Accounting Case Template tool available to build an introductory financial accounting case assignment

Again, as we start a new semester, I wanted to point out the availability of a tool that may be of use in teaching introductory financial accounting. The Accounting Case Template (ACT) is a web tool I designed that allows instructors to quickly build an introductory financial accounting case assignment. A variety of options are provided from which the instructor can choose, allowing the instructor to quickly build a case assignment customized for his/her specific course. It takes about two minutes to go through the customization options. After making your choices, you will click the Download button and will receive a Word document of 8 – 10 pages in length. This Word document contains all case criteria and instructions for your students. You can review and edit the Word document further if needed.

Basic contents of case assignment

In the case assignment generated by the ACT, students work in two- or three-person teams or as individuals. Each team picks an industry in which the members of the team are interested and two companies within that selected industry. The case assignment provides detailed, step-by-step instructions for students. In general, students find information in each company’s Form 10-K, calculate ratios, and analyze the results over the class term. Students will make oral presentations and/or submit written papers, again depending on case options selected by the instructor.

Customization options

Customization options for the case assignment include topics, written presentation, oral presentation, grading rubrics, Form 10-K location instructions, and several other items.

Class tested

I have used this case assignment in both introductory financial accounting and in an MBA financial accounting class. Students have provided positive feedback about the assignment and the knowledge they gained from it.

Excel Check Figures file available

Also available by request is an Excel Check Figures file. In this workbook, you enter key data from the students’ Form 10-Ks into one worksheet. Ratios and other calculations are automatically generated for you to use to compare to student submissions.

Advantages of using the Accounting Case Template

The advantages of using the Accounting Case Template as compared to using one case for all students include:

  • Students are more engaged and interested since they select an industry and companies in which they have interest.
  • In-class presentations are interesting because every student/group is presenting on a different industry and companies.
  • Plagiarism is reduced because each student/group is working on a different set of companies. The Form 10-Ks are updated each year, so older cases cannot be used for current assignments.
  • Grading time is reduced by using the Excel Check Figures file. You can quickly calculate the ratios that students should have in their papers by filling in information from the Form 10-K.

Access instructions

You can access the Accounting Case Template at at no cost. I hope you find it useful. As with other content of my blog, you are free to use and adapt the case assignment as you wish for your own classroom. You cannot publish it or use it for commercial purposes.

Bea Sanders/AICPA Innovation in Teaching Award

This Accounting Case Template was awarded the Bea Sanders/AICPA Innovation in Teaching Award in 2017.


Thanks to Dr. Linda Zucca at Kent State University for sharing her original two-page case assignment with me. I used that idea to build this Accounting Case Template.

Thanks also to Nicholas Tietz for building the Accounting Case Template software/website.

About Dr. Wendy Tietz, CPA, CMA, CSCA, CGMA

Dr. Wendy Tietz is a professor of accounting at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, USA. She is also a textbook author with Pearson Education.

3 Responses to “Accounting Case Template tool available to build an introductory financial accounting case assignment”

  1. ?Hello,

    I love using the suggestions from your blog in class.

    I completed the template questions but the download could not be opened as Word said it had missing components.

    Would you be able to send me a word version of the assignment and I can modify to fit my class?

    Thanks and best regards,


    Diane L. Sturek, MAcc

    “Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.” John Cotton Dana, librarian “There are no uninteresting subjects, only disinterested people.” G.K. Chesterton

    Lecturer in Accounting Course Coordinator BUS A100 Indiana University – Kelley School of Business IUPUI 801 W. Michigan Street, BS 4027 Indianapolis, IN 46202-5151 317-278-6207 ________________________________

    • Dr. Wendy Tietz, CPA, CMA, CSCA, CGMA Reply January 3, 2019 at 1:16 pm

      Hi Diane. The assignment is customizable, so I do not have a Word document to send you. Can you email me at and I can help you get going on it? Thanks. Wendy

    • Dr. Wendy Tietz, CPA, CMA, CSCA, CGMA Reply January 3, 2019 at 1:18 pm

      Also, make sure you are entering a single number (not a range) in the field for how long the presentation should be – and that all other fields have entries in them that match what is being asked for. Again, email me at and I can help.

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