Thinking Outside the Ledger: A Visual Representation Project for Accounting Students


  • Linda Marie McCann Metropolitan State University


“Thinking Outside the Ledger – a Visual Representation Project for Accounting Students†discusses a learning experience that provides practice in reflective thinking and communication skills. The project, called VRep, asks students to address an accounting issue and communicate it visually with their own independent creation, interpretation or modification – such as a diagram, concept map, picture, flow chart, acronym, drawing or model. This paper presents the theoretical arguments for such a project. It then details the dissemination of the project. Finally, it summarizes students’ results and experiences with the project and provides examples of their work. Students’ perceptions of VRep indicate that they perceive it as more useful to them than most homework assignments. They further believe that with VRep, they will retain more learning as compared to most homework assignments. In addition, 74% of students recommend VRep be assigned in future audit classes. Unexpected bright spots of the student results include engaged scholarship and opportunities for instructors to praise and reward normally “C†students with “A†grades. This paper begins a conversation among accounting educators as to how students can learn to communicate accounting matters visually, as well as how the creation of visual representations enhances learning.

Author Biography

  • Linda Marie McCann, Metropolitan State University
    Accounting Department, Assistant Professor, DBA, CMA, CPA







How to Cite

Thinking Outside the Ledger: A Visual Representation Project for Accounting Students. (2017). The Accounting Educators’ Journal, 26.