The authors (accounting professors and CPAs) intend this volume to help the practitioner navigate the fast changes that have taken place in database technology and in the standards that govern accounting, auditing, tax, and international accounting. The focus is on the research process. Chapters provide an overview of the most vital accounting and auditing information sources (e.g., from the SEC, FASB, US GAAP, IASB, IFRS, and GASB) and the Internal Revenue Code, as well as US Treasury regulations and judicial sources. Other chapters cover the codification of accounting standards, corporate and industry research, the tax research process, and the auditing standard-setting process. Many definitions are supplied. Schematics include the multi-office accounting firm's organizational framework; research process flow charts; commonly used abbreviations and citations; SEC accounting for public companies; charts explicating accounting standard codifications; and topical categories for research. The same thorough treatment is given to research databases and tools, focusing on the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' standards to regulate auditors and tax practitioners. Databases covered include CCH Internet Tax Research Network, LexisNexis (CH, Jun'08, 45-5305), NetAdvantage (CH, Nov'11, 49-1238), Checkpoint, and WestLaw. Excellent coverage of the legislative, administrative, and judicial subdivisions of tax law is also provided. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All accounting collections.
The post-Enron/Andersen world is substantially altered from the preceding decades. The need for global accounting and auditing standards has grown and is demanding greatly increased attention. Sarbanes-Oxley legislation is one of several causal factors, coupled with technological advances (XBRL), reviews and major reforms of audit practices and standards, and the expansion of the financial market system. Knowledgeable academic authors review these issues in this three-part book in the hope of providing a coherent appraisal of the significance of accounting firms and the accounting profession in the global economy. Part 1 (four chapters) provides a general frame of reference of accounting and auditing standards in the global economy. Part 2 (two chapters) focuses on specific issues facing accounting firms and the profession. Part 3 (four chapters) examines and analyzes the adjustments being made by the accounting profession. An extensive list of references is included. This volume is a very readable and comprehensive overview and analysis of the new accounting environment. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Accounting faculty (particularly auditing); upper-division undergraduate and graduate accounting students.
Bragg, a knowledgeable accounting practitioner and prolific author of accounting practice books, has updated (2nd ed., CH, Dec'01, 39-2279) this one-stop source of information on improving the efficiency of the accounting function. The 18 chapters include 495 best practices (61 new with this edition). These best practices (defined as any improvement) range from accounts payable to credit and collection, financial statements, internal auditing, and inventory. The chapters "How to Use Best Practices" and "Policies to Support Best Practices" are essential reading before reviewing the best practices chapters. Each chapter begins with a summary table identifying the best practice by subtopic; provides a brief explanation of each practice along with its failure potential (several are identified as the author's choice); includes a cost and installation time commitment scale; and concludes with a concise chapter summary. Bragg does a great job on practices that are narrow in scope. Appendix A lists all of the best practices, and a free periodic newsletter is available from the author. This volume is a comprehensive resource for the accounting profession. Summing Up: Recommended. Accounting practitioners; undergraduate and two-year technical program accounting students. This review refers to an earlier edition.
Label (CPA, PhD) provides a brief and straightforward explanation of contemporary accounting principles and practices. Updates in this new edition include a comparison of US standards and those of the International Accounting Standards Board, a revision to the coverage of the statement of cash flows, new coverage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and a new chapter on fraud and ethics. The 12 short, readable chapters offer a plethora of easy-to-understand examples along with "Quick Tips," "Alerts," and a glossary, which enhance the book's usefulness to the reader. In addition, online review quizzes are made available to support learning. Topics covered follow the traditions of an introductory accounting textbook, including generally accepted accounting principles, US standards and those of the International Accounting Standards Board, double entry accounting, financial statement analysis, budgetary control, auditing, ethics and fraud, and Internet resources for accountants. Although this book, like most similar publications, is no substitute for an accounting textbook, it is a reasonably priced overview and quick reference resource for anyone wanting to learn accounting basics. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division and two-year program students; practitioners; general readers.
In this two-volume set, Mostyn (Mission College) provides an economical and understandable introduction to accounting principles and procedures. Volume 1, "Building the Conceptual Foundation," begins with a lengthy section that defines what a business is and discusses how businesses work and the different types of business ownership. Later sections in volume 1 introduce transaction analysis, basic accounting systems, and corporate equity. Topics covered in volume 2, "Applying Principles and Procedures," include adjusting and closing entries, cash reconciliations and petty cash, accounts receivable control, merchandising operations, accounting software systems, reporting and control of fixed and intangible assets, current liabilities and payroll transactions, and financial statement analysis. The chapters, which end with a "Review and Vocabulary" section, parallel those of most other introductory accounting textbooks. They are fully illustrated and contain the usual assortment of practice problems, cumulative review tests, Internet exercises, and other self-study materials. An accompanying compact disc for each volume contains helpful supplemental resources including solutions to the book's chapter-end problems, an interesting review of basic mathematic procedures titled "Essential Math for Accounting," and a variety of printable accounting working papers. Although this set is oriented toward a short-term or community college accounting course, anyone with an interest in the basic methodology and application of contemporary bookkeeping-accountancy will find these volumes a useful overview. Mostyn's clear explanations and comprehensive coverage (the two volumes comprise more than 1,500 pages) will also make them useful supplementary reading for beginning accounting students. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers and lower-division and technical program students.
Outstanding Academic Title
If one were to write a history of the accounting profession in the US, a historian might compile a chronological record of key events, persons, legislation, and the like. Some within the profession might relate it to the economic history of the country, as Gary John Previts and Barbara Dubis Merino did with A History of Accounting in America (CH, Nov'98, 36-1669). Most modern accountants, however, perceive the evolution of the profession, at least in part, in light of its difficulties and failures. Clikeman has done a superb job of presenting this evolution through the masterfully told accounts of 16 of the most famous financial frauds. Starting with the Ivar Kreuger matchstick fraud of the early 20th century, Clikeman takes the reader through the major eras of the profession's history, revealing how specific financial scandals provided the stimulus for many key professional, legislative, and regulatory developments. This second edition (1st ed., CH, Aug'09, 46-6897) includes a new section dealing with recent events, including Parmalat, Satyam, and the recession. The book is extensively documented and includes suggested discussion questions and a full index. Summing Up: Essential. Accounting collections, upper-division undergraduate through professional.
Accounting has become a complex discipline using terminology that spans the fields of auditing, managerial and financial accounting, finance, and taxation. A sufficient number of Web sites and reference books focused on terminology are available for those who are well along in their accounting studies or career, but few tools exist for novices, e.g., first-year students, new business owners, or entry-level bookkeepers in need of a foundational understanding of bookkeeping and basic accounting terms. Ferraino, a former nonprofit accountant, provides just such a needed tool with this dictionary. Missing are some essential entries that advanced accounting students would need to know, such as an explanation of the groundbreaking Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. The work's strengths include simple, clear definitions, an essential and extensive glossary of acronyms and abbreviations, and explanations of the requirements and duties of the professional forensic accountant and certified public accountant. Weaknesses include a lack of sufficient cross-references and an insubstantial bibliography. This book would benefit greatly from a corresponding Web site offering cross-references and examples of a term's application. Excellent alternative sources accessible to both novices and advanced accounting students include the Dictionary of Accounting Terms (5th ed., 2010) by Jae Him and Joel Siegel, and the Accounting Coach Web site http://www.accountingcoach.com/. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates, professionals/practitioners, and general readers.
Outstanding Academic Title
In this valuable book, Steuerle, America's most respected authority on federal tax policy, provides a balanced insider's view of how US tax policy has developed in the past quarter century and why the tax code is so complex. He reviews personal and corporate tax changes since the 1950s but gives greatest emphasis to Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II policies. In essence, the system has become cumbersome, complex, and costly to operate because both parties use tax preferences for social, economic, and political agendas. The preferences are widely distributed, not just for the rich and powerful, and they are generally inefficient ways of supporting the preferred group. The system--no matter which party shapes it--emerges from a politically responsive democracy and an eagerness to use the tax code for purposes other than raising revenue. Only sober realization that the tax code is how government is financed can break the complexity spiral. The book avoids technical complexity and should be read by lawmakers, scholars, and anyone who wants to understand how the federal government decides how to raise revenue. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections. This review refers to an earlier edition.
Droms and Wright (both Georgetown Univ.) have updated their well-known book to include recent changes in accounting requirements, tax laws, financial management, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and international finance. The book's 19 brief chapters are organized into seven sections: "Introduction," "Financial Accounting Fundamentals," "Financial Analysis and Control," "Working Capital Decisions," "Long-Term Investment Decisions," "Long-Term Financing Decisions," and "Special Topics in Finance." With a plethora of case studies and useful, step-by-step illustrations, the chapters provide readable, nontechnical insight into often-arcane accounting and financial principles and practices. Although this book is not a substitute for the in-depth coverage of a traditional textbook, it is an excellent practical guide and reference for anyone wanting a fundamental understanding of contemporary accounting and finance principles and practices. See also Jae K. Shim's Accounting and Finance for the Nonfinancial Executive (CH, Jan'01, 38-2821) and two works by Karen Berman, Joe Knight, and John Case: Financial Intelligence: A Manager's Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean (CH, Jun'06, 43-5980) and Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs (CH, May'09, 46-5116). Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels of students; practitioners; general readers. This review refers to an earlier edition.
This book will delight readers with a basic understanding of financial accounting who want a well-organized, educational, and easy-to-read book on financial statement fraud. Zack, an expert in forensic accounting, describes the major types of financial reporting of fraudulent schemes, organized by type: revenue based; asset based; expense and liability based; and a fourth category that includes business combinations, not-for-profits, and disclosure fraud. For each of the financial statement frauds covered, Zack describes the accounting principle at issue and provides case(s) describing how violation of the principle resulted in cooking the books. The case summaries provide a fascinating glimpse at the evil underbelly of financial accounting. The book's companion website provides more case details (including SEC Accounting and Audit Enforcement Releases). Following completion of the case presentations, a "Detection and Investigation" section presents financial statement analysis techniques and strategies useful for identifying and investigating financial statement fraud. Integrating these strategies (and the checklist of financial statement fraud indicators currently in an appendix) with the case presentations could improve reader comprehension. Finally, readers should not succumb to the temptation to skip the foreword or preface; both do an excellent job of setting the stage for the book. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Public; academic, upper-division undergraduate and up; and professional collections.
For business persons, students, and faculty interested in forensic accounting and fraud investigation, this volume deserves a spot on the bookshelf. The first part of this new edition (2nd ed., CH, Jun'07, 44-5747) provides an overview of fraud types and a brief history of "fraudsters." Financial accounting, including financial analysis, is covered without the use of journal entries or ledger accounts that would bog down the nonexpert reader. The case studies integrated throughout the book's first part are numerous and fascinating. The second part of the work presents a detailed, sequential view of the investigative process. Starting with an overview of the preliminary planning of an investigation, the authors, all forensic accounting experts, proceed to cover interviewing techniques; evidence documentation; and use of association analysis, temporal analysis, key lists, and inference charts to organize and better understand large volumes of information. They then discuss the final report and presentation of case findings to a judge and jury not schooled on the technical issues involved. The suggested readings and end-of-chapter notes provide a wealth of sources for readers interested in furthering their understanding. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate students through practitioners.
There is no such thing as a completely accurate financial report. Follett, an experienced CEO with no formal accounting education, clearly explains the rules for keeping score in business, covering the basics of business accounting (e.g., accrual not cash scores; key terminology; three chapters on the balance sheet; the income statement; return on investment; changes in cash flow; cash flow budgets; and ratio analysis tools). The author's intent is to enable managers to read, understand, discuss, use, and analyze accounting reports written for nonaccountants. This will equip those lacking formal accounting education/experience who are moving into a management position with the important skill of talking with some confidence to finance professionals. Follett succeeds in producing a short, readable, and thorough presentation of a frequently obtuse subject. He concludes with a concise nontechnical summary of lessons to be learned. The most important lesson for the manager is that accounting reports are scores kept in dollars reflecting hopes, fears, perspectives, and judgments. A valuable resource for new managers, entrepreneurs, and general readers. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division students, practitioners, and general readers.
This highly readable volume is designed to acquaint nonfinancial managers with basic accounting concepts and how to use them in effectively running an organization. It would be very appropriate for use in an executive MBA program or in an accounting course designed for nonfinancial managers. It is not designed to teach the bookkeeping aspects of accounting, but rather to teach managers how to use accounting information in the decision-making process. While Lewis (accounting, Univ. of Portland) does spend a chapter covering some of the basic concepts of accounting, he immediately moves to the areas of cost, cost behavior, cost allocation, and financial statement analysis. Nonfinancial readers will be comfortable with the author's style and will find his frequent, commonsense analogies both useful and informative. For example, in making the point that sunk costs are irrelevant in decision making, Lewis likens them to the Titanic. The book includes a reasonably detailed index. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, practitioners, general readers.
This scholarly handbook provides a comprehensive, up-to-date, and authoritative resource on financial accounting, reporting, and regulation in national as well as international contexts. Edited by two UK academicians, this work presents a perspective outside of mainstream accounting literature, emphasizing an international range of perspectives. Written by a team of international scholars, the chapters contain numerous information boxes, figures, tables, notes, and chapter bibliographies. The volume is organized in five parts. Part 1 defines financial accounting and then discusses the methodology of accounting theory, fundamental issues in reporting and regulation, and European and English-language theories of reporting, thus providing a foundation for the succeeding parts. Part 2 covers basic issues in financial accounting and reporting, including fair value reporting and costs and benefits of disclosure. Part 3 introduces issues in international accounting standard setting and regulation, emphasizing IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) and the global convergence of accounting standards. The institutional aspects of international reporting and regulation are addressed in part 4. The final part provides an overview of the social and economic aspects of international financial reporting and regulation. This is an important, challenging resource for faculty, and graduate and upper-division students. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Academic, research, and professional collections.
Surprisingly, the first third of Statistical Techniques for Forensic Accounting does not include a single formula, equation, or statistical graph. Instead, Dutta (Univ. of Albany) presents an excellent review of the various types of financial frauds; offers numerous case examples; and discusses the roles played by government regulations, corporate governance, internal control, and professional organizations in dealing with financial fraud. The preface states practicing accountants will require no prior knowledge in probability and statistics. However, unless readers are well versed in the subject matter, they should be prepared to spend significant time studying the remainder of the book. Sampling techniques to mine data in search of a pattern of errors created by financial fraud (and not random occurrences) are described in detail. Forensic accountants and investigators are provided a means not only to detect financial fraud but also, using probabilistic inferences, to transition the findings into quantitative evidence, which adds another weapon in the arsenal to prosecute perpetrators. This volume should be on the mandatory reading list for individuals developing the US Securities and Exchange Commission's Accounting Quality Model to detect accounting fraud and the SEC/PCAOB's Financial Reporting and Audit Task Force. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Advanced students studying forensic accounting; practicing forensic accountants.
--R. Derstine, West Chester University