Getting Students Ready for Accounting Spreadsheets Training for Basic Spreadsheet Skills with Pre/Post Assessments

A. Faye Borthick, Gary Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This case is intended to impart basic spreadsheet skills to students that do not have them. It trains them to transform data, create formulas (with functions, IF statements, and absolute references), aggregate data, look up values, configure pivot tables, sort data, record macros, and extract spreadsheet tasks from conversation. These skills are needed for subsequent spreadsheet analyses for solving business problems. Suitable for students that can copy cells and develop simple formulas, the case offers pre- and post-assessment questions. The case provides scaffolding resources: flashcards for Excel features, a work plan template, a narrated video for getting started with the work plan, and guidance (scripts with screenshots and narrated videos) for performing the spreadsheet tasks. Using the context of a gradebook application, which is familiar to students, the case minimizes the cognitive load students experience because they are not trying to learn accounting and spreadsheet skills simultaneously.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalIssues in Accounting Education
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • assessment
  • basic spreadsheet skills
  • cognitive load
  • tasks from conversation
  • work plan


  • Business
  • Accounting
  • Management Information Systems
  • Education

Cite this