Industrial cases and projects do not connect with millennial students. They do not care about accounting for Buicks or old warehouses filled with dusty inventory. Their parents buy Buicks. They, on the other hand, understand and consume music, movies, and iPhone apps. For students of the digital age who want a job offer from Google or Apple, traditional industrial examples are not effective instructional tools.
Instead, accounting professors need a powerful teaching example that’s instantly understood across the academic landscape. This paper explores such a project. The Gift Card Project addresses new business challenges from marketing, accounting, supply chain, and overall business strategy perspectives, providing a robust, meaningful, and relevant learning experience for millennial students. There are plenty of business strategy issues to go around and more than enough “what-ifs” to occupy the best accountant.