When one teaches Accounting, there are a few questions students should be thinking about.
For example - which areas are the business’s greatest spending? Where can we cut costs? Where should we best invest in?
These questions are especially important in retail accounting. Accounting for retail is dependent on inventory costs, sales tax, and considerations to payroll management, among others.
Teaching and Learning Accounting the “MonsoonSIM way”
MonsoonSIM conducted its first-ever retail accounting with business simulations workshop on, the 7th of June. Over 45 participants were introduced to the idea of exploring teaching with simulations. In addition, we explored how learning by doing empowers students.
The webinar discussed teaching Accounting by letting teachers configure the simulation environment and by giving the students the opportunity to explore by running their own business.
With such an exciting and relevant topic, this blog will help you catch up with the discussion and ensure that you’re in the know.
The MonsoonSIM Learning Model
To give a better overview of what can be expected in teaching retail accounting with the dual-mode of teaching, this brings us to the MonsoonSIM learning model.
The underlying motivation for learners when running their own “virtual” company within MonsoonSIM’s business simulation platform is to win. Competing against robots, other teams, and a challenging configured environment, learners experience the thrill of pitting their own business strategy and insights against those of the competing firms.
This need to win, which is sustained through a need to be profitable and a need to avoid bankruptcy, further drives other needs too, as outlined below.
Need to Know
Throughout the business simulation, learners face a constant need to know of their company’s situation both internally and externally. These questions often sound like this: What are the best strategies to execute in retail accounting? What are the factors we need to take into consideration?
The five most important learning points from retail accounting are as follows:
1. How to increase assets
2. How assets relate to revenues
3. How to increase sales
4. How to achieve profit goals
5. How to reduce the expense
Need to pay attention to the facilitator’s simulation
For students, there is the need to pay attention to the teacher’s configured simulation. Both external and internal analysis is relevant to draw insights from observations, to investigate the effectiveness of the student’s strategy.
With learning a specific area such as retail accounting, students need to watch their external factors, such as the departments that are on, the peak and drop in demand due to macro-economic factors, and many more which can all be configured.As for internal analysis, learners need to be aware of their starting and ongoing financial position, along with the internal operations.The combination goes a long way to explaining how your company’s actions have succeeded or failed, and how to improve next time.
The specific configurations of the simulated environment are a variable puzzle especially made for the learners. This is the perfect opportunity for them to draw on and practice common business analysis tools, such as the SWOT matrix, Porter’s 5 Forces, and countless others.
Need to explore and experience
Once ideas and strategies are tested out, this enables learners to directly observe what is successful and what needs further improvements. The end result is reevaluating, revising, and refining your ideas and strategies until it becomes well-grounded and robust.
A need to know about retail accounting concepts also enforces a need to explore and experience it for themselves. Further understanding can be grasped as learners discover how to change retail prices, how to change rental contracts, and how to lower costs by buying in bulk.
However, this is more than just developing an understanding of the “how-to” of things. While at a glance it does seem like merely clicking a button and interacting with the intuitive user interface of the MonsoonSIM platform, it goes much deeper than that.
With each decision made on retail prices, the number of stores, rental contract terms, and bulk purchases, learners can find out the impact of that on company performance and KPIs.For example, setting retail prices is an opportunity to put into practice the pricing strategies learned in classrooms (markup, cost leader, etc.). Lowering costs by buying in bulk is a perfect example of the concept of economies of scale.
Certainly, there is a risk of sometimes making mistakes. This can be because of buying too little or too much, running out of cash or inventory, misreading the market demand, misjudging the competitors, and countless other factors.
However, as your experience in the business simulation progresses, you can reflect on these mistakes and learn from them.
Need to collaborate with teammates
Considering that learners operate their “virtual” companies in teams, there is a need to collaborate with teammates for a chance to win. This might not tie in directly with learning retail accounting concepts, but teamwork remains an important and relevant soft skill needed in the labor market.
Most jobs students face upon graduation are within an organization, which means working with others. Graduates will have to collaborate and also sometimes face the conflicts and creative differences that come from it.
Students collaborating within MonsoonSIM’s simulation will develop a further understanding of why managing a retail business isn’t easy. They will realize teamwork is important for cash control, proper financial reports, and for overall firm performance.
Essentially, it all comes down to learning and teamwork.
The Knowledge Build Up with Business Simulations.
Teaching retail accounting with MonsoonSIM is both convenient and simple because the simulation and gamification can be tailored to your exact classroom needs. Teachers as facilitators can decide whether to include certain simulation features, such as procurement, human capital management, vendors, accrual accounting, the initial cash of each company, and so much more!
As more features and components of a business are incorporated within the simulation (as per the teachers’ discretion), this leads to a gradual knowledge build-up. For example, learners can acclimatize themselves first to an understanding of revenues, followed by overhead then purchasing, and so on. More concepts can be demonstrated and experienced afterward, such as current ratio, credit ratings, bankruptcies, and others.
MonsoonSIM’s goal at the end of the day is to make any business concepts easier to teach and learn and to provide the options for more to teach and learn. The area of retail accounting in businesses is no different, and MonsoonSIM endeavors to maximize the understanding and learning experience for all learners worldwide.
For further information about how to teach and learn retail accounting with simulations, you are always welcome to contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
To catch up on the previous event, watch the video below.
Don’t forget to stay tuned for our other upcoming workshops, which are just as promising as this episode on retail accounting!