The accounting profession and business community have called for educators to present accounting in more realistic business contexts. Annual reports and 10‐Ks provide a wealth of information that brings accounting to life, but use of these reports is typically confined to financial accounting courses. The first objective of this paper is to describe a process by which instructors can use a real companya's 10‐K to create a series of mini‐cases for cost and management accounting courses. These cases are intended to bridge the gap between typical end‐of‐chapter problems and full‐blown Harvard‐style cases. A series of cases based on the same company not only increases student interest, but is also an efficient way to help students understand and start to grapple with the ambiguity and complexity inherent in real‐world management accounting (factors absent from most structured textbook problems). Applying a variety of different management accounting tools and techniques to the same company helps students integrate what can appear to be a large set of loosely related topics, and better appreciate the broad role management accounting plays in supporting strategic business decisions.
Our second objective is to provide a specific illustration of a series of 10‐K‐based cases. We have successfully used these cases in both the undergraduate junior level cost/management accounting course, and in M.B.A. introductory core and elective courses.