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More Than a Numbers Game

A Brief History of Accounting

More Than a Numbers Game by Thomas A. King
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The world certainly suffers no shortage of accounting texts. Themany out there help readers prepare, audit, interpret and explaincorporate financial statements. What has been missing is a bookoffering context and discussion for divisive issues such as taxes,debt, options, and earnings volatility. King addresses thewhy of accounting instead of the how, providingpractitioners and students with a highly readable history of U.S.corporate accounting. More Than a Numbers Game: A Brief Historyof Accounting was inspired by Arthur Levitt's landmark 1998speech delivered at New York University. The Securities andExchange Commission chairman described the too-little challengedcustom of earnings management and presaged the breakdown in the UScorporate accounting three years later.

Somehow, over a one-hundred year period, accounting morphed froma tool used by American railroad managers to communicate withabsent British investors into an enabler of corporate fraud. Howthis happened makes for a good business story. This book is notanother description of accounting scandals. Instead it offers ahistory of ideas.

Each chapter covers a controversial topic that emerged over thepast century. Historical background and discussion of peopleinvolved give relevance to concepts discussed. The author shows howeconomics, finance, law and business customs contributed toaccounting's development. Ideas presented come from a career spentworking with accounting information.

Wiley; August 2006
ISBN 9781118044612
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Title: More Than a Numbers Game
Author: Thomas A. King
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