Learning accounting in an online environment

Learning any new skill or discipline requires mastery of its fundamentals. This education portal aims to provide tutorial lessons in the fundamentals of accounting for students enrolled in an accountancy program. Originally intended for freshmen college students, the courses offered are equally relevant to, even necessary for senior high school students. Despite one of the biggest college entrance enrollments, only a few get to the final years of the accountancy program, many dropping out or shifting to other courses. In some cases, as few as 5% of the original freshmen earn the accountancy degree. Of those who graduate, an even smaller number pass the CPA examination.

The path to success in accountancy is littered with countless casualties, way beyond what is acceptable. It is easy to speculate on the reasons for this holocaust. Poor teaching, inherent difficulty of the subject, inadequate skills in language and math, etc. The fact is many students were doomed from the start and never had the chance to recover. Unless born to a merchant family, growing up with the abacus for a toy, surrounded by journals and ledgers, one will not be ready for the unfamiliar world of accounting. The most pressure-packed stage for both teacher and student is teaching or learning the fundamentals. This requires patient explanation of strange, first-heard-of concepts. There are no short-cuts. Accounting must be learned from the most basic concepts. The earliest confusion leads to another until the subject becomes a maze of strange, unexplained procedures.

The demand for quality teacher time, follow-up, and remediation is most acute at the initial stages. Unfortunately, business education is the most-enrolled course. There are close to half a million students enrolled in an entry-level accounting class at any point, majority of which are enrolled in a day schedule, which happens to be when most accountants are at work. Few teacher-accountants are available to teach the fundamentals when demand is at its peak. Rare is the CPA who will leave a regular day job to move to academe and an almost certain pay cut.  With the implementation of the K-12 curriculum, an overwhelming majority of Senior High schools offers the accountancy, business, and management (ABM) strand. The entry-level accounting courses were moved from freshman college to senior high school, easily more than doubling the number of students to be taught the fundamentals of accounting, and with it an increased demand for accounting teachers.

Unlike college standards, the K-12 program does not require a CPA qualification for teaching accountancy subjects. Instead, the teacher must pass the licensure examination for teachers. What this means in terms of teaching competence for the subject is speculative for now. When K-12 was in the planning stage, a prominent educator claimed that there is no more need for students to enroll in fundamentals of accounting in college, implying their readiness to take on higher accounting subjects. This is a loaded assumption that suggests entering college freshmen are better prepared and can be expected to succeed all the way to the CPA certificate. Those without the aptitude have already been guided to other academic tracks. Time will tell whether universities and colleges will readily take in K-12 students from the ABM strand, without imposing more stringent requirements that could lay to waste the added two years of high school. K-12 students are also expected to find gainful employment should they prefer that option, instead of going to college. To expect K-12 graduates to do what they learned also suggests that K-12 teachers will do a better job than their college counterparts.

It is a common lament among employers and BPO companies that many graduates of four-year business courses hardly know basic bookkeeping and financial statement analysis. The online courses at accountingmentor.net provide an opportunity to match the commitment of a motivated, self-directed student, looking for alternative learning resources. Teachers may find the courses as ideal supplements to traditional classroom experience. The interactive learning environment offers engaging and relevant experience that bridges the limitations of time and space, and encourages collaboration with other learners, wherever they may be.

Leave a Reply