Learning Business Administration Using Simulation Software


  • Sara Helena Otal
  • Ramiro Serrano


In training accounting professionals, the use of spreadsheets and add-ins facilitates the learning of concepts and acquiring necessary skills, whose lack thereof has been shown repeatedly. This paper presents an educational experience related to accounting education and financial decision-making based on a comprehensive simulation model developed in Visual Basic for Applications and Excel. The course uses active learning techniques and employs several teaching methodologies (Problem-Based Learning, teamwork, conceptual maps) to promote student development of critical thinking for solving problems. The simulation software is deterministic, the economic and financial relationships set between the variables are transparent, and its interface is user-friendly. It takes into account a large number of variables on which decisions are taken that affect assets and liabilities, as well as financial and economic flows in the business. The simulation process results in a significant number of output variables that are reported in interim and annual financial statements and useful ratios that are used to analyze the financial statements.