The Porter-Norton WHY

The Porter-Norton WHY.
Accounting is more than just recording business events. Gary Porter and Curtis Norton, authors
of Financial Accounting: The Impact on Decision Makers believe that it is critical to demonstrate
accounting as a powerful decision-making tool because students that understand why accounting
is important are more motivated to learn and succeed. We recently sat down with Gary and
Curt to find out WHY they teach, what motivates them in the classroom, and why they decided
to write a textbook. I would hope that what students walk away
from when they finish the first accounting course and used our textbook is that they
feel comfortable picking up a balance sheet and an income statement and explaining the
items on there� My favorite thing about teaching is seeing
students, the light kind of turn on and them to connect to what it is that you’re trying
to present. I think most students, the minute they step into that first accounting course,
there’s a fear factor involved. And something that I take great pride in is getting them
to relax and understand that accounting doesn’t need to be intimidating. That even if you’re
not going to be an accounting major, that this is something that’s going to be very
important to you if you’re a marketing major, a management, whatever it is you’re going
to go into� For me the favorite part of teaching is when
you can teach the material and you can see the lightbulb come on�
�frankly, I think most people who have written textbooks, regardless of the area it is, will
tell you the same thing. That it’s a reflection of how they teach and what they find that
works in the classroom. �we wrote the book because it reflects how
we want to teach the class. We have always believed that it’s important to show the big
picture first and in accounting the big picture is the financial statements. And so we have
always believed it’s important to show the financial statements first and then develop
the information that would go into those financial statements.
It’s important for us to note that we are not just teaching accounting majors we’re
teaching students that are preparing for all the other parts of business majors. And that’s
important that they see real financial statements to see the business problems that those statements
entail. So other aspects of our book have changed over time, but these two aspects are
sort of the core of what we believe in and really are the reason why we wrote the book.

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