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Sunday, April 28, 2019

LDE goes RESTful

After some months of tests, we are going RESTful.

REST, or Representational State Transfer, is a standard way to access data on a server with simple requests. It offers the possibility to interact with the server programmatically, with many languages and with different goals.

The API specs for LearnDoubleEntry are available at SwaggerHub.

By using the APIs, it is possible for a user to interact with LDE to get a list of the managed firms, to get a list of the accounts and of the journal entries of a firm, to create, delete or update journal entries, etc. Other possibilities might be used in the future.

Examples of programs that could be implemented include:

  • get the list of accounts of a firm and output a csv file with the data;
  • produce the journal entries for all the invoices issued in a month;
  • record a transaction for two firms, the buyer and the seller.
It is easy to use the APIs straight from the command line (using curl) or by using a programming language (we will show examples in python, javascript, C# in the next weeks).

To use the API, you need a key that you can request on the page /api/subscribe.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

LDE at Nanyang Polytechnic (Singapore)

Alvin Tan, a lecturer at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore, was so kind to send us an article in which he describes how he uses LearnDoubleEntry with his students.

LearnDoubleEntry is a fantastic e-learning application that I have used for my Financial and Management Accounting (FMA) module since 2017. A lecturer at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore, I teach business subjects including accounting and marketing to students from the Diploma in Engineering with Business at the School of Engineering. With engineering students generally more hands-on, I’m constantly seeking new ways to engage them in active learning to achieve the best possible learning outcome. And this is where LearnDoubleEntry fits in perfectly! As part of our semester study plan, we launch LearnDoubleEntry on our third session, right after introducing double-entry accounting (and getting our student excited with Colin Dodds’ Debit Credit Theory MTV).

To contextualise the application for our students, I created a case scenario of an engineering firm, JC Engineering that made various business transactions over a 1-month period. Students are asked to fork JC Engineering firm in the application and create the corresponding journal entries based on the transactions provided. 

One of the many useful features is the drop-down Chart of Account list that enables our students to select the correct account types. With many accounting terms still very foreign to them (it’s only their third class), it helps that the accounts are grouped in a hierarchy structure (e.g., Assets>Current Assets>Cash) for easy identification and association. 

The cherry on top is the generated Balance Sheet that comes with completion of their journal entries. The balance sheet output enables our students to bridge the workings of journal entry to the makings of financial statements. Time and again each semester, we see our students reinforce their learning on double-entry accounting through LearnDoubleEntry. They enjoy the hands-on and it gives them a complete picture of double entry accounting from start to completion. I sincerely thank Loris and team for LearnDoubleEntry, and I hope that more learners around the world can benefit from it, strengthening their interest in accounting by way of active learning!
Alvin Tan