More Than a Numbers Game: A Brief History of Accounting
Somehow, over a one-hundred year period, accounting morphed from a tool used by American railroad managers to communicate with absent British investors into an enabler of corporate fraud. How this happened makes for a good business story. This book is not another description of accounting scandals. Instead it offers a history of ideas.
Each chapter covers a controversial topic that emerged over the past century. Historical background and discussion of people involved give relevance to concepts discussed. The author shows how economics, finance, law and business customs contributed to accounting's development. Ideas presented come from a career spent working with accounting information.
List of Figure and Tables.
About the Author.
"The author is at his best when telling stories, whether of the twists and turns in specific accounting standards from the 1940s to the present, of the accounting transgressions of Enron, Global Crossing, WorldCom, and HealthSouth, or of the factors leading to the demise of Arthur Andersen. ... King’s gift for rendering complex ideas into easily understandable explanations, all in a conversational style, makes this book accessible to the general investing public as well.... This refreshing book is a well-researched, well-written, and intelligent explanation of modern-day U.S. accounting and how it has evolved to its present state." (The CPA Journal, April 2007)
"King's chapter on volatility shows how U.S. companies can account for transactions in foreign currencies three different ways, all of them legitimate. His chapter about the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate disclosure laws has an astute analysis of the accounting frauds at Enron and WorldCom that begat that legislation." (Newsweek, April 16, 2007)
"This demystifying book is likely to interest corporate folk who want to understand better the whys of the accounting practices they use, as well as inquiring investors." (Harvard Magazine, November-December 2006)
"Inspired by a 1998 speech by former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt, this book addresses the why of accounting instead of the how, providing practitioners and students with a highly readable history of U.S. corporate accounting." (SmartPros Accounting News & Insights, September 2006)