Accountants Bank On Online Game to Engage Students

The American Institute of CPAs recently unveiled a new online game that was conceived of by students for students.

We wanted to develop the game because we feel like accounting education is very important to the profession.

When you add it up, accounting can sometimes come across as a dry profession.

But a group of accountants wants to challenge that stereotype and is hoping a new online game will help create a better image for the industry by making accounting education fun.

Earlier this month, the American Institute of CPAs released the “Bank On It” game to better engage high school students and to serve as a tool for educators around the country.

“We wanted to develop the game because we feel like accounting education is very important to the profession,” said Scott Moore, AICPA director of student and professional pathways. “Obviously students who are interested in accounting in high school are going to have a greater likelihood to go into accounting as a profession, and we want to support the accounting educators out there and give them a classroom tool that’s engaging to the students and that’s going to help them teach the curriculum that they have in place for their accounting classes.”

The question-and-answer game allows students to compete against one another, their teachers, or their computers by answering more than 1,000 accounting-related questions and moving around a virtual game board to see who can generate the most profit.

While the concept for the game evolved somewhat during the two-year development process, it’s the product of two Hoover, Alabama, high school students. They entered and won AICPA’s Project Innovation Competition, which asked students to submit ideas for a new feature that would be displayed on the association’s Start Here, Go Places website dedicated to the next generation of CPAs.

“We wanted to engage high school students in a way that would allow them to express their creativity and also give back to their fellow classmates, so we launched the innovation project competition,” Moore said. “It proved to provide a lot of good ideas for us and really got the high school students thinking about how they want to learn and how they want to experience their classes.”

Once the idea for the game was in play, AICPA involved its members in all stages of the development process. The biggest way they were involved was in writing and reviewing all the questions for the game, said Moore, who advised other associations to consult with members frequently throughout the process of developing a new product.

“Get as much information from them as you can at various stages along the way,” Moore said. “Definitely at the concept stage, and then engage them throughout the development process to make sure all your pieces and parts are fitting together well and they are able to provide guidance.”


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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