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ACC ACF 2400 – Semester 2, 2017

Individual Assignment 1:
Building a Business Dashboard
A business dashboard is ‘a style of reporting that depicts KPIs, operational or strategic information with
intuitive and interactive displays’ (Turban et al., 2015 p. 380). It is a single screen snapshot of how a
business, department, or process is performing. The design varies considerably from one application
to another, and even between businesses, but a common feature of a dashboard is that it uses graphs,
coloured text, and symbols to show the viewer, at a glance, the current status. A dashboard should
only contain information that actually influences performance. Many dashboards are interactive
because it can be difficult to show every important detail at once.
You are an employee at Australian Electronics Pty Ltd. You have been assigned the task of designing
a report that will be used by managers involved in purchasing, sales, and inventory management.
Your boss, Mary Smith, suggest including at least four (4) ratios. Regarding the ratios, Mary thinks
that Inventory Turnover and Sales Growth are a must.
This is an individual assignment. There is no fixed answer, so be creative!! The spreadsheet must
perform ratio analysis to show the current status of the inventory holdings and sales. Marks are
awarded according to how well the dashboard meets the requirements specified in the rubric.
A data set is supplied with this guide in Moodle (ACC ACF 2400_s2 2017_Inventory Statistics.xlsx). The
Inventory Statistics data set contains four sheets: sales value, sales quantity, the quantity of inventory
on hand, and the quantity purchased. You should use all sheets in your calculations, but may need to
restructure some data on a separate calculation sheet to ensure data is in the format you need.
Instructions on how to build a complex interactive scorecard have been published in different journals
such as the Journal of Accountancy
(, but you do not have to
build such a complex system if your spreadsheeting skills are not well developed.
The table below contrasts two different approaches. The example on the left shows 7 ratios in a non-
interactive dashboard, with three graphs and one table of numbers. It is clearly not an inventory
management dashboard, but if the design features included were tailored to the inventory
management context, it would likely earn a pass (providing instructions, the input sheet, and the
calculations sheet are acceptable).
The example on the right, however, is from the Dashboard your Scorecard article. It is also not an
inventory management dashboard and does not show ratios, and so is not acceptable, but illustrates
elements that will earn higher marks:
• It is interactive (note the drop-down box in the bottom right graph to select the person shown);
• It uses conditional formatting icons (arrows) in the top right table to indicate the direction of
change and so makes the data easier to digest at a glance;
• It uses spark lines (within cell graphs) in the top right table to show historical changes.


and objective 5. evaluate and interpret business processes and the accounting data that is generated. Some independent research will be required to find out how to construct the elements of the report. this assignment is based on a set of practice guidelines that are used widely. particularly if you are attempting the high distinction requirements. apply critical thinking. usually referred to as the COSO ERM framework. and shown below. In terms of the learning outcomes shown in the unit guide. 500 1. problem solving and communication skills to analyse.053 1. Scott Edwards Allen Analysis of Sales Trends 14% Pearson 28% Prior Mary Daniel Year Current Percent Year-to-Date Dollar 13% Representative Units Year Units Change Sales Allen Pearson 924 942 2% Janet Sellers 1. synthesise design principles to develop financial models that assist in decision making.500 - New Red River Southern Waverly White Unit Sales (000s) England Classic Magic Charm Pine Commercial Government Residential Brick Styles Pass High distinction Learning objectives assessed: The purpose of this assignment is to give you practice in designing and developing a reporting system using good spreadsheet design practice. this assessment task tests your achievement of objective 4. This assignment focuses on the bottom two elements: Information and communication: What information is needed. and how should it be communicated? Monitoring: How will you monitor what is happening? 2 .000 1. In terms of the unit content.015 -4% Mark Mark Stevens 481 522 8% Stevens Mary Daniel 521 464 -12% Janet 15% Sellers Scott Edwards 452 466 3% 30% Scott Edwards 350 Mary Daniel 300 Mark Stevens 250 Unit 200 Janet Sellers Sales 150 (000s) 100 Allen Pearson 50 .

g. the amount of analysis performed. and so on.Marks Criteria for marking: This assignment is worth 15% of your total marks. Instructions should be brief. You may develop your solution using another program. and so no manual data entry is required. but must save and submit your work as an Excel sheet.xlsx file available on Moodle) to highlight invalid values. and the usefulness and attractiveness of the output. Aim for no more than 500 words.xlsx spreadsheet file.xls or . d) Construct an attractive report sheet (see marking rubric for more details) Submission: Submission is via Moodle on Sunday 10 September 11. Mark breakdown per task Task Marks A (instruction sheets) 3 B (data input sheet) 3 C (calculations) 2 D (report) 7 Total 15 Required a) Prepare an instruction sheet that explains how to use your spreadsheet. 3 . format the data input sheets (the ACC ACF 2400_s2 2017_Inventory Statistics. Numbers. Word limit: Instruction sheet: No more than 500 words. numbers where product codes should be). To obtain a credit or above for this part of the task. Assume that your tutor only has access to Microsoft Excel. the import process fails. however. Google Sheets. c) Construct the data processing (calculation) sheet or sheets (see marking rubric for more details). and incorrect data is assigned to each cell (e.59pm Submission format: . The instruction sheet should include this information: • Your name • Purpose of spreadsheet • Description of layout • Where to enter data • Which ratios are shown and how they are calculated • A description of the information shown on the report b) Assume that the data input sheets are imported from an Enterprise System database. Sometimes. You will be assessed for the quality of your instructions on how to use the spreadsheet. such as Open Office Calc.

however. VLOOKUP. A considerable amount of information about each command you are asked to use is available on the unit Moodle site and the Internet.g. select Customize the Ribbon. Do not expect teaching staff to give you the answer directly. 64. feature not supported in Google Sheets and so has to be implemented via nested IFs or category-based lookup functions (e. and the check the Developer option. a simple Google search generated these results: • Conditional formatting: 514. you could ask your tutor or one of the lecturers for some guidance about these commands. • Google sheets form controls/drop down lists: 79.210 results for Google Sheets • Slicer: 408. which is hidden until you right click on the top menu. which is available in the computer laboratories.Resources: The assignment is designed to be completed using Microsoft Excel. are not easy to customise. Although we recognise that some commands can be a little bit difficult to implement.000.900 results for Google sheets • Conditional formatting icons: 50.000 results for Excel. For example. Conditional formatting icons. feature not available in Google Sheets • Excel Form controls/Active X controls: 160. but can be implemented with some effort) • Spark lines: 307. 4 .000 results for Excel. It can potentially also be completed using other spreadsheet platforms.800 results for Excel. MATCH) • Conditional formatting colour scales: 127.000 results (a very popular topic) Note: Excel’s form controls are available on the Developer tab. you have access to plenty of resources such as learning materials and other web sources (as indicated above). such as Google Sheets or Open Office Calc. Teaching staff will not be impressed if you ask a basic question.400 results for Google Sheets This is a major assignment in which you are expected to put in a substantial amount of work to obtain higher grades. but we will try to help you to work out why your model is not working properly. such as “What is conditional formatting?” or “Where can I find form controls in the menu?”.000 results for Excel. in particular.000 results (limited functionality.000 results for Excel. LOOKUP. most of the teaching staff are only familiar with Excel and so may not be able to provide any meaningful assistance if you choose to attempt the assignment using a competing product. However. That type of question suggests a lazy intellectual approach that is not consistent with university-level study. 2. 13.

• Clear examples of special features.g. • Purpose of spreadsheet Instructions mostly clear. 5 . formatting) professional audience. High Distinction • Professional quality. • Examples of special Examples provided for all some. • Author not explained well. but well- explained.g. provided. some errors.g. features. All basic requirements but Meets basic requirements. poor grammar. structure of Document contains many used Examples provided for workbook or some variable errors. special definitions not explained features in report (e. Does not meet basic Shows but few errors. without editing. Cannot be distributed to a conditional formatting) problems to understand. • Where/how to enter data distribution to a instructions are usable. but not all. such as slicers. • Concise. but few features (e. • Error free (e. • Structure of the spreadsheet is very clear. conditional well. grammatical mistakes). Instructions could be Instructions missing or hard • Description of layout and suitable for clearer. but the Should not be distributed to understand. E.g.Marking Rubric for Spreadsheet High Distinction Distinction Credit Pass Unsatisfactory (Fail) Instructions Basic requirements: All basic requirements. some • Formula for each ratio professional audience. but some elements were requirements.

sheets or not all data all data cells must be cells are covered.g. multiple cells. tested (e. 6 . High Distinction Distinction Credit Pass Unsatisfactory (Fail) • 2 different rules to • This is an advanced task Input • 3 different rules to • One rule to highlight • Input sheets are highlight invalid data for students attempting highlight invalid data on invalid data. cells are covered. • Note that this is a challenging task that may require a formula-based rule to highlight cells that contain numbers instead of text. • In Excel. but not all input sheets downloaded. and overall. OR essentially the same as on all four input to obtain an overall all four input sheets. or via conditional formatting. OR grade of more than sheets or not all data • Each rule must apply to • 3 rules but not all input pass. so you have to use conditional formatting. • Google Sheets does not have a circle invalid data option. sheets. this can be done via the Data Validation command with the circle invalid data option enabled. • 2 rules. you could test whether cells contain the correct data type or that numbers are not too high or low.

High Distinction Distinction Credit Pass Unsatisfactory (Fail) Calculations • Separate calculation • Separate calculation • Separate calculation • Some data on • No calculation sheets sheet(s) sheet(s) calculations sheet is added. not hard-coded not hard-coded tables). sheet(s) • Values are from • Values are from hard-coded (not from • Values are from formulas formulas or pivot formulas or pivot tables. necessary). 7 . not hard- tables. formulas or pivot or pivot tables. coded including full use of including full use of including some use of absolute and relative absolute and relative absolute and relative references (whenever references (whenever references (whenever necessary). • Compulsory ratios (2) are • One of the compulsory calculated correctly. ratios is calculated correctly. necessary).

Use a slicer. 8 . A pivot table on tables. The icons or automatically appear in colours must be the footer section of explained within the the page when printed dashboard. from conditional • Your name and date formatting used in a that updates table.g. too large.g. • Creative and attractive widescreen display (Pass) requirements • Creative and attractive • Creative and attractive with a 1440 x 900 (e. such as Distinction Distinction including sales growth or report based on hard 3D charts unless you have requirements requirements ratio and inventory coded numbers. not also functional (e.• Plus 2 of the 3 High • Plus 1 of the 3 High • Four (4) or more ratios enough graphs/tables. don’t use exotic and hard-to. or • 1-3 graphs and 1-2 similar. • Reports based on • Spark lines in a table calculations. turnover ratio (these Plus the following 3 lines. conditional two ratios are requirements: formatting). (interactive. resolution shown. a reason). High Distinction Distinction Credit Pass Unsatisfactory (Fail) • Meets Pass • Meets Pass Report • Meets Pass requirements • Dashboard fits within a • Does not meet basic requirements requirements. You have • One graph or table is to choose the other 2 interactive. but no more its own is not sufficiently than 4 graphs/tables interactive. an ratios Active-X control. interpret designs. less than 3 ratios dashboard design that is dashboard design dashboard design. formatting) compulsory). (or more) additional a form control. not hard • Icons or a colour scale coded numbers. conditional spark lines. spark (interactive pivot table.