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Accounting and Auditing Research: Tools and Strategies, 9th Edition

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Accounting and Auditing Research: Tools and Strategies, 9th Edition

Thomas R. Weirich, Thomas C. Pearson, Natalie Tatiana Churyk

ISBN: 978-1-119-37362-9 August 2017 240 Pages

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Accounting & Auditing Research: Tools & Strategies helps prepare students to conduct research in their future practice, for the CPA exam, or other professional designations. As dramatic changes continue to take place within the accounting and auditing environments, developing applied professional research skills in accounting, auditing, and tax has become even more important for future professionals. This textbook serves as a reference tool for the practitioner or the student who strives to become proficient in conducting professional research. The authors integrate teaching and learning capabilities through tools and strategies, enabling users to find justifiable, authoritative solutions to accounting, auditing, tax, and business problems.

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Preface IX

About the Authors XIII

1 Introduction to Applied Professional Research 1

What is Research? 2

Research Questions 3

Nature of Professional Research 5

Critical Thinking and Effective Communication 7

Economic Consequences of Standards Setting 7

Role of Research in the Accounting Firm 7

Skills Needed for the CPA Exam and Practice 9

Overview of the Research Process 11

Step One: Identify the Relevant Facts and Issues 11

Step Two: Collect the Evidence 12

Step Three: Analyze the Results and Identify the Alternatives 13

Step Four: Develop a Conclusion 14

Step Five: Communicate the Results 14

Data Analytics in Accounting and Auditing Research 14

Summary 16

Discussion Questions 16

Exercises 17

Appendix: Research Focus on the CPA Exam 17

2 Critical Thinking and Effective Writing Skills for the Professional Accountant 21

Critical Thinking Skills 21

Levels of Thinking 23

Universal Elements of Reasoning 26

An Example of Using Critical Thinking Skills 27

Effective Writing Skills 28

Writing as a Process 29

Punctuation Primer 30

Improved Writing Skills Required 33

Active Voice 33

Short Sentences 33

Definite Concrete Everyday Language 34

Tabular Presentation 34

Limited Jargon and Technical Terms 34

No Multiple Negatives 35

Elements of Plain English 35

Writing Effective Texts e-mails and Letters 36

Writing Memos to the File 37

Summary 38

Discussion Questions 38

Exercises 39

3 The Environment of Accounting Research 41

The Accounting Environment 41

The SEC and the Standard-Setting Environment 42

Rules-Based vs. Principles-Based Accounting Standards 43

Financial Accounting Standards Board 44

FASB Strives to Simplify Standards 45

Content of Authorities 45

FASB Due Process 46

FASB Conceptual Framework Project 48

Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts Nos. 1–8 49

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) 49

Governmental Accounting Standards Board 50

Other Organizations Influencing Standard Setting 52

U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (U.S. GAAP) 54

The FASB Accounting Standards Codification TM 55

Using Authoritative Support 56

Reading an Authoritative Pronouncement 57

Accounting Choices Have Economic Consequences 59

Summary 59

Discussion Questions 60

Exercises 60

4 Financial Accounting Research Tools 61

Accounting Research Online 62

Database Research Strategies 62

Step One: Define the Information Needed 62

Step Two: Determine the Sources to Search 62

Step Three: Use Appropriate Search Methods 63

Step Four: View the Results and Manage the Information 63

Step Five: Communicate the Search Results 63

FASB Accounting Standards CodificationTM Research System 63

The Research Process 65

Locating U.S. GAAP Using the Codification 68

Examples Using the Codification 68

SEC Accounting for Public Companies 68

SEC Regulations and Sources 69

The SEC’s Published Views and Interpretations 70

SEC Staff Policy 71

Accessing SEC Filings and Regulations 72

Cases to Practice Accounting Research 74

Data Analytics for the Accounting Researcher 74

Summary 75

Discussion Questions 75

Exercises 76

Knowledge Busters: The Codification 78

Appendix: CPA Exam—Financial Accounting Simulations 81

Document Review Simulation 84

5 The Environment of International Research 86

International Accounting Environment 86

International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) 88

IASB Authorities 90

IASB Due Process 91

Interpretations Committee Due Process 92

IASB’s Conceptual Framework 92

Principles-Based Accounting Standards 93

IFRS Funding Regulation and Enforcement 94

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Research 95

IFRS Hierarchy 95

Electronic International Financial Reporting Standards (eIFRS) 96

Summary 100

Discussion Questions 100

Exercises 101

Knowledge Busters 102

6 Other Research Databases and Tools 103

Other Database Research Strategies 103

Step One: Define the Information Needed 104

Step Two: Determine the Sources to Search 104

Step Three: Use Search Techniques and Tools 105

Step Four: View the Results and Manage the Information 105

U.S. Accounting Research Tools 106

Leading Publishers of Global Financial Information 106

Commercial Accounting Databases 107

AICPA’s Reference Sources 108

U.S. Government Accounting Databases 108

GASB’s Government Accounting Research SystemTM (GARS Online) 109

Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board Handbook of

Authorities 109

Financial Research Databases 109

S&P Capital IQ 111

Mergent Online 112

Thomson ONE 113

Other Financial Databases and Sources 113

Financial Research Challenges 114

Business Research Databases and Tools 115

Article Index Databases 115

International Business Sources 116

Specialized Research 116

Massive Legal Research Databases 117

LexisNexis and its Lexis Advance 117

Nexis UniTM Replaces LexisNexis Academic 118

Westlaw 119

Emerging Legal Databases: Bloomberg Law and Fastcase 119

Summary 120

Discussion Questions 120

Exercises 121

Appendix 6A-1: Website Addresses 122

7 Tax Research for Compliance and Tax Planning 124

Tax Planning Concepts and Tax Research Goals 124

Tax Research Goals 125

Tax Research Challenges 126

Specialized Tax Research Databases 127

Thomson Reuters Checkpoint® 128

Primary Tax Authorities 128

The Code 129

Treasury Regulations 131

Steps in Conducting Tax Research 137

Step One: Investigate the Facts and Identify the Issues 137

Step Two: Collect the Appropriate Authorities 137

Step Three: Analyze the Research 140

Step Four: Develop the Reasoning and Conclusion 142

Step Five: Communicate the Results 143

Evolving Professional Concerns and Changes 145

Professional Standards for Tax Services 147

Data Analytics in Tax Research 149

Summary 150

Discussion Questions 150

Exercises 150

Knowledge Busters 153

Appendix 7A-1: Website Addresses 154

8 Assurance Services and Auditing Research 155

Assurance Services 156

Consulting Services and Standards 156

Attestation Services and Standards 158

Auditing Standard-Setting Environment 160

Auditing Standard-Setting Process 161

Auditing Standards Board (ASB) 161

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) 165

International Auditing & Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) 167

AICPA Online Professional Library 167

AICPA Code of Professional Conduct 169

Auditing Standards in the Public Sector 171

RIA Checkpoint 172

Compilation and Review Services 174

Role of Judgment and Professional Skepticism in Accounting and Auditing 175

Economic Consequences 175

Data Analytic in Auditing Research 176

Summary 177

Discussion Questions 177

Exercises 178

Data Analytics Cases 178

Appendix: CPA Exam Audit Simulation 179

9 Refining the Research Process 181

Method for Conducting Research 181

Step One: Identify the Issues or Problems 183

Step Two: Collect the Evidence 184

Step Three: Analyze the Results and Identify Alternatives 188

Step Four: Develop a Conclusion 188

Step Five: Communicate the Results 189

Lessons Learned for Professional Practice 190

Remain Current in Knowledge and Skills 190

International Complexities in Practice 192

Developing Professional Skills Needed for Practice 192

Summary 193

Discussion Questions 193

Exercises 193

Appendix 9A-1: Sample Brief Memorandum Using IFRS 194

RE: Sony’s Goodwill and Segment Reporting 194

Facts 194

Issues 194

Conclusions 195

Authorities on goodwill 195

Authorities on segment disclosure 195

Application of authorities 196

Appendix 9A-2: Abbreviations and Websites for Accounting Auditing and Tax 196

10 Forensic Accounting Research 202

Definition of Fraud 203

Types of Fraud 204

The Fraud Triangle 206

Overview of a Financial Statement Fraud Examination 207

Step One: Identify the Issue and Plan the Investigation 209

Step Two: Gather the Evidence and Complete the Investigation Phase 209

Step Three: Evaluate the Evidence 210

Step Four: Report Findings to Management or Legal Counsel 210

Business Investigations 211

Computer Technology in Fraud Investigations 212

Data-Mining Software 212

Data Analytics 213

Public Databases 214

The Internet 217

Fraud Investigation Regulations 217

Summary 218

Discussion Questions 218

Exercises 218

Index 219

  • NEW!Expanded chapter on tax research
  • NEW! End-of-chapter case studies for financial and international research
  • Students learn to use and leverage the latest research tools including: ACL (Educational Version), AICPA Library, Checkpoint, EDGAR, e-IFRS, FASB CODIFICATION RESEARCH System, IDEA, and Nexis Uni
  • Research Tips and Quick Facts for conducting common research tasks summarize and expand concepts discussed in each chapter
  • Discussion Questions and Exercises available at the end of each chapter
  • Accounting Weekly Updates bring you the latest news relevant to your Accounting course. Password only available to current users.