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Saturday, December 21, 2013

December 2013's newsletter

As you may have noticed, we made some improvements in website.


a) it is now possible to "freeze" and "unfreeze" a firm -- this can be useful in different ways, expecially for students asked to complete an exercise with a due date (and for their teachers who must check the works submitted) -- see

b) a student asked to be allowed to place a graphic banner in his firm's public page -- it is now possible: just upload an image in the firm's configuration page, and you are done

c) the public page of a firm has now clickable accounts on the general journal, and this allows to access the ledger -- see

d) when a firm is forked, the default language for the account names is now taken from the user's language preferences, if available


In a school, has been used to play "Accounting Monopoly": students had fun, and learned a lot of things -- see

Please take a look at the blog post "10 ways to contribute to an open source project without writing code", by Heiko W. Rupp -- -- everything written there applies perfectly to this site, and we'd love to have a helping hand.

Season's greetings,
      Follow us on Twitter: @LearnDE

Accounting Monopoly

What about playing "Accounting Monopoly" using

For those who don't know, "Accounting Monopoly" is simply a different way to play the classical Parker Brother's Monopoly game, with some specific rules added in order to force players to keep trace of what's happening, in terms of investments, costs, income, payments, etc. There are some variations in the rules you can apply when playing, but the basic requirement is that players must not use the fake money provided, but use instead only traceable forms of payments (checks, bank transfers, etc.).

Some teachers did a great work to prepare instructions, worksheets and forms. You can find some good examples in the works prepared by Carl Lyman, Ingrid Ulstad, Ed Valenski, Travis R. Martin, just to name a few.

The website has been used in an Italian school to let students play and practice accounting the double-entry way. There are some advantages in using
  • students will learn how to record transactions in a journal and immediately see the ledger updated;
  • since there is a public page for each firm, students (or teachers) can easily double check if a transaction is correctly recorded on both parts (if you have a cost because you rent something, the counterpart must have an income for the same amount);
  • for all transactions recorded through the bank, a player will be able to see the "bank statement" (ie, the T-Account that the bank holds for the transactions concerning the checking account of the player), realizing that debits and credits are reversed, and doing the necessary bank reconciliation when needed.
The students were divided in seven groups, six for the ordinary players and one for the bank. A special, simplified chart of accounts had been prepared (you can use the slug monopoly-player to fork it), and the firms (representing the players) started with that.

During the game, students learned how to edit the chart of accounts, how to record a transaction, how to check the ledger, how to make the bank reconciliation, how to prepare the templates for common transactions, how to close the accounts and how to read the financial statements. And they had fun!

Freeze / Unfreeze your firm

It is now possible to freeze the current state of a firm, that becomes uneditable until it is unfrozen.

Why should you want to freeze a firm? There can be different reasons.

First off, you just want to prevent yourself to accidentally delete something from the firm. It could happen: you think you are working with a firm, but instead you are actually working on another. Since the edits of your firm's state are permanent, you may delete something you meant to stay. Freeze the firms that you want to be unmodifiable, and you are safe.

Another case of use arises when you are a student that has to do a homework a teacher must check, and that there is a due date you must respect. How can the teacher be sure you respected the due date, and did not modify your firm afterwards? Quite simply, the teacher can ask you to freeze your firm before the due date, and he/she can check that you did that (a timestamp is applied to the firm when it gets frozen, and it is shown in its public page).

To freeze a firm, click on "Freeze" on the right panel:

Then, in the page that is shown, you can confirm your action:

Once a firm is frozen, its pages will contain a note about this state, with a timestamp of when it has been frozen:

Please note that timestamps are based on Central European Time. You can click on the date to see them in a different timezone.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ledgers on a firm's public page

A new feature has been introduced in DELT with its release 1.1.7: the public page of a firm, the one that can be viewed also by people who have not logged in, has now links for each account name. When you follow them, you are taken to a ledger page (T-account), like this one:

This way, somebody who wants to check an exercise can have a different view on the data.