Preliminary Results-Nature as Metaphor : Innovative Visualization of Accounting Information with Lotus Plants


Voraphan Raungpaka, Phannaphatr Savetpanuvong, Uthai Tanlamai

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Learning accounting has always been a challenge for non-accounting students and managers. Understanding accounting information requires more than a numerical description of financial and income statements. Current accounting practice presents accounting reports in the form of tables with values or in two or three dimensional graphs generated by a spread sheet program. The present study proposes an alternative visualization with metaphor from nature as a learning device for novice users and managers. After surveying various kinds of plants, the lotus flower was chosen as an attractive analogy because every part of the plant from leaves to roots is usable and can have economic value. Moreover, lotus flowers, whether man-made or natural, can easily be part of a familiar, natural ecology representing both beauty and serenity. Results from online survey respondents (n = 220) showed that there was no significant difference on overall usability of the Lotus visualization between expert users and novice users. However, verbally-oriented users differed significantly from visually-oriented users in their usability assessment, perceived usefulness, and intention to use the Lotus visualization.


 1. Introduction
 2. Literature Review
  2.1 Visualization in Business
  2.2 Visualization in Financial Reports
 3. Research Method
 4. Results
 5. Discussion and Conclusion


  • Voraphan Raungpaka College of Management Mahidol University, 69 Vipawadee Rangsit Rd., Phayathai Bangkok 10400, Thailand,
  • Phannaphatr Savetpanuvong Department of Commerce, Chulalongkorn Business School
  • Uthai Tanlamai Department of Accounting, Chulalongkorn Business School, Chulalongkorn University


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