In partnership with MYOB, leading NZ universities are helping students get ahead with hands-on courses on the use of accounting software.
Many young people see university as a means to building a solid foundation for their future careers.
And tertiary courses offering real-world, practical learning opportunities are considered especially valuable, particularly in areas like accounting, business and IT where, historically, course content has broadly focused on the theoretical.
While accounting software has been taught as part of tertiary degree for some time, this partnership initiative represents a new approach to offering students comprehensive training in the practice of accounting.
And, as Professional Teaching Fellow at UoA Martin Ma told The Pulse, the program was created at the behest of the students themselves.
“We sought to add accounting software training to our course as a result of student demand, but we also saw a clear need to add more practical components to the course as a means of preparing students for the future,” Ma said.
The training is immediately applicable for many students who go on to work in accounting-based roles.
“Accounting graduates generally either work in a Chartered Accounting firm or in the finance team of a corporate entity,” Ma said. “Either way, they are involved in reviewing or preparing financial information.
“Having experience in an accounting software prior to graduation helps them understand data flows within an organisation, while also make it easier for them to learn a new accounting software if required.”
The choice to offer training in MYOB Essentials turned out to be a simple one for education providers to make, as the software has a wide variety of use cases across the broadest number and type of businesses.
But the fact this software is delivered via the cloud in a browser-based format also proved to be a major drawcard for educators and students alike.
Julia Wu, Lecturer in Accounting at UC, told The Pulse that the cloud-based software delivery model allowed her to create a flexible, student-led learning experience.
“As a cloud-based accounting package designed for small and medium-sized firms, it processes transactions and reports at the right the level for my students,” Wu said.
“For this reason, MYOB Essentials is not really ‘taught’ in classes in the traditional sense. Learning and assessment activities are designed to guide the students to work through various tasks that mimic a real-world business operation. The fully online functionality allows students to work on the tasks whenever and wherever they choose.”
By working closely with its education partners, MYOB was able to offer and support a uniquely practical learning experience for a new generation of accountants and finance industry workers.
And in doing so, the brand gained useful insight and feedback on one of its key products in return, said Education Manager for MYOB Shailan Patel.
“Our new partnership programs with the University of Auckland and the University of Canterbury have been thoroughly rewarding – on a personal level, as well for our business,” he said.
“It’s been inspiring to see students exploring MYOB Essentials and learning how to get the most from it.
“We’ve also received rich feedback that we can use to help shape the future of our software and the future of these partnerships.”
Ultimately, it’s the students’ reactions to the new learning experience that is most relevant for both MYOB and educators alike. Here are some student testimonials from Wu’s classes:
‘I really enjoyed the MYOB project and felt it helped apply and realise some of the accounting principles and practices highlighted in classes, during lectures and tutorials and throughout the entire degree.’
‘There was a lot to be learnt from this project, but I think the most significant thing I learnt from this was enhancing my IT skills, in a world where IT is going to much more important in the workplace.’
‘I loved how elegantly the project cut out a lot of work that I would’ve done if I did the journal entries etc. on pen and paper. The hardest part of the MYOB course was most definitely the management report. However, it made me more critical of financial information, as I found myself identifying problems within the financial reports that I might’ve just taken for granted otherwise.’
If you’re an educator seeking better ways to offer your students hands-on experiences in accounting, email our Education Team to find out how you can partner with us.