Analyzing business issues-with excel: The case of superior log cabins, inc

Susan P. Convery, Amy M. Swaney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This paper describes an instructional module developed for the principles of management accounting course to strengthen students' analytical problem-solving skills using spreadsheets. The module and all its components are presented first, followed by one of the four mini-cases used in a recent semester along with implementation guidance. The Analyzing Business Issues-with Excel (ABI-WE) minicases present a short business scenario, data related to the business issue, and a set of requirements to be completed using specific Excel functions from a directory of 40 covered in a semester. The mini-case itself is in Excel, so students can readily copy data into a solution worksheet. The primary focus is on analysis of the business issue using managerial accounting data, and the secondary learning objective is to develop an advanced level of expertise in selected spreadsheet functions; such as pivot tables, regression, if/then statements, V-lookup, conditional formatting, goal seek, and net present value.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-156
Number of pages16
JournalIssues in Accounting Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Accounting education
  • Active learning
  • Analytical skills
  • Excel
  • Managerial accounting
  • Pivot tables
  • Principles of management accounting
  • Problem-solving
  • Spreadsheets


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