Accounting is not exactly considered the most scintillating subject -- even for die-hard number crunchers. That is why accounting games add some flair to the process of tracking and organizing numbers. Accounting games are useful in school settings and can help children learn difficult financial processes. Higher education classes where students are learning accounting principles in preparation for a career in the field also utilize games. Additionally, they may prove beneficial to work situations where an otherwise boring day is transformed by a game.
An easy but fun game for any accounting class or firm is trivia. Trivia can be set up in many ways; however, the essentials are a set of trivia questions and an incentive for getting those questions right. Players can be divided into teams or play as singles. Trivia questions can be set up as multiple choice, true/false or open ended. One example of an accounting-specific trivia question is "What do you have when revenue is greater than expenses?" Answer: Net Income.
Since accounting is ultimately the analysis of financial records, many games can be constructed based on mock reports. A teacher needs only to create false records and ask the students (either individually or in groups) to organize and understand the records with a particular goal in mind. For example, the teacher might ask students to analyze the records and create a cash flow statement.
Bingo is a great way to teach accounting. Bingo cards can have answers to a variety of questions asked by the teacher or team leader. Students or employees must figure out the answer to determine which spaces they can cover on their bingo board. For instance, the teacher might ask, "The amount of cash paid in acquiring an asset is called what?" The student then looks at her board for the answer (in this case historical cost) and covers that space if it appears on her board.
Web-based games are another easy avenue for those wishing to learn the ins and outs of accounting. Dave Marshall's Bean Counter's website offers free quizzes, games and lectures. Visitors to the site can try such games as Walk the Plank, Fling the Teacher and Teacher Invaders.
Accounting Game Books
Like most challenging subjects, accounting has spurred the publication of several books designed to teach accounting in a fun way. "The Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh From the Lemonade Stand" by Darrell Mullis teaches the basics of financial records and language.