Twenty-seven years ago, the Congress passed the Budget and Accounting Procedures Act of 1950. This law required the Comptroller General to prescribe accounting principles and standards which executive agencies were to follow in their accounting systems. In 1952, the Comptroller General issued a tentative statement of principles and standards and proceeded to grant formal approval of accounting systems that conformed to them. At this time, 132 accounting systems in 34 agencies remain unapproved. There are many causes why all the systems have not been approved: 1. frequent changes in agency top management, 2 the failure of accountants to convince agency management that better accounting is worthwhile, and 3. a lack of consistent follow-up by the Congress on the degree to which policies that they adopted 27 years ago had been put into practice by the executive agencies. Government accountants must convince their management that good accounting is worthwhile.

Accounting Principles, Ninth Edition, is the latest in a series of books geared toward students taking introductory accounting. This text consists of 26 chapters (18 financial and eight managerial). Overall, it is geared more toward financial accounting, as illustrated by the number of chapters devoted to that area. The book's introduction gives students unique and wonderful advice on how to determine their learning styles and how to use the book to achieve their maximum potential.

The book follows a traditional approach to introducing financial accounting to students. It consists of the accounting equation, the rules of debit and credit, adjusting and closing entries, and the worksheet approach to preparing financial statements. The chapter regarding inventory is thorough, but the chapter regarding accounting information systems is outdated. The authors should introduce the concept of Excel spreadsheets to students at this early stage so that they can understand their importance in accounting and be prepared to learn in future classes. The managerial accounting chapters focus on manufacturing companies. At the end of each chapter, the authors apply the concepts to students' daily lives through the use of a clear example. Advanced topics such as activity-based costing are discussed in appendices to provide extra study for the exceptional student at this stage of accounting. Due to extra visual aids and illustrations, the emphasis on journal entries is not as obvious in this edition compared to previous ones. Students still learn all of the appropriate journal entries, but in a less intimidating manner.

End-of-chapter materials are extensive and consist of multiple-choice questions, discussion questions, brief exercises, exercises, and problems. There are "continuing cases" for all of the financial accounting chapters for those instructors who prefer this approach. One strength of this book is the broad scope of additional problems at the end of each chapter related to ethics, critical thinking, Internet assignments, and practical cases.

Regarding pedagogy, the text uses a lot of different illustrations throughout the chapters. They consist of objectives, stories, examples, and figures. Although the book attempts to entertain the students with a variety of illustrations, the amount of such materials is overwhelming to many students who may find it difficult to identify relevant information from all of these illustrations.

Overall, this book is very useful to students who have never studied accounting and is a good introduction to students continuing to Intermediate Accounting classes. It does not, however, provide a strong managerial accounting perspective. It is appropriate for instructors who have never taught an introductory course before and for those who prefer a traditional financial accounting and double-entry approach to accounting. There are several books on the market with similar perspectives. This book is distinguished by its additional emphasis on ethics, critical thinking, and technology. This highly readable book would be useful to students in community colleges, and some four-year universities where the instructor wants to emphasize the technical aspects of accounting.


Staats, Elmer b Journal of Accountancy145. 2 (February 1978): 66.

JERRY J. WEYGANDT, PAUL D. KIMMEL, and DONALD KIESO, Accounting Principles, Ninth Edition (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009, pp. xxix, 1196).













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