In schools where accounting is taught, it has become increasingly important to integrate the use of software to develop the students' practical sides so to introduce them to the professional world. This brings numerous advantages and accelerates the learning of accounting.
Advantages of using Banana Accounting for learning
Thanks to its user-friendliness and ideal interface, Banana Accounting makes the practical part much more efficient, with considerable advantages for the students:
- The software checks the data entered, reports errors and performs calculations.
- You immediately see the effects on the accounts, balance sheet and profit and loss account, so that you always have a complete overview.
- You have access to a whole series of reports, data and analyses to assess the company situation.
- You learn to understand how one accounting software works, so that you are then easily able to learn any other.
- Each student works on his or her own file and it is much faster for the teacher to correct.
Accounting software suitable for teaching double-entry accounting
The Transactions table is the core of Banana Accounting. It is set up with columns according to the double-entry method and is easy to use because similar to Excel.
The student can easily practise entering transactions, indicating the debit and credit accounts. The program carries out the calculations and shows if there are any differences or errors.
Don't try software that hides double-entry accounting
All modern accounting software are set up according to the double-entry method and can therefore produce printouts of the various accounts, the balance sheet, the profit and loss account, and other typical statements. If you learn how to use one accounting software, you will easily be able to use any other.
However, most of the programs on the market hide the logic of double-entry accounting from the user, so that they can also be used by people without specific training. The user enters data in specific forms for payments, invoices, withdrawals, and then the program automatically generates the journal movements set up according to the double-entry method. Balance sheet and profit and loss account reports can be obtained, but users do not see the double-entry logic and cannot access the automatically generated journal movements.
Many teachers have tried to use this software whilst teaching accounting, but it turns out the the time invested is enormous and the benefits are very limited.
Superior to Excel for accounting
Banana Accounting is used in the same way as Excel: the tables are similar and you can always modify the data until you reach the desired result. They are also completely pre-set, no formulas have to be entered, making it much easier to keep accounts and learn the double-entry system.
Banana Accounting for each student
Education through the use of the software implies that each student, or group of students, has a computer.
Banana Accounting is available for different operating systems and can also be used within the browser. Each user can work independently. The Free plan of Banana Accounting allows you to work on an unlimited number of accounting files, each with a maximum of 70 transactions, which is more than sufficient for most of the exercises.
Different files for each exercise
The teacher can prepare basic files on which the students will then perform the exercises. He may use the same file with the accounts already set up or may opt for different ones.
During formation it will of course also be explained how a chart of accounts is constructed. Students may also be given the task of setting up a chart of accounts.
Typical exercise carried out by students
When a teacher assigns a task to the students that consists of creating accounting transactions using the double-entry method, he also provides an accounting file with the chart of accounts already set up.
Each student starts up Banana Accounting on their own computer, opens the teacher's accounting file and begins to enter transactions.
At the end of the exercise, the file is saved and sent to the teacher, according to the given instructions.
Reporting errors and imbalances
The software, while entering transactions in the Transactions table, performs calculations and reports if an account is not found. In the Balance column it displays the uncovered balance of the transactions on various accounts, so that it can see for itself if it has entered incorrect values or incorrectly indicated the debit or credit account.
The program also shows the balances of the accounts used. So if the cash account goes into credit, it can be seen immediately.
In this way, most errors that students make can be detected immediately by the students themselves.
Saving time when correcting exercises
The teacher, using Banana Accounting, opens the student's file and checks whether the accounting transactions have been entered correctly. The advantage is that the files will not contain many accounting errors, as the program already signals these types of errors to the student, who in the meantime will most likely have already corrected them.
The teacher can add colours and annotations, make other types of corrections and calculate marks for the exercise.
The way of working is therefore very similar to what is typically used in teaching accounting.
In future, we are developing a system that will save teachers a lot of time: several accounting files in a folder can be checked automatically, where a comparison is made with a file containing the solution of the exercise.
Save files wherever you want
Students and teachers can save the accounting file wherever they want, because the software uses a NoCloud technology, also assuring data privacy. You can save files:
- locally on your own device;
- on external devices;
- on cloud systems such as Dropbox, iCloud etc.
Therefore, students can also work comfortably offline, whether in the classroom or at home.
Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss statement Data
In the Accounts table of Banana Accounting you set up the accounts and groups. After each entry, the software updates the balances so that in the Accounts table you always have an immediate overview of the account situation, balance sheet and profit and loss statement.
The student gets used to seeing the effects of accounting movements on the accounts and company results. This advanced level of information is not available when doing exercises by hand. By using the software students get used to a more comprehensive view of their business.
With the Account Card command, or more simply by clicking on the account name, you obtain a list of all accounting movements pertinent to this account. One can then verify the correctness of the statement and balance.
This operation, which is central to the work of the accountant who must reconcile the account data with the bank statement, is at hand if one uses accounting software, and is not normally possible if one does the accounting by hand.
Account names or numbers
It is possible to use account numbers or even simply names. At the beginning of the training you can use names "Bank", "Cash", "Sales" exactly as found in accounting manuals.
When the students are familiar with the accounting mechanisms, charts of accounts using numbers can be used, according to national schemes.
Balance sheet analysis and beyond
With a specific extension, students can also calculate balance sheet ratios and do cash flow statement analysis. They quickly have the information they need to also learn how to assess a company's financial situation and make comparisons with others.
Prepares students to the professional world
Every company already uses accounting software, according to the needs of each company. It is very unlikely that a new bookkeeper hired by the company will impose the use of another software.
By using Banana Accounting, students develop the skills to work with any accounting software, just like the car they practise with to get their driving licence. Thus, when they arrive at a new company, they are able to work comfortably with the software that has already been implemented, being that they are already familiar with basic operations thanks to Banana Accounting.