Introductory Accounting, Finance and Auditing for Lawyers, 5th (American Casebook)

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This book presents accounting, finance and auditing using clear narrative with extensive illustrations. It balances accessibility with rigor. 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.

One thought on “Introductory Accounting, Finance and Auditing for Lawyers, 5th (American Casebook)

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    0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Loses its intended clarity by getting you lost in lawyerly verbosity, April 27, 2013

    This review is from: Introductory Accounting, Finance and Auditing for Lawyers, 5th (American Casebook) (Paperback)

    This book is inexcusably horrible, without any consolation for brevity or the like. It is quite seriously the worst textbook I’ve been required to use in law school. Its like the author didn’t really understand the goals of accounting beyond the operational forms discussed. On a very practical level, there is often no sign of continuity among the chapters, or a contextual basis for the methods used within its pages. The author, frankly, often “loses the forest for the trees.” Though they explain the goals of the tasks to be performed at the outset of each chapter, they then lose all sight of clarity by including needless terms and illustrations filled with vacuous truisms when performing the actual accounting functions. Additionally, the author often refers back to examples far back in the book without giving you a specific page number to go searching for – not only is it infuriating (as the author could have simply copied the information referred to), but the last thing a student of accounting needs to be doing is going on a scavenger hunt while trying to remain clear on the intended task.

    Obviously, the result is that this highly intelligent author overly complicates the subject and make it far too difficult for a group (law students) that is generally a bit wary of anything involving numbers. This cannot be the case for a “For Lawyers” book, whose implicit goal is to obviate confusion. These authors, by lobbing words at a task in the hope that maybe we students will somehow grasp the concepts by combing through their verbosity, are defeating their own purpose.

    Before assigning this book, I quite seriously recommend professors take a look at “Accounting for Dummies, 4th Edition” — though it obviously does not hold the “For Lawyers” distinction, which seems to harbor some anodyne hope of giving the textbook some dubious worth, it at least provides the pedagogical material the textbooks tries to without the unnecessary opaqueness. I bought this “Dummies” book halfway through my course and understand so much more of the course material than I do when mining the textbook for information. This should not be the case – its entirely unfair to use a difficult textbook when so many more straightforward materials are out there.

    Overly complicating this course with a book as priggish and out of touch as Prof. Cunningham’s is really quite unfair to us students, as it takes a brave soul to take an accounting course in law school.

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