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Internationalizing the Introductory Accounting Course: A Case History of the Nitty Gritty.

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Document pages: 30 pages

Abstract: One institution s approach to internationalizing its introductory accounting course is described. The change was triggered by accreditation requirements and personal interests, and was intended to provide students with information about international aspects of accounting. Initially, modules were developed to supplement the regular course content. At the end of the course, four class periods were devoted to: (1) deciphering foreign financial statements with different valuation bases; (2) alternative methods of establishing accounting standards; (3) international standards and organizations; and (4) foreign currency translation. In general, students responded favorably to the modules and tested reasonably well on the materials presented. However, the students reported that some aspects of the approach caused concern, including the lack of suitable materials, dependence on lecture presentation, and students perceptions of the content as supplementary, and therefore unimportant. As a result, the course objective was broadened to include the use of international components to foster an understanding of the nature of financial accounting information and reporting in the United States and comprehension of the degree to which that nature is a function of culture. International components were created to enhance all aspects of course content, and a supplementary text was added to the required materials. The costs were relatively low, and about 6 class hours were allocated to international topics. (MSE)

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