Teaching Financial Ratio Analysis using XBRL

Elise Boyas, Ryan Teeter


Both professional accountants and accounting academics are interested in developing higher-order skills in accounting graduates. Accounting graduates not only need to know the dense body of detailed knowledge required to practice as an accountant, but are also expected to have critical thinking, problem solving and other higher-order analytical skills. Experiential learning curriculum enables instructors to engage students and develop these skills by using rich, real-world, complex scenarios.  This paper presents a curriculum unit designed to be delivered to accounting majors in an undergraduate accounting information course.  In this curriculum unit, students use XBRL data and Google Sheets to aggregate real-time corporate financial data and generate financial ratios. The ratios are then analyzed to make judgements regarding the financial health of the business organizations.

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