New Accounting Book Coming

accounting-bookEarlier this summer, teachers using my accounting textbook received an update highlighting developments for use in Fall classes. Changes will appear in the forthcoming fifth edition, due out in time for Spring classes.

I’ve completed and submitted the manuscript and am now finishing revisions to the Teacher’s Manual and PowerPoint slides. The wonderful publicity department at West, my publisher, will release some version of the following squib on the book:

Cunningham’s Introductory Accounting, Finance and Auditing, adopted at some 70 schools in its 12-year history, presents accounting, finance and auditing using clear narrative with extensive illustrations. It balances accessibility with rigor.

Pedagogical features that make it easy to use include a coherent layout, complete set of PowerPoint slides, comprehensive Problems and Solutions, intriguing Conceptual Questions and International Comparisons plus a Glossary, Bibliography, Index and Teacher’s Manual.

The fifth edition adds material on international accounting and other hot topics. It can be used as the primary book for a one-, two- or three-credit accounting course or to supplement business associations, corporations or corporate finance courses.

Fleshing that out a bit, changes from the fourth to fifth edition are far less extensive than changes made from the third to the fourth edition in 2005. No major overhaul is undertaken and no new chapters are added.

But I have made several pedagogical improvements, added materials on international financial reporting standards (IFRS), and updated a few discrete accounting and auditing topics. The main results are as follows.

First, the most important changes concern the proliferation of IFRS.  This is emphasized in Chapter 1, though the book continues to focus on US GAAP.  

The widespread use of IFRS outside the US, and interest in it within the US, prompted me to create a new pedagogical feature. Each accounting chapter, 3 through 9, now conclude with IFRS Notes.

These highlight salient differences between US GAAP and IFRS on topics covered in the related Chapter.  These are useful as a substantive matter.  But another purpose, a theme of the book in all prior editions,  is to emphasize the role judgment plays in accounting standard setting, application and interpretation.

Other notable changes:

• FASB has killed the old “GAAP hierarchy” that required sorting among numerous levels of accounting authority, in favor a single Codification.  This is reflected in Chapter 1 and elsewhere.

•  Most changes in US GAAP requiring updating concern advanced subjects, concentrated in Chapter 6, such as financial instruments and in-process research and development.

•  The raging policy debate concerning fair value versus cost accounting is treated more extensively in Chapters 5 and 6, both adding new material and perspective

• Changes in auditing practice, particularly concerning the scope of audits of internal control over financial reporting, are noted in Chapter 1 and amplified in Chapter 14.  

•  Chapter 15, on Audit Policy, is reorganized in light of developments many years after Sarbanes-Oxley inaugurated a revolution in the subject. 
Details of relevant changes will be mentioned in respective Chapter Notes in the Teacher’s Manual. The full set of PowerPoint slides will be updated.

Thanks to the many teachers and students who have used the book over the years, especially those who have provided feedback to make it better.

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