Educator Edition — Free Tools For Teaching Accounting

CPA-Centric Field Trips

Ah, field trips. While it’s undeniable that they bring more fun and interaction to the learning process, these days field trips can seem exceedingly harder to make happen. However, it might be as simple as changing your idea of what constitutes a field trip. Here you find information on types of field trips to try and some tips for making them successful.

1.) Traditional field trip: Simply taking students out of their daily routine and placing them into a new environment can go a long way in engaging them and awakening their sense of discovery. Physically visiting a business helps students to create a stronger connection between what they are learning in class and the potential job it can lead to.

2.) Virtual field trip: They are the wave of the future—and present. With a virtual field trip, you and your students can get the feel of an out-of-class experience without all the travel time. As the one organizing everything you can choose to execute the virtual field trip via the phone or through a Skype-like interaction. Or, if you’d like to start with something simpler, your class can enjoy one of our Destination Accounting: virtual field trips. With these previously recorded hour-long events, you can take your class inside one of the Big 4 accounting firms, a global hotel chain or a popular handbag company.

3.) Reverse field trip: Ask the speaker to come to you. This option is a lot like the virtual field trip except your students will be able to meet the speaker face to face. As a result, they might feel more compelled to be respectful and engaged since the speaker won’t be just a face on a screen or a voice on the phone.

To plan a successful accounting field trip, you should:

• Determine your educational goals. What do you want your students to learn from this experience? How does what you’re planning align with what you’re currently teaching?

• Beware of falling into the accounting stereotype trap. Not all accountants work at an accounting firm, so consider visiting a local company that would be interesting to your students, such as a bicycle manufacturer, advertising agency or the corporate offices of a popular restaurant group. After all, seeing accountants working at cool places can help your students better picture how they can combine a career in accounting with their own personal interests.

• Find a CPA to base your field trip around. If you need help, consider contacting your State Society. They not only have access to lots of CPAs but also know which ones are interested in getting involved. Depending on what accounting content your class is currently studying, you can ask if your State Society can recommend someone who would be a good fit for that subject matter.

• Make sure your students are well prepared. That means giving them enough notice so that they can come up with questions ahead of time (and you can pre-screen them for quality and appropriateness).

• Consider a follow-up activity. How will you hold your students accountable and ensure they get something out of the field trip? This could take the shape of a worksheet, class discussion or a written report. For example, you could have them each write down 10 things they learned from the experience.

Under 45 minutes
Video, Lesson plan, Group activity