Student Use Of General Ledger Software: Performance, Effort And Attitudinal Differences

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Jeannie M. Folk


general ledger software, GLS


This study addresses the effects of using general ledger software (GLS) to complete selected end-of-chapter problems in the first course of a three-course Principles of Accounting sequence. When GLS is used to complete such problems, much of the computational and summative effort of the accounting cycle is performed by the computer rather than the student. The performance, time spent completing the assignments, and attitudes of 46 students who used GLS (the GLS students) to complete four assigned problems were compared to those of 24 students who completed the same problems manually (the manual students). The GLS students performed as well as the manual students on multiple-choice questions covering basic accounting cycle concepts. Notably, the GLS students expended significantly less effort, measured by self-reported completion times, than the manual students. In terms of attitude, the GLS students agreed more strongly than the manual students that the problems were interesting and enjoyable, and disagreed more strongly that completion of the problems was a difficult task. Although not statistically significant at the .05 level, the GLS students also agreed somewhat more strongly that the task increased their desire to be an accounting major. These results indicate that the choice is relatively simple. A learning methodology that includes GLS use is at least as effective as one that requires only manual completion of assigned problems. As such, because that learning methodology is also the much more efficient of the two, students in introductory financial accounting courses should use GLS to complete selected end-of-chapter problems.


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