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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


JH Cohn Accounting Report

by JH Cohn LLP
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Apr 03, 2009 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This website features streaming video presentations on current topics involving accounting and financial reporting. Each approximately ten minute presentation provides a high-quality overview of current issues facing accounting and auditing practitioners on such topics as fair value accounting, accounting changes and error correction, internal control, pensions, the TARP funds, etc. The presentations also include discussions of current events affecting these topics as well as difficulties in applying the topics in practice.
Learning Goals:
  • Each video presentation focuses on a specific financial reporting accounting principle. The presentations provide an overview of the principle as well as current issues involving the accounting standard or its application.
  • The focus of each presentation is on providing a level of understanding sufficient to be aware of the issues and their impact on financial reporting and, presumably, to the auditing profession.
  • Target Student Population: Accounting professionals, educators, and students.
    Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: While no prerequisites are explicitly required, a background in financial accounting, auditing, and financial reporting would be helpful for understanding the issues presented.
    Type of Material: Streaming video presentation / lecture / presentation.
    Recommended Uses:
  • For students, the presentations would be best used as an individual out-of-class assignment.
  • For practitioners, the presentations could be used as an overview of current issues in accounting, auditing, and financial reporting. If the CPE service were purchased, it could also be used for obtaining self-study continuing education (CPE) credit.
  • Technical Requirements: Requires Windows media player. Browser used: Mozilla Firefox

    Evaluation and Observation

    Content Quality

    Rating: 5 stars
    Strengths: This series of professional media presentations provide an excellent summary of reporting issues related to the accounting profession and academic community in a clear, concise, and entertaining manner. Each discussion gives a brief overview that is still sufficiently detailed to understand the issues. Topics presented are timely and informative. The presentations lend themselves to a variety of uses and can be incorporated into accounting classes to illustrate compliance with generally accepted accounting principles or generally accepted auditing standards; stimulate discussion, further research; and/or develop cognitive, research and communication skills.
    Concerns: None

    Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

    Rating: 4.75 stars
    Strengths: The video presentations are very effective and efficient in providing excellent overviews of critical issues facing the accounting profession. Students can witness the issues and problems faced in professional practice when applying accounting and financial reporting concepts. Accounting professionals, educators and students could learn a lot in a short time. Instructors can easily create assignments to coincide with the presentations.
    Concerns:
  • Learning goals are not formally specified, however, the topic title serve as a tacit learning goal for each presentation.
  • Students need to have a sufficient accounting, financial reporting, or auditing knowledge base in order to fully understand the issues presented. Given the target audience for whom the videos were designed, prerequisite understanding has been assumed.

  • Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

    Rating: 4.75 stars
    Strengths: The presentations are very informative, entertaining, and visually appealing.
  • The website provides an abstract and introductory screen of the most recent web cast.
  • Windows Media Player is required and a link is provided in order for users to acquire it if necessary.
  • Links to archived presentation dating back to January 2007 are also included.
  • Additional links can be found to a variety of member services (if CPE services are purchased). In addition a resource library exists with links to regulators, accounting firms, state CPA societies, student associations, reference materials, licensing requirements, state departments of revenue, and federal agencies, and professional education courses.
  • Sound and video quality are very good.
  • A search engine exists to help users find content of interest available on the website.
  • Concerns:
  • The material is not interactive. While the lack of interactive features may limit the use of the website as an instructional tool, the presentations are high quality and do provide overviews of practical issues faced when applying specific accounting principles.
  • No apparent radio button exists to maximize/enlarge the video screen to full screen (or at least larger than 3”x 2”).

  • Other Issues and Comments: The website provides a link for CPAs and other professionals to earn required continuing professional education credits (for a fee).