear surface of the game pieces are flocked to provide felt-like surfaces to prevent slippage of the pieces on the game board. One set of columns is for assets and the other set of columns is for liabilities and owners equity. A number of numerical game pieces are colored to match a specific label piece. A number of individual game pieces bear legends like “assets=liabilities+owners equity”, “accounts receivable”, “accounts payable”, “promissory notes”, “original investment”, “cash” and “inventory”. An instruction booklet is included setting forth various examples of balance sheets which could be put together on the game board using the various game pieces.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 1,587,391 to McKee discloses an educational game to familiarize players with the rudimentary principles of bookkeeping and the balancing of accounts. The educational game comprises indicia on sheets and cards to enable the chance development of a commercial account and the balancing of same. Each player is provided with a ledger sheet including columns for entry of dates, debits, credits, balances, and credit balances. A pack of one hundred cards is provided, the cards comprising at least one card bearing indicia of a purchase made by a customer to be charged on account, at least one card indicating value received by a merchant from a customer in a return transaction, at least one card showing the amount paid by the customer to the merchant, at least one card bearing instructions for a sight draft signed by the customer, and at least one card authorizing the correcting of errors and the adjusting of the account. A method of playing the educational game is also disclosed, the method comprising the steps of supplying each player with a ledger sheet, shuffling the deck of cards, dealing each player five cards, placing the remaining cards face down on the table, having each player successively play a card beginning with the player to the right of the dealer, arranging cards in date sequence, making entries on the ledger, discarding cards after making entries, having each player take another hand of five cards from the remaining cards when their original cards are exhausted, and securing a balancing of the account to win the game.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 4,142,305 to Zegel discloses a teaching aid for accounting comprising a flat rectangular bookkeeping entry guide bearing account indicia. The face of the entry guide is divided into an asset side and a claims side. The asset side is further divided into debit and credit columns. The claims side is also further divided into debit and credit columns. Three general categories of claims, e.g., liabilities, capital and profit determination, are set forth. A plurality of chips is provided, shaped to fit into recesses in the entry guide. A plurality of account cards are also provided, along with labels for each card. The account cards are divided into an asset side and a claims side. The account cards also have recesses shaped to receive the entry chips. Pre-established fact patterns for a variety of businesses are provided. Answer sheets corresponding to each fact pattern are also provided. The object of the game is to post all transactions, close-out and balance all appropriate accounts and develop a profit and loss picture for the business in question.
  • It would be desirable to have an educational game that enables players to visualize the accounting double-entry recording process of business activities within the accounts of the respective financial statement by simulating an income statement, a balance sheet, a manufacturing account and a trading account. Furthermore, it would be desirable to have an educational game that closely resembles an income statement and a balance sheet as such resemblance accelerates players' mastery of business finance basics and accounting double entry (debit and credit) concepts within hours of play through easy recollection of the types of accounts and an understanding of which side of a financial statement properly reflects a transaction; through experiencing how funds flow in a business; and through experiencing the preparation of financial statements. Additionally, it would be desirable to have an educational game that closely resembles a manufacturing account and a trading account to demonstrate the process by which stocks of raw materials transform to finished goods through value-adding production process; to clarify the different forms of stock (raw materials, work-in-process of uncompleted stocks, completed stock in storage and completed stock sold) and how their valuations are derived; and to help players visualize the double-entries between manufacturing accounts and trading accounts resulting from the transformation of raw materials into finished goods. Still further, it would be desirable to have a device and associated methods that enable players to gain insights and understanding into the standard operational procedures involved in accounting, the consequences and implications of non-compliance with standard operational procedures, the necessity to maintain a proper audit trail, and the implications a lapse in financial data accuracy may have on an organization's reputation.
  • There exists a need to provide an educational board game or software product and associated methods simulating the income statement and balance sheet, as well as the manufacturing account and trading account, enabling players to visualize the accounting double-entry recording process of business activities. There also exists a need to provide a method of teaching accounting principles and business finance utilizing a game to accelerate players' grasp and retention of knowledge relating to accounting double-entry, the different types of accounts logged (e.g., assets, capital, liability, income and expenses), in which set of financial statements each account type belongs, on which side (debit or credit) of the financial statement each account type resides, and how to utilize double-entry to increase or decrease the balances for each type of account. Furthermore, there exists a need to provide an educational game that can be used as a facilitation tool for accelerating learning of accounting and basic finance, while at the same time enabling an organization to drive learning performance through the application of learning in a directed and measured way, through players' written commitment in their learning journals and through use of a system that continuously updates the immediate supervisors of players with the concerns of staff so that supervisors of players know how to support their staff in order to crystallize and improve the return on training investment.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • With the foregoing in mind, it is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an educational board game or software product and associated methods that simulate an income statement and a balance sheet, as well as a manufacturing account and a trading account, in order to enable players to visualize accounting double-entry recording processes associated with business activities. It is also an object of the present invention to provide a method of teaching accounting principles and business finance that utilizes a game to enhance players' grasp and retention of accounting double-entry concepts, different types of accounts to be logged, financial statements in which each account type belongs, and how to utilize double-entry to increase or decrease balances for each type of account. It is further an object of the present invention to provide an educational game that facilitates accelerated learning of accounting and basic finance, while at the same time enabling directed and measured learning, through analysis of players' written comments in their learning journals and through use of a system that continuously updates the players' immediate supervisors as to the concerns of staff so that the supervisors know how to support their staff in order to improve the return on training investment.
  • These and other objects, features and advantages according to an embodiment of the present invention are provided by an accounting double-entry recording process educational game system. The system according to an embodiment of the present invention may include a set of game-play instructions, a game board adapted for a service industry and a set of game-play pieces. The game board may include a visual representation of an income statement, a visual representation of a balance sheet, a visual representation of a general ledger, a visual representation of customers, and a visual representation of suppliers. The set of game-play pieces may include a place marker, a list of business activities, a balance sheet, an income sheet, a journal, a set of monetary units, a monetary unit storage container, a monetary unit carrier, a set of chits, a set of debrief questions and a set of model answers. The set of game-play instructions may include an instruction to divide a group of players into teams, an instruction to assign each player on each team a job role selected from the group consisting of facilitator, chief executive officer, accountant, treasurer, operations manager, and internal auditor, an explanation of job roles, an explanation of accounting principles, and an instruction to make entries in the income statement, the balance sheet, and the general ledger reflective of information contained in the list of business activities.
  • The visual representation of an income statement may include a revenue entry, a cost of service entry, a net revenue entry, a depreciation entry, a stock write-off entry, a bad debt write-off entry, an operation expenses entry, a sales and marketing expense entry, a financing expenses entry, a taxes entry, a dividend entry and a current year net profit/net loss entry. The depreciation entry, the stock write-off entry, the bad debt write-off entry, the operation expenses entry, the sales and marketing expense entry, and the financing expenses entry may be similarly colored to indicate they properly reside in an expense account portion of the general ledger. The revenue entry, the cost of services entry and the net revenue entry may be similarly colored to indicate that they properly reside in a revenue account portion of the general ledger.
  • The visual representation of a balance sheet may include a premises entry, an equipment and machinery entry, an investments entry, an other intangibles entry, a cash entry, an other debtors entry, an accounts receivable entry, an inventory entry, an accounts payable entry, a loan entry, an equity entry, and a reserves entry. The premises entry, the equipment and machinery entry, the investments entry, the other intangibles entry, the cash entry, the other debtors entry, the accounts receivable entry, and the inventory entry may be similarly colored to indicate that they properly reside in an assets account of the general ledger. The premises entry, the equipment and machinery entry, the investments entry, the other intangibles entry, may be grouped to indicate that they properly reside in a tangible and intangible assets account of the general ledger. The cash entry, the other debtors entry, the accounts receivable entry, and the inventory entry may be grouped to indicate that they properly reside in a current assets account of the general ledger.
  • The system according to another embodiment of the present invention may include a game board adapted for a manufacturing industry, which may include a visual representation of an income statement, a visual representation of a balance sheet, a visual representation of a general ledger, a visual representation of customers, and a visual representation of suppliers. The visual representation of an income statement may include a sales entry, a cost of goods sold entry, a contribution entry, a depreciation entry, a stock write-off entry, a bad debt write-off entry, an operation expenses entry, a sales and marketing expense entry, a financing expenses entry, a taxes entry, a dividend entry and a current year net profit/net loss entry. The depreciation entry, the stock write-off entry, the bad debt write-off entry, the operation expenses entry, the sales and marketing expense entry, and the financing expenses entry may be similarly colored to indicate they properly reside in an expense account portion of the general ledger. The sales entry, the cost of goods sold entry and the contribution entry may be similarly colored to indicate that they properly reside in a revenue account portion of the general ledger.
  • The visual representation of a balance sheet may include a premises entry, a plant entry, an equipment and machinery entry, an investments entry, an other intangibles entry, a cash entry, an other debtors entry, an accounts receivable entry, an inventory entry, an accounts payable entry, a loans entry, an equity entry, and a reserves entry. The inventory entry may include a manufacturing account and a trading account. The manufacturing account may include an other costs entry, a direct wages entry and an allotted raw materials entry. The trading account may include a raw materials entry and a finished stock entry. The premises entry, the plant entry, the equipment and machinery entry, the investments entry, the other intangibles entry, the cash entry, the other debtors entry, the accounts receivable entry, and the inventory entry may be similarly colored to indicate that they properly reside in an assets account of the general ledger. The premises entry, the plant entry, the equipment and machinery entry, the investments entry, and the other intangibles entry, may be grouped to indicate that they properly reside in a tangible and intangible assets account of the general ledger. The cash entry, the other debtors entry, the accounts receivable entry, and the inventory entry may be grouped to indicate that they properly reside in a current assets account of the general ledger.
  • An accounting double-entry recording process educational game system computer program product according to an embodiment of the present invention may also be provided. The computer program product may include a user interface that prompts a user for input of data relating to financial information of a business and a database to store the data relating to the financial information. The computer program product may further include an accounting principles interface to provide the user with information relating to business finance from accounting principles stored on the database and a business activities interface to provide a user with financial information of a business from financial information stored on the database. The computer program product may also include a job role interface to assign the user a job role selected from the group consisting of CEO, accountant, treasurer, operations/production, and internal auditor from job roles stored on the database. The computer program product may still further include an income statement interface to prompt the user for input of financial information properly resident on the income statement for storage on the database, a balance sheet interface to prompt the user for input of financial information properly resident on the balance sheet for storage on the database and a general ledger interface to prompt the user for input of financial information properly resident on the general ledger for storage on the database.
  • The computer program product may include a debriefing interface which prompts the user for input of data responsive to debriefing questions for storage on the database, a learning journal interface that prompts the user for input of data relating to the user's game play experience for storage on the database, and an improvement interface that prompts the user for input of data relating to suggested improvements for the user for storage on the database. The user may be prompted with an indication of a facilitator's desire to offer an improvement opportunity, or an indication of an automatically generated improvement opportunity from improvement opportunities stored on the database. The computer program product may use a processor that executes instructions to prompt the user for data, to store data, to provide instruction on accounting basics, to provide financial information of a business, to assign a job role, to generate debriefing questions, to generate improvement offers, and to indicate the desire to offer an improvement opportunity.
  • The computer program product according to an embodiment of the present invention may provide the user with an option to select whether to use the computer program product in a service industry mode or in a manufacturing industry mode. The computer program product may also provide the user with an option to select whether to use the computer program product on an individual basis or in a multiplayer environment. The computer program product according to another embodiment of the present invention may include a debriefing interface that provides the facilitator with access to at least a part of the financial information. The debriefing interface may also automatically prompt the user with debriefing questions from debriefing questions stored on the database. A list of business activities may be generated through a software program. Questions may be generated and classified into varying degrees of competency and varying levels of complexity. A question set may be randomly generated and selected from the group consisting of low competency level questions, intermediary competency level questions, and advanced competency level questions.
  • The computer program product according to another embodiment of the present invention may include an improvement interface which prompts the user for data responsive to questions about business activity inefficiencies. A choice of corrective measures may be provided together with corrective costs and corresponding savings for correctly identified inefficiencies. A choice of corrective measures may be provided together with corrective costs without corresponding savings for incorrectly identified inefficiencies. The computer program product according to another embodiment of the present invention may further comprise an assessment mode and a practice mode. The assessment mode may be defined by the user being provided an option to demonstrate their competency on a selected learning objective. The practice mode may be defined by the user being provided an option to attempt multiple game stages at progressive levels of difficulty in preparation for the assessment mode.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a plan view of a game board of an accounting double-entry recording process educational game system according to an embodiment of the present invention relating to a service business.
  • FIG. 2 is a plan view of a game board of an accounting double-entry recording process educational game system according to an embodiment of the present invention relating to a manufacturing business.
  • FIG. 3 is a schematic block diagram of a computer program product according to an embodiment of the present invention for teaching accounting principles and business finance utilizing a game.
  • FIG. 4 is a block diagram of a typical computer system used to run the computer program product illustrated in FIG. 3.
  • FIGS. 5-8 are flowcharts illustrating method aspects of the present invention directed to operating the computer program product illustrated in FIG. 3.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • The present invention will now be described fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which preferred embodiments of the invention are shown. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein. Rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that the following embodiments of the present invention are only illustrative and are not intended to be limiting in any way. Other embodiments of the present invention will readily suggest themselves to such skilled persons having the benefit of this disclosure.
  • An accounting double-entry recording process educational game system and associated methods 10 according to an embodiment of the present invention can advantageously provide a facilitation tool for learning book-keeping, principles of accounting, and an introduction to accounting and finance. More specifically, the accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10 according to the present invention advantageously visually demonstrates the accounting double-entry process of recording business transactions in the general ledger accounts and the summation process in the accounts for transcribing to the income statement and balance sheet during financial statement preparation. This is accomplished by providing an accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10 including a game board that accelerates players' familiarization and recollection of the type of accounts belonging to each set of financial statements and where each account type resides. The game play methodology enables players to experience how transactions are recorded, how an income statement and a balance sheet are prepared, as well as how funds flow in business. This is accomplished by providing an accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10 including a visual representation of an income statement, a visual representation of a balance sheet, and a visual representation of a general ledger on the game board.
  • The accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10 also includes a set of game play instructions and a list of business activities. Additionally, the accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10 includes simulated monetary units, chits labeled with game-play titles, blank labels and learning journals. Another embodiment of the accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10 according to the present invention includes a deck of improvement cards showing improvement costs together with its corresponding benefits and a leader's board. Still another embodiment of the accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10 includes a manufacturing account and a trading account. Yet another embodiment of the accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10 according to the present invention may be provided by a system and/or method with an associated computer process.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 1-8, general details of the accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10 according to an embodiment of the present invention are now described. As will be discussed in greater detail below, and as illustrated in FIGS. 1-2, the unique design of the accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10 may include a game board 20, a set of game play instructions 30, a list of business activities 40, a manufacturing account 50, a trading account 60, a reconciliation statement 70, a plurality of simulated monetary units 80, a monetary unit storage container 90, a plurality of monetary unit carriers 100, a plurality of chits labeled with game-play titles 110, a plurality of blank labels 120, a plurality of learning journals 130, a plurality of income statements 140, a plurality of journals 150, a plurality of balance sheets 160, a list of debrief questions 170, a list of model answers 180 and a deck of improvement cards 180. The game board 20 may have, displayed on a top surface thereof, a visual representation of an income statement 190, a visual representation of a balance sheet 210, a visual representation of a general ledger 230, a visual representation of customers 240 and a visual representation of suppliers, 250.
  • Individual portions of the accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10 according to an embodiment of the present invention will now be discussed in greater detail. As depicted in FIG. 1, one embodiment of the accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10 may include a game board 20 adapted for the service industry, having an income statement 190 that may include an income/revenue entry 191, a cost of services entry 192, a net income/net revenue entry 193, a depreciation entry 194, a stock write-off entry 195, a bad debt write-off entry 196, an operation expenses entry 197, a sales and marketing expense entry 198, a financing expenses entry 199, a taxes entry 200, a dividend entry 201 and a current year net profit/loss entry 202. The income statement 190 may be color coded so as to visually reinforce those entries properly resident on the income statement and to distinguish between entries properly resident in different portions of the general ledger 230. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the depreciation entry 194, the stock write-off entry 195, the bad debt write-off entry 196, the operation expenses entry 197, the sales and marketing expense entry 198, and the financing expenses entry 199 may be similarly colored to indicate that they all properly reside in an expense account portion 231 of the general ledger 230. The income/revenue entry 191, the cost of services entry 192 and the net income/net revenue entry 193 may be similarly colored to indicate that they all properly reside in an income/revenue account portion 232 of the general ledger 230.
  • The balance sheet 210 may include a premises entry 211, an equipment and machinery entry 212, an investments entry 213, an other intangibles entry 214, a cash entry 215, an other debtors entry 216, an accounts receivable entry 217, an inventory entry 218, an accounts payable entry 219, a loans entry 220, an equity entry 221, and a reserves entry 222. The balance sheet 210 may be color coded so as to visually reinforce those entries properly resident on the balance sheet and to distinguish between entries properly resident in different portions of the general ledger 230. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the premises entry 211, the equipment and machinery entry 212, the investments entry 213, the other intangibles entry 214, the cash entry 215, the other debtors entry 216, the accounts receivable entry 217, and the inventory entry 218 may be similarly colored to indicate that they all properly reside in an assets account 233 of the general ledger 230. The premises entry 211, the equipment and machinery entry 212, the investments entry 213, and the other intangibles entry 214 may be colored slightly darker to indicate that they all properly reside in a tangible and intangible assets account 234 of the general ledger 230. The cash entry 215, the other debtors entry 216, the accounts receivable entry 217, and the inventory entry 218 may be colored slightly lighter to indicate that they all properly reside in a current assets account 235 of the general ledger 230.
  • As perhaps best illustrated in FIG. 2, another embodiment of the accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10 may include a game board 20 adapted for the manufacturing industry, having an income statement 190 that may include a sales entry 191, a cost of goods sold entry 192, a contribution entry 193, a depreciation entry 194, a stock write-off entry 195, a bad debt write-off entry 196, an operation expenses entry 197, a sales and marketing expense entry 198, a financing expenses entry 199, a taxes entry 200, a dividend entry 201 and a current year net profit/loss entry 202. The income statement 190 may be color coded so as to visually reinforce those entries properly resident on the income statement and to distinguish between entries properly resident in different portions of the general ledger 230. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the depreciation entry 194, the stock write-off entry 195, the bad debt write-off entry 196, the operation expenses entry 197, the sales and marketing expense entry 198, and the financing expenses entry 199 may be similarly colored to indicate that they all properly reside in an expense account portion 231 of the general ledger 230. The sales entry 191, the cost of goods sold entry 192 and the contribution entry 193 may be similarly colored to indicate that they all properly reside in an income/revenue account portion 232 of the general ledger 230.
  • The balance sheet 210 may include a premises entry 211, a plant entry 223, an equipment and machinery entry 212, an investments entry 213, an other intangibles entry 214, a cash entry 215, an other debtors entry 216, an accounts receivable entry 217, an inventory entry 218, an accounts payable entry 219, a loans entry 220, an equity entry 221, and a reserves entry 222. The inventory entry 218 may include a raw materials entry 224, an other costs entry 225, a direct wages entry 226, an allotted raw materials entry 227 and a finished stock entry 228. The manufacturing account 50 may include the other costs entry 225, the direct wages entry 226 and the allotted raw materials entry 227. The trading account 60 may include the raw materials entry 224 and the finished stock entry 228. The balance sheet 210 may be color coded so as to visually reinforce those entries properly resident on the balance sheet and to distinguish between entries properly resident in different portions of the general ledger 230. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the premises entry 211, the plant entry 223, the equipment and machinery entry 212, the investments entry 213, the other intangibles entry 214, the cash entry 215, the other debtors entry 216, the accounts receivable entry 217, and the inventory entry 218 may be similarly colored to indicate that they all properly reside in an assets account 233 of the general ledger 230. The premises entry 211, the plant entry 223, the equipment and machinery entry 212, the investments entry 213, and the other intangibles entry 214 may be colored slightly darker to indicate that they all properly reside in a tangible and intangible assets account 234 of the general ledger 230. The cash entry 215, the other debtors entry 216, the accounts receivable entry 217, and the inventory entry 218 may be colored slightly lighter to indicate that they all properly reside in a current assets account 235 of the general ledger 230. The other costs entry 225, the direct wages entry 226 and the allotted raw materials entry 227 may be similarly colored to indicate that they all properly reside in the manufacturing account 50 of the general ledger 230. The raw materials entry 224 and the finished stock entry 228 may be similarly colored to indicate that they all properly reside in the trading account 60 of the general ledger 230.
  • The accounting double-entry recording process educational game 10 according to an embodiment of the present invention adapted for the manufacturing industry physically demonstrates how stocks of raw materials move from storage to production; the added value that occurs during the production process; how to compute the value of work-in-process (uncompleted stocks), completed stock, cost of goods sold and gross profit; the accounting double-entry process to record the various forms of stock movements from a raw materials stage to production and to completed goods; and the process to determine the cost of goods manufactured and cost of goods sold, with adjustments in opening and closing stocks.
  • After having had the benefit of reading this disclosure, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10, while depicted in FIGS. 1-2 as having color coded income statements 190, balance sheets 210, and general ledgers 230, may have income statements, balance sheets and general ledgers that are similarly shaded, similarly patterned, similarly labeled, similarly textured, similarly elevated or otherwise similarly marked to indicate relationship while still accomplishing the goals, features and objectives according to the present invention. Likewise, those skilled in the art will also appreciate that the income statement 190 and the balance sheet 210, while depicted in FIG. 2 as having color coded manufacturing accounts 50 and trading accounts 60, may have manufacturing accounts and trading accounts that are similarly shaded, similarly patterned, similarly labeled, similarly textured, similarly elevated or otherwise similarly marked to indicate relationship. Furthermore, while the accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10, is depicted in FIGS. 1-2 as having a game board 20 adapted for the service industry and the manufacturing industry, respectively, the educational game system may have a game board adapted for any industry or for personal use, while still accomplishing the goals, features and objectives according to the present invention.
  • A method aspect of the present invention is for using an accounting double-entry recording process educational game system 10. The method may include dividing the players into teams and assigning each player a job role selected from the group consisting of CEO, accountant, treasurer, operations/production, and internal auditor. The simulated job role assigned to each player in combination with the game play methodology may manifest common work attitudes, behaviors, operational issues and enhance the team's performance. The method may also include selecting one player as a facilitator. The method may further include the facilitator explaining the principles of accounting. The method may still further include making entries in the income statement 190, the balance sheet 210 and the general ledger 230 reflective of information contained in the list of business activities 40 for each financial year. The method may also include the facilitator using the list of debrief questions 170 to debrief the other players. The facilitation process of soliciting players' observation and suggestions to overcome issues manifested during game play, coupled with players' self-reflection during debrief session may enable players to gain insights and epiphany moments, a necessity to gain players' emotional buy-in and attitudinal commitment to support change initiatives.
  • The method may additionally include the players documenting their game play experiences in their learning journals 130. Players may document into the learning journals 130 such data as their personal learning experiences and insights from the debrief session or other aspect of the game play; potential challenges that may impede their ability to apply the learning at work together with suggested changes to manage or eradicate these challenges; performance goals expected after the learning event; longer term personal improvement plans and career goals; and other subjectively or objectively relevant data. The learning journal may be part of a systematic process for organization to capture players' feedback in order to evaluate the learning impact on their attitude, behavior and commitment to performance goals. The client organization may be alerted to potential challenges that may impede the success of its learning performance culture initiative and take actions to manage or eradicate such challenges in order to achieve improved return on investment on learning and development.
  • A method aspect according to another embodiment of the present invention may include a list of business activities including operational inefficiencies 42. The method may include confidentially suggesting improvements to the facilitator. The method may also include the facilitator issuing improvements cards 180 to the players. The method may further include the players doing a cost/benefit analysis to determine whether to implement the improvement reflected on the improvement card 180. The method may yet further include entering information reflected on the improvement card 180 on an improvement adjustment and reconciliation statement 181. The method may still further include determining which team of players has the most increased profitability after implementation of improvements. The method may also include listing the team with the highest increase in profitability for each financial year on a leader board 182.
  • One embodiment of the present invention is directed to a computer program product for teaching accounting principles and business finance. The computer program product may include a user interface that prompts a user for input of data relating to financial information of a business, and a database to store the data relating to the financial information. The database may include an accounting principles interface to instruct the user on the basics of business finance from accounting principles stored on the database. The database may also include a business activities interface to prompt the user with financial information of a business from financial information stored on the database. The database may further include a job role interface to assign the user a job role selected from the group consisting of CEO, accountant, treasurer, operations/production, and internal auditor from job roles stored on the database. The database may still further include an income statement interface to prompt the user for input of data regarding financial information properly resident on the income statement for storage on the database. The database may also include a balance sheet interface to prompt the user for input of data regarding financial information properly resident on the balance sheet for storage on the database. The database may further include a general ledger interface to prompt the user for input of data regarding financial information properly resident on the general ledger for storage on the database.
  • A debriefing interface which prompts the user for input of data responsive to debriefing questions for storage on the database may also be included in the database. The debriefing interface may provide access to a facilitator to at least a part of the financial information. The debriefing interface may also automatically prompt the user with debriefing questions from debriefing questions stored on the database. The database may still further include a learning journal interface that prompts the user to input data relating to the user's game play experience for storage on the database. The database may also include an improvement interface that prompts the user to input data relating to the user's suggested improvements for storage on the database.
  • The computer program product may prompt the user with an indication of a facilitator's desire to offer an improvement opportunity, or an indication of an automatically generated improvement opportunity from improvement opportunities stored on the database. Further, the computer program product may use a processor that executes instructions to prompt the user for data, to store data, to provide instruction on accounting basics, to provide financial information of a business, to assign a job role, to generate debriefing questions, to generate improvement offers, and to indicate the desire to offer an improvement opportunity.
  • The computer program product may generate a list of business activities through a software program. Computer generated questions may be classified into varying degrees of competency and varying levels of complexity. The computer program product may permit players to select whether to play the game in a service industry mode or in a manufacturing industry mode. The computer program product may be played on an individual basis or in a multiplayer environment. The computer program product may also randomly generate a question set. Randomly generated questions may be divided into three groups of questions. The first group of questions may be from a lower competency level. Once a player has scored the prescribed targeted marks for the first group of questions, the computer program product may permit the player access to a second group of questions from an intermediary level of competency. Once a player has scored the prescribed targeted marks for the second group of questions, the computer program product may permit the player access to a third group of questions from an advanced level of competency. If a player scores below the prescribed targeted marks in any group of questions, a next group of questions from the same level of competency may be generated until the player scores the prescribed targeted marks in that level of competency.
  • An improvement interface which prompts the user for data responsive to questions about business activity inefficiencies may be included in the database. For those correctly identified inefficiencies, the computer program product may provide a choice of corrective measures together with corrective costs and corresponding savings. If an inefficiency is incorrectly identified, the computer program product may provide a choice of corrective measures together with corrective costs without corresponding savings.
  • The computer program product according to an embodiment of the present invention may be provided by an external software program that is launched from a web-based system only after the user has securely logged into the web-based system. By utilizing the web-based system, the computer program product may allow the user to attempt assessments; to learn through online interaction; to keep records of past assessment attempts; and to facilitate easy and efficient update of question and answer elements for the respective game applications. The computer program product may include an assessment mode and a practice mode.
  • In the assessment mode the user may be able to demonstrate their competency on the selected learning objective. Multiple sets of assessment questions may be made available. Each set of assessment questions may be selected so as to ensure the selected learning areas are covered in each assessment question set. In one embodiment, each assessment session may only require the user to attempt one random set of assessment questions. Regardless of result, data related to each completed attempt and the user's performance may be recorded into the web-based system as each session is ended.
  • In the practice mode the user may attempt multiple game stages at progressive levels of difficulty. The level of difficulty may be managed utilizing variables such as complexity of questions, reaction time, and amount of clues available to the user. The progress to the next level of difficulty may be conditioned upon the user clearing all criteria in the current stage. This provides the user with a gentler learning curve and prepares the user for the assessment mode. The user's progress in the practice mode may be recorded into the web-based system so that the user can return and continue the practice mode from where the user stopped. The practice mode may include a challenge stage with greater difficulty levels or higher passing criteria, as compared to the assessment mode.
  • The game content may be preloaded onto the web-based system and may only be accessible to the user after securely logging onto the web-based system. The user may be required to download the game application and data files when launching an activity on the web-based system, which may ensure that the user has access to the latest version and data. Requiring the user to launch the game application after logging onto the web-based system may enhance data integrity and data security.
  • The web-based system may include a learning journal that may automatically store, update, retrieve and report the user's past assessment results. The reports may include graphical charts. After each assessment, narrative comment on the result may be automatically displayed in the game application. A trigger together with the respective narrative comment and result may be automatically updated into the respective user's learning journal in the web-based system, enabling the user to have access to the comments when checking past assessment attempt records. The web-based system may utilize past game application results and comments of respective users to determine and recommend the next level of learning and development initiatives to the user.
  • The web-based system may control when updates are made to specific client's databases and what updates are made to specific client's databases even though each client may maintain databases separate from the web-based system. System updates may be performed at selected times that will least affect the client, or may be performed in segmented packages that will minimize interruption to the client's normal operation. System updates of recommended material and/or data updates by the web-based system may be coordinated such that only the required material and/or data files are updated. The web-based system may segregate the storage of materials generated by the client from those provided by the web-based system into separate databases. This segregation may ensure compliance with data privacy regulations as well as reassuring the client that there will be minimal interference from the web-based system with the client's data and materials. The web-based system may support multiple levels of categorization for each client by such variables as industry, geographic location or department.
  • The web-based system may include the ability to host external programs regardless of the language in which the application was developed. The web-based system may include a code translator platform which will act as a common medium between the web-based system and the respective application (which translator platform is not limited to Flash applications). The code translator platform in the web-based system may provide security and active database functionality, without interfering with operation of the external application during activation. During activation, the web-based system may act as the first layer of protection by ensuring that only valid users will be able to trigger the link to launch external applications. A second layer of security may be provided by transmitting data verification packages between the game application and the web-based system at prefix situation. For illustrative purposes only, and not by way of limitation, the web-based system coded in C# may identify the data verification package from Flash application coded in Actionscript through the translator platform and may provide a required response.
  • The web-based system may serve as an active database to frequently update the content of the external application. This may alleviate the need to republish for every content update. Using the code translator platform on the web-based system, the content materials may be saved into the web-based system and may be fed back into the external application at every launch. This may ensure that content material need only be updated in the web-based system rather than replacing the whole external application. The web-based system may also provide a save state feature for the external application. For example, the game application may send a data package with information to update the user's status with respect to the game application. Using the code translator platform, the web-based system may be able to not only read, but to also populate the received information into the web-based system for the user's reference.
  • The web-based system may permit the external game application to leverage and enforce security features built into the web-based system. The security features built into the web-based system may only permit the game application to access data in the web-based system when the user has securely logged onto the web-based system. The game application may validate the identity of the user at various checkpoints using a web service. The checkpoints in the game application to validate against the web-based system may include a read process, a write process, a static status (no movement of the mouse for a predetermined time), and a continuing validation process (temporary access in the form of a credit, which may diminish over time after launch of the game application and which may be replenished). Negative validation against the web-based system at any checkpoint may trigger a forced termination of the external game application. The external game application may also request that the user perform an additional login using the same identification criteria (login name and password) as on the web-based system.
  • A method aspect of the present invention is for teaching basic accounting principals using a computer program product. The method may include entering data relating to financial information of a business using the user interface responsive to a prompt. The method may further include storing the data on the database. The step of storing the data on the database may include entering data using an income statement interface, a balance sheet interface or a general ledger interface responsive to a prompt to the user for input of the data relating to the financial information of a business. Storing the data may also include entering data using an improvement contracts interface responsive to a prompt for input of the data regarding improvements related to the financial information.
  • The step of storing the data may further include entering data using a debriefing interface responsive to a prompt to the user. The debriefing interface may advantageously provide access to a facilitator to at least a part of the financial information. The method may still further include entering data using a learning journal interface responsive to a prompt to the user. The learning journal interface may permit the user to input data regarding the user's game play experience. The method may also include responding to a prompt from the user interface that indicates a facilitator's desire to offer an improvement opportunity or that indicates the generation of an automatic improvement opportunity.
  • In accordance with embodiments of the present invention, the components, process steps, and/or data structures may be implemented using various types of operating systems, computing platforms, computer programs, and/or general purpose machines. In addition, after having the benefit of this disclosure, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that devices of a less general purpose nature, such as hardwired devices, field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), or the like, may also be used without departing from the scope and spirit of the inventive concepts disclosed herein.
  • The system according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention may be provided by a computer program product 300 for learning principles of accounting that requires the performance of one or more steps to be carried out on, or in association with, a computerized device. Referring now to the attached figures, additional details of the computer program product, system and method according to the present invention are now described in greater detail. Referring initially to FIG. 3, a schematic diagram illustrates that the computer program product 300 may comprise a user interface 302, a database 303 and a processor 320. The database 303 may include an accounting principles interface 304, a business activities interface 305, a job role interface 306, a learning journal interface 307, an income statement interface 308, a balance sheet interface 309, a general ledger interface 311, a debriefing interface 312 and an improvement interface 313. After having the benefit of this disclosure, those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the database 300 may be provided by a plurality of databases, links to external data sources, links to external databases, links to third party services, or links to a plurality of third party services, or the like, without departing from the scope and spirit of the inventive concepts disclosed herein. Third party services could be, for example, royalty management software, tax management software, audio management software or social network services external to the system. Those skilled in the art will further appreciate that third party services may be in communication with the computer program product according to an embodiment of the present invention through any number of mechanisms including, but not limited to a network interface, Bluetooth communication, or a cloud. A person of ordinary skill in the art will also appreciate that the computerized device may include, but not be limited to, a server, a computer (i.e., desktop computer, laptop computer, netbook, or any machine having a processor), a dumb terminal that provides an interface with a computer or server, a personal digital assistant, a mobile communications device, such as a mobile phone, smart phone or other similar device that provides computer or quasi-computer functionality, a mobile reader, such as an electronic document viewer, which provides reader functionality that may be enabled, through either internal components or connecting to an external computer, server, or global communications network (such as the Internet), to take direction from or engage in process which are then delivered to a mobile reader.
  • It should be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, after reviewing the materials disclosed herein, that other types of devices, individually or in conjunction with an overarching architecture, associated with an internal or external system, may be utilized to provide the “computerized” environment necessary for the process step to be carried out in a machine/system/digital environment. It should be noted that the method aspects of the present invention are preferably computer-implemented methods and, more particularly, at least one step is preferably carried out using a computerized device.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a computing device in the form of a computer 310, which is capable of performing one or more computer-implemented steps in practicing the method aspects of the present invention. Components of the computer 310 may include, but are not limited to, the processor 320, a system memory 330, and a system bus 321 that couples various system components including the system memory to the processor 320. The system bus 321 may be any of several types of bus structures including a memory bus or memory controller, a peripheral bus, and a local bus using any of a variety of bus architectures. By way of example, and not limitation, such architectures include Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) bus, Micro Channel Architecture (MCA) bus, Enhanced ISA (EISA) bus, Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) local bus, and Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI).
  • The computer 310 may also include a cryptographic unit 325. Briefly, the cryptographic unit 325 has a calculation function that may be used to verify digital signatures, calculate hashes, digitally sign hash values, and encrypt or decrypt data. The cryptographic unit 325 may also have a protected memory for storing keys and other secret data. In other embodiments, the functions of the cryptographic unit may be instantiated in software and run via the operating system.
  • A computer 310 typically includes a variety of computer readable media. Computer readable media can be any available media that can be accessed by a computer 310 and includes both volatile and nonvolatile media, removable and non-removable media. By way of example, and not limitation, computer readable media may include computer storage media and communication media. Computer storage media includes volatile and nonvolatile, removable and non-removable media implemented in any method or technology for storage of information such as computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data. Computer storage media includes, but is not limited to, RAM, ROM, EEPROM, FLASH memory or other memory technology, CD-ROM, digital versatile disks (DVD) or other optical disk storage, magnetic cassettes, magnetic tape, magnetic disk storage or other magnetic storage devices, or any other medium which can be used to store the desired information and which can be accessed by a computer 310. Communication media typically embodies computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data in a modulated data signal such as a carrier wave or other transport mechanism and includes any information delivery media. The term “modulated data signal” means a signal that has one or more of its characteristics set or changed in such a manner as to encode information in the signal. By way of example, and not limitation, communication media includes wired media such as a wired network or direct-wired connection, and wireless media such as acoustic, radio frequency, infrared and other wireless media. Combinations of any of the above should also be included within the scope of computer readable media.
  • The system memory 330 includes computer storage media in the form of volatile and/or nonvolatile memory such as read only memory (ROM) 331 and random access memory (RAM) 332. A basic input/output system 333 (BIOS), containing the basic routines that help to transfer information between elements within computer 310, such as during start-up, is typically stored in ROM 331. RAM 332 typically contains data and/or program modules that are immediately accessible to and/or presently being operated on by processor 320. By way of example, and not limitation, FIG. 4 illustrates an operating system (OS) 334, application programs 335, other program modules 336, and program data 337.
  • The computer 310 may also include other removable/non-removable, volatile/nonvolatile computer storage media. By way of example only, FIG. 4 illustrates a hard disk drive 341 that reads from or writes to non-removable, nonvolatile magnetic media, a magnetic disk drive 351 that reads from or writes to a removable, nonvolatile magnetic disk 352, and an optical disk drive 355 that reads from or writes to a removable, nonvolatile optical disk 356 such as a CD ROM or other optical media. Other removable/non-removable, volatile/nonvolatile computer storage media that can be used in the exemplary operating environment include, but are not limited to, magnetic tape cassettes, flash memory cards, digital versatile disks, digital video tape, solid state RAM, solid state ROM, and the like. The hard disk drive 341 is typically connected to the system bus 321 through a non-removable memory interface 340, and magnetic disk drive 351 and optical disk drive 355 are typically connected to the system bus 321 by a removable memory interface 350.
  • The drives, and their associated computer storage media discussed above and illustrated in FIG. 4, provide storage of computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules and other data for the computer 310. In FIG. 4, for example, hard disk drive 341 is illustrated as storing an OS 344, application programs 345, other program modules 346, and program data 347. Note that these components can either be the same as or different from OS 334, application programs 335, other program modules 336, and program data 337. The OS 344, application programs 345, other program modules 346, and program data 347 are given different numbers here to illustrate that, at a minimum, they may be different copies. A user may enter commands and information into the computer 310 through input devices such as a keyboard 362 and cursor control device 361, commonly referred to as a mouse, trackball or touch pad. Other input devices (not shown) may include a microphone, joystick, game pad, satellite dish, scanner, or the like. These and other input devices are often connected to the processing unit 320 through a user input interface 360 that is coupled to the system bus, but may be connected by other interface and bus structures, such as a parallel port, game port or a universal serial bus (USB). A monitor 391 or other type of display device is also connected to the system bus 321 via an interface, such as a graphics controller 390. In addition to the monitor 391, computers may also include other peripheral output devices such as speakers 397 and a printer 396, which may be connected through an output peripheral interface 395.
  • The computer 310 may operate in a networked environment using logical connections to one or more remote computers, such as a remote computer 380. The remote computer 380 may be a personal computer, a server, a router, a network PC, a peer device or other common network node, and typically includes many or all of the elements described above relative to the computer 310, although only a memory storage device 381 has been illustrated in FIG. 4. The logical connections depicted in FIG. 4 include a local area network (LAN) 371 and a wide area network (WAN) 373, but may also include other networks. Such networking environments are commonplace in offices, enterprise-wide computer networks, intranets and the Internet.
  • When used in a LAN networking environment, the computer 310 is connected to the LAN 371 through a network interface or adapter 370. When used in a WAN networking environment, the computer 310 typically includes a modem 372 or other means for establishing communications over the WAN 373, such as the Internet. The modem 372, which may be internal or external, may be connected to the system bus 321 via the user input interface 360, or other appropriate mechanism. In a networked environment, program modules depicted relative to the computer 310, or portions thereof, may be stored in the remote memory storage device. By way of example, and not limitation, FIG. 4 illustrates remote application programs 385 as residing on memory device 381.
  • The communications connections 370 and 372 allow the device to communicate with other devices. The communications connections 370 and 372 are an example of communication media. The communication media typically embodies computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data in a modulated data signal such as a carrier wave or other transport mechanism and includes any information delivery media. A “modulated data signal” may be a signal that has one or more of its characteristics set or changed in such a manner as to encode information in the signal. By way of example, and not limitation, communication media includes wired media such as a wired network or direct-wired connection, and wireless media such as acoustic, RF, infrared and other wireless media. Computer readable media may include both storage media and communication media.
  • According to an embodiment of the present invention, a computer program product 300 is disclosed, which may be capable of creating a computerized interface for use in data acquisition, establishing a database management system, and building an application based on the user data entered. A computer program product 300, according to an embodiment of the present invention, will be described in further detail as a project that is creatable using, for example, but not intended as a limitation, Microsoft's Visual C# .NET development environment. Such a computer program product 300 would be suitable for execution on a computer 310 having, for example, but not intended as a limitation, one of Microsoft's Windows family or Apple's Mac OSX family of operating systems loaded into memory 334. A person having ordinary skill in the art, after having the benefit of this disclosure would recognize that many other development platforms might be used to create a computer program product 300, which may be executable with many other operating systems, but that still embody the present invention. As such, the following disclosure is provided merely for explanatory purposes and should in no way limit the present invention to computer program products 300 that are created using the aforementioned development platform or for use with the aforementioned operating systems.
  • A method aspect according to an embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 5. From the start, at Block 500, at least one team of 4 to 5 players is assembled at Block 501. One of the players is assigned the role of facilitator at Block 502. The facilitator explains basic accounting principles to the other players at Block 503. Each team is provided with a game board, a set of instructions, a list of business activities, blank journals, blank income statements, blank balance sheets, blank learning journals, monetary units, monetary unit storage containers, monetary unit carriers, chits labeled with game-play titles, blank chits, a list of debrief questions and a list of model answers at Block 504. The players are each assigned a job role selected from the group consisting of CEO, accountant, Treasurer, Operations/Production, and Internal Auditor at Block 505. At Block 506, the players work through the list of business activities, entering financial data into the appropriate spaces on the game board and into the journals, while the facilitator monitors the game play and the player entries at Block 507. The players transfer the final financial data entries from the game board to the income statement and balance sheet at Block 508 and compare the final financial data entries to the model answers at Block 509. At Block 510 the facilitator debriefs the players using the debrief questions and the players make entries into their learning journals at Block 511. The facilitator reports the results of debriefing to the players' supervisors at Block 512. At Block 513 it is determined whether there are additional years of business activities. If it is determined at Block 513 that there are additional years of business activities, the players work through the business activities for the next year at Block 506 and continue through the method. If it is determined at Block 513 that there are no additional years of business activities, the method ends at Block 514.
  • A method aspect according to another embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 6. From the start, at Block 600, teams of 4 to 5 players are assembled at Block 601. One of the players on each team is assigned the role of facilitator at Block 602. The facilitator explains basic accounting principles to the other players at Block 603. Each team is provided with a game board, a set of instructions, a list of business activities with included inefficiencies, blank income statements, blank balance sheets, blank learning journals, monetary units, monetary unit storage containers, monetary unit carriers, chits labeled with game-play titles, blank chits, a list of debrief questions, a list of model answers, a deck of improvement cards, an improvement adjustment and reconciliation statement and a leader board at Block 604. The players are each assigned a job role selected from the group consisting of CEO, accountant, Treasurer, Operations/Production, and Internal Auditor at Block 605. At Block 606, the players work through the list of business activities, entering financial data into the appropriate spaces on the game board, while the facilitator monitors the game play and the player entries at Block 607. The players identify inefficiencies in the business activities and suggest improvements to the facilitator at Block 608 and the facilitator issues improvements cards at Block 609. At Block 610 the players perform a cost/benefit analysis of the improvement reflected on the improvement card and at Block 611 determine whether to implement the improvement.
  • If it is determined at Block 611 to implement the improvement, the players record improvement costs and efficiency savings in the improvement adjustment and reconciliation statement at Block 612 and select the team with the highest increase in profitability after implementation of the improvements at Block 613. At Block 614 the team with the highest increase in profitability for each year is recorded on the leader board. The players transfer the final financial data entries from the game board to the income statement and balance sheet at Block 615 and compare the final financial data entries to the model answers at Block 616. At Block 617 the facilitator debriefs the players using the debrief questions and the players make entries into their learning journals at Block 618. The facilitator reports the results of debriefing to the players' supervisors at Block 619. If it is determined at Block 611 not to implement the improvement, the players transfer the final financial data entries from the game board to the income statement and balance sheet at Block 615 and continue through the method. At Block 620 it is determined whether there are additional years of business activities. If it is determined at Block 620 that there are additional years of business activities, the players work through the business activities for the next year at Block 606 and continue through the method. If it is determined at Block 620 that there are no additional years of business activities, the method ends at Block 621.
  • A method aspect according to yet another embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 7. From the start, at Block 700, at least one team of 4 to 5 players is assembled at Block 701. One of the players is assigned the role of facilitator at Block 702. The facilitator explains basic accounting principles, including the forms of stocks of raw materials and the value adding process, to the other players at Block 703. Each team is provided with a game board, a set of instructions, a list of business activities, blank journals, blank income statements, blank balance sheets, blank learning journals, monetary units, monetary unit storage containers, monetary unit carriers, chits labeled with game-play titles, blank chits, a list of debrief questions, a list of model answers, blank manufacturing accounts, and blank trading accounts at Block 704. The players are each assigned a job role selected from the group consisting of CEO, accountant, Treasurer, Operations/Production, and Internal Auditor at Block 705. At Block 706, the players work through the list of business activities, entering financial data into the appropriate spaces on the game board and into the journals, including monetary value related to stock of raw materials, work-in-progress and completed stock in the manufacturing account and trading account, while the facilitator monitors the game play and the player entries at Block 707. The players transfer the final financial data entries from the game board to the income statement and balance sheet, including the manufacturing account and trading account, at Block 708 and compare the final financial data entries to the model answers at Block 709. At Block 710 the facilitator debriefs the players using the debrief questions and the players make entries into their learning journals at Block 711. The facilitator reports the results of debriefing to the players' supervisors at Block 712. At Block 713 it is determined whether there are additional years of business activities. If it is determined at Block 713 that there are additional years of business activities, the players work through the business activities for the next year at Block 706 and continue through the method. If it is determined at Block 713 that there are no additional years of business activities, the method ends at Block 714.
  • A method aspect according to still another embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 8. From the start, at Block 800, teams of 4 to 5 players are assembled at Block 801. One of the players on each team is assigned the role of facilitator at Block 802. The facilitator explains basic accounting principles to the other players at Block 803. Each team is provided with a game board, a set of instructions, a list of business activities with included inefficiencies, blank income statements, blank balance sheets, blank learning journals, monetary units, monetary unit storage containers, monetary unit carriers, chits labeled with game-play titles, blank chits, a list of debrief questions, a list of model answers, a deck of improvement cards, an improvement adjustment and reconciliation statement, a leader board, blank manufacturing accounts, and blank trading accounts at Block 804. The players are each assigned a job role selected from the group consisting of CEO, accountant, Treasurer, Operations/Production, and Internal Auditor at Block 805. At Block 806, the players work through the list of business activities, entering financial data into the appropriate spaces on the game board, including monetary value related to stock of raw materials, work-in-progress and completed stock in the manufacturing accounts and trading accounts, while the facilitator monitors the game play and the player entries at Block 807. The players identify inefficiencies in the business activities and suggest improvements to the facilitator at Block 808 and the facilitator issues improvements cards at Block 809. At Block 810 the players perform a cost/benefit analysis of the improvement reflected on the improvement card and at Block 811 determine whether to implement the improvement.
  • If it is determined at Block 811 to implement the improvement, the players record improvement costs and efficiency savings in the improvement adjustment and reconciliation statement at Block 812 and select the team with the highest increase in profitability after implementation of the improvements at Block 813. At Block 814 the team with the highest increase in profitability for each year is recorded on the leader board. The players transfer the final financial data entries from the game board to the income statement and balance sheet at Block 815 and compare the final financial data entries to the model answers at Block 816. At Block 817 the facilitator debriefs the players using the debrief questions and the players make entries into their learning journals at Block 818. The facilitator reports the results of debriefing to the players' supervisors at Block 819. If it is determined at Block 811 not to implement the improvement, the players transfer the final financial data entries from the game board to the income statement and balance sheet at Block 815 and continue through the method. At Block 820 it is determined whether there are additional years of business activities. If it is determined at Block 820 that there are additional years of business activities, the players work through the business activities for the next year at Block 806 and continue through the method. If it is determined at Block 820 that there are no additional years of business activities, the method ends at Block 821.
  • Many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to the mind of one skilled in the art having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Therefore, it is understood that the invention is not to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed.

Claims (20)

    That which is claimed is:
  1. 1. An accounting double-entry recording process educational game system comprising:
    a set of game-play instructions;
    a game board adapted for a service industry; and
    a set of game-play pieces;
    wherein the game board includes a visual representation of an income statement, a visual representation of a balance sheet, a visual representation of a general ledger, a visual representation of customers, and a visual representation of suppliers.
  2. 2. The system according to claim 1 wherein the set of game-play pieces includes a place marker, a list of business activities, a balance sheet, an income sheet, a journal, a set of monetary units, a monetary unit storage container, a monetary unit carrier, a set of chits, a set of debrief questions and a set of model answers.
  3. 3. The system according to claim 2 wherein the set of game-play instructions includes:
    an instruction to divide a group of players into teams;
    an instruction to assign each player on each team a job role selected from the group consisting of facilitator, chief executive officer, accountant, treasurer, operations manager, and internal auditor;
    an explanation of job roles;
    an explanation of accounting principles; and
    an instruction to make entries in the income statement, the balance sheet, and the general ledger reflective of information contained in the list of business activities.
  4. 4. The system according to claim 1 wherein the visual representation of an income statement includes a revenue entry, a cost of service entry, a net revenue entry, a depreciation entry, a stock write-off entry, a bad debt write-off entry, an operation expenses entry, a sales and marketing expense entry, a financing expenses entry, a taxes entry, a dividend entry and a current year net profit/net loss entry.
  5. 5. The system according to claim 4 wherein the depreciation entry, the stock write-off entry, the bad debt write-off entry, the operation expenses entry, the sales and marketing expense entry, and the financing expenses entry are similarly colored to indicate they properly reside in an expense account portion of the general ledger; and wherein the revenue entry, the cost of services entry and the net revenue entry are similarly colored to indicate that they properly reside in a revenue account portion of the general ledger.
  6. 6. The system according to claim 1 wherein the visual representation of a balance sheet includes a premises entry, an equipment and machinery entry, an investments entry, an other intangibles entry, a cash entry, an other debtors entry, an accounts receivable entry, an inventory entry, an accounts payable entry, a loan entry, an equity entry, and a reserves entry.
  7. 7. The system according to claim 6 wherein the premises entry, the equipment and machinery entry, the investments entry, the other intangibles entry, the cash entry, the other debtors entry, the accounts receivable entry, and the inventory entry are similarly colored to indicate that they properly reside in an assets account of the general ledger; wherein the premises entry, the equipment and machinery entry, the investments entry, the other intangibles entry, are grouped to indicate that they properly reside in a tangible and intangible assets account of the general ledger; and wherein the cash entry, the other debtors entry, the accounts receivable entry, and the inventory entry are grouped to indicate that they properly reside in a current assets account of the general ledger.
  8. 8. An accounting double-entry recording process educational game system comprising:
    a set of game-play instructions;
    a game board adapted for a manufacturing industry; and
    a set of game-play pieces;
    wherein the game board includes a visual representation of an income statement, a visual representation of a balance sheet, a visual representation of a general ledger, a visual representation of customers, and a visual representation of suppliers.
  9. 9. The system according to claim 8 wherein the set of game-play pieces includes a place marker, a list of business activities, a balance sheet, an income sheet, a journal, a set of monetary units, a monetary unit storage container, a monetary unit carrier, a set of chits, a set of debrief questions and a set of model answers.
  10. 10. The system according to claim 9 wherein the set of game-play instructions includes:
    an instruction to divide a group of players into teams;
    an instruction to assign each player on each team a job role selected from the group consisting of facilitator, chief executive officer, accountant, treasurer, operations manager, and internal auditor;
    an explanation of job roles;
    an explanation of accounting principles; and
    an instruction to make entries in the income statement, the balance sheet, and the general ledger reflective of information contained in the list of business activities.
  11. 11. The system according to claim 8 wherein the visual representation of an income statement includes a sales entry, a cost of goods sold entry, a contribution entry, a depreciation entry, a stock write-off entry, a bad debt write-off entry, an operation expenses entry, a sales and marketing expense entry, a financing expenses entry, a taxes entry, a dividend entry and a current year net profit/net loss entry.
  12. 12. The system according to claim 11 wherein the depreciation entry, the stock write-off entry, the bad debt write-off entry, the operation expenses entry, the sales and marketing expense entry, and the financing expenses entry are similarly colored to indicate they properly reside in an expense account portion of the general ledger; and wherein the sales entry, the cost of goods sold entry and the contribution entry are similarly colored to indicate that they properly reside in a revenue account portion of the general ledger.
  13. 13. The system according to claim 8 wherein the visual representation of a balance sheet includes a premises entry, a plant entry, an equipment and machinery entry, an investments entry, an other intangibles entry, a cash entry, an other debtors entry, an accounts receivable entry, an inventory entry, an accounts payable entry, a loans entry, an equity entry, and a reserves entry; wherein the inventory entry includes a manufacturing account and a trading account; wherein the manufacturing account includes an other costs entry, a direct wages entry and an allotted raw materials entry; and wherein the trading account includes a raw materials entry and a finished stock entry.
  14. 14. The system according to claim 13 wherein the premises entry, the plant entry, the equipment and machinery entry, the investments entry, the other intangibles entry, the cash entry, the other debtors entry, the accounts receivable entry, and the inventory entry are similarly colored to indicate that they properly reside in an assets account of the general ledger; wherein the premises entry, the plant entry, the equipment and machinery entry, the investments entry, and the other intangibles entry, are grouped to indicate that they properly reside in a tangible and intangible assets account of the general ledger; and wherein the cash entry, the other debtors entry, the accounts receivable entry, and the inventory entry are grouped to indicate that they properly reside in a current assets account of the general ledger.
  15. 15. An accounting double-entry recording process educational game system computer program product comprising:
    a user interface that prompts a user for input of data relating to financial information of a business;
    a database to store the data relating to the financial information;
    an accounting principles interface to provide the user with information relating to business finance from accounting principles stored on the database;
    a business activities interface to provide a user with financial information of a business from financial information stored on the database;
    a job role interface to assign the user a job role selected from the group consisting of CEO, accountant, treasurer, operations/production, and internal auditor from job roles stored on the database;
    an income statement interface to prompt the user for input of financial information properly resident on the income statement for storage on the database;
    a balance sheet interface to prompt the user for input of financial information properly resident on the balance sheet for storage on the database;
    a general ledger interface to prompt the user for input of financial information properly resident on the general ledger for storage on the database;
    a debriefing interface which prompts the user for input of data responsive to debriefing questions for storage on the database;
    a learning journal interface that prompts the user for input of data relating to the user's game play experience for storage on the database; and
    an improvement interface that prompts the user for input of data relating to suggested improvements for the user for storage on the database;
    wherein the user is prompted with an indication of a facilitator's desire to offer an improvement opportunity, or an indication of an automatically generated improvement opportunity from improvement opportunities stored on the database; and
    wherein the system uses a processor that executes instructions to prompt the user for data, to store data, to provide instruction on accounting basics, to provide financial information of a business, to assign a job role, to generate debriefing questions, to generate improvement offers, and to indicate the desire to offer an improvement opportunity.
  16. 16. The computer program product according to claim 15 wherein the user is provided an option to select whether to use the computer program product in a service industry mode or in a manufacturing industry mode; and wherein the user is provided an option to select whether to use the computer program product on an individual basis or in a multiplayer environment.
  17. 17. The computer program product according to claim 15 wherein the debriefing interface provides the facilitator with access to at least a part of the financial information; and wherein the debriefing interface automatically prompts the user with debriefing questions from debriefing questions stored on the database.
  18. 18. The computer program product according to claim 15 wherein a list of business activities is generated through a software program; wherein questions are generated and classified into varying degrees of competency and varying levels of complexity; and wherein a question set is randomly generated and selected from the group consisting of low competency level questions, intermediary competency level questions, and advanced competency level questions.
  19. 19. The computer program product according to claim 15 further comprising an improvement interface which prompts the user for data responsive to questions about business activity inefficiencies; and wherein a choice of corrective measures is provided together with corrective costs and corresponding savings for correctly identified inefficiencies; and wherein a choice of corrective measures is provided together with corrective costs without corresponding savings for incorrectly identified inefficiencies.
  20. 20. The computer program product according to claim 15 further comprising an assessment mode and a practice mode; wherein the assessment mode is defined by the user being provided an option to demonstrate their competency on a selected learning objective; and wherein the practice mode is defined by the user being provided an option to attempt multiple game stages at progressive levels of difficulty in preparation for the assessment mode.
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Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3539189A (en) * 1967-12-22 1970-11-10 Sylvester Martin Shelton Board game apparatus
US4150827A (en) * 1975-08-19 1979-04-24 Barnett David A J Economic board game
US4289313A (en) * 1979-09-07 1981-09-15 Delamontagne Robert P Management teaching game apparatus and method
US5071135A (en) * 1990-06-12 1991-12-10 Campbell Thomas J Board game apparatus for the teaching of financial management principles
US6375466B1 (en) * 1999-04-23 2002-04-23 Milan Juranovic Method for teaching economics, management and accounting

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3539189A (en) * 1967-12-22 1970-11-10 Sylvester Martin Shelton Board game apparatus
US4150827A (en) * 1975-08-19 1979-04-24 Barnett David A J Economic board game
US4289313A (en) * 1979-09-07 1981-09-15 Delamontagne Robert P Management teaching game apparatus and method
US5071135A (en) * 1990-06-12 1991-12-10 Campbell Thomas J Board game apparatus for the teaching of financial management principles
US6375466B1 (en) * 1999-04-23 2002-04-23 Milan Juranovic Method for teaching economics, management and accounting

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