Skills for Accounting Research, 5e

FASB Codification & IFRS

by Collins, Salzman

| ISBN: 978-1-61853-571-9 | Copyright 2024

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Welcome to Skills for Accounting Research, 5e

Increasingly, accounting research and communication skills are being regarded as fundamental to success in our profession. Professionals who excel in these areas will likely experience a distinct competitive advantage relative to their peers. At the same time, in todays highly regulated business climate, the consequences of inadequately researching and documenting accounting judgments can be severe (e.g., PCAOB or SEC enforcement actions). Recognizing the importance of research skills, research simulations are now a key component of the national CPA exam. This hands-on textbook aims to teach students these important skills.

In this book, students will learn to confidently address and communicate accounting research issues, from start to finish. Students will not only take away the ability to identify the accounting problem (the “researchable question”), but will gain experience locating and applying guidance within key research tools (including the FASB Codification), in a variety of accounting environments. In learning to use these research tools, students will have the opportunity to apply guidance to a variety of actual accounting topics.

Recognizing that students cannot learn to research simply by reading about research, the textbook offers students numerous opportunities to actively apply chapter lessons, throughout each chapter. Students will come away from this book armed with the research and critical thinking skills necessary for success as accounting professionals.

Target Audience

This book is intended to serve as the primary teaching materials for graduate and undergraduate courses in accounting research. The book may also be used to supplement materials used in an intermediate or advanced accounting course, given the many opportunities provided within the text to apply Codification guidance to related accounting topics (including, for example, leases, revenue recognition, and fair value measurements). Practitioners and staff training programs can also benefit from the research and communication strategies covered in this book, while gaining exposure to actual excerpts and topics covered in the Codification and other research databases.

Colleges and universities are increasingly including accounting research as a curriculum requirement for undergraduate and/or graduate-level accounting students. Often, students reaching this stage of their accounting program will have just completed their first accounting internship. Interns, as with new staff accountants, will quickly discover that they are expected to learn on the job (accounting can be a sink-or-swim environment). These students will likely have had just enough exposure to the challenges of research that they will crave more formal instruction on this critical skill. This book will offer that to students, in a format that is understandable and engaging.


Prerequisites for Users of This Book

To get the most value from this textbook, students studying this material should have already taken introductory-level accounting courses and—to the extent that the chapters on tax and auditing research will be covered—introductory tax and introductory auditing courses.

Users of this book will need access to the FASB Codification research tool. The American Accounting Association (AAA) provides academic access to the FASB Accounting Standards Codification and the Governmental Accounting Standards Boards GARS Online database for a low annual fee of $250 per year, per institution.

Instructors may require students to register on www.ifrs.org to obtain free access to individual standards.

To complete the exercises and case studies within the tax chapter of this book, it is suggested that users have access to an online tax research service, such as Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Edge or CCH IntelliConnect. Access to these services is often available at reduced rates (or free-of-charge) for students enrolled in a tax or tax research course. Information on Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Edge is available at: https://tax.thomsonreuters.com/en/checkpoint. Information on CCH IntelliConnect is available at: https://taxna.wolterskluwer.com/research/intelliconnect.


Outstanding Features of This Book

This book unites research techniques with actual technical accounting issues. Students will move their understanding of accounting issues and research techniques forward along the knowledge continuum, from simply understanding to having the ability to critically think about and apply accounting issues. The practical examples and exercises in this book will challenge students to actively learn while they read.

Instructors will value that this book allows students to independently read and practice the baseline skills necessary to become accounting researchers, leaving instructors free to expand lectures into discussions of accounting judgments, student presentations, current events, and classroom discussions of (or hands-on group practice with) case studies. In short, instructors will be able to actively engage students in classroom debates and discussions, because they can spend less of their valuable classroom time lecturing on basic research and communication skills.

Detailed Overview of the Book

Chapters 1–5 of this book provide baseline knowledge that is necessary for understanding the rest of the book; the remaining chapters are written independently of one other, allowing instructors to choose to utilize only those chapters that fit their individual course needs.

  • Chapter 1 offers an overview of accounting research, including discussion of who performs accounting research and in what circumstances, and introducing key standard setters.
  • Chapter 2 provides an in-depth introduction to the FASB Codification, and emphasizes that students should perform Browse (as opposed to keyword searches) when possible.
  • Chapter 3 introduces the research process, and Chapter 4 introduces the fundamentals of effective technical writing, including the format of an accounting issues memorandum, techniques for effective email communication of research, and appropriate style for technical accounting writing.
  • Chapter 5 teaches students how to properly use nonauthoritative resources (e.g., firm resources, benchmarking, and the FASB Concepts Statements), an essential but often overlooked skill for professionals learning to perform research.

Chapters 6–8 give students the opportunity to apply guidance to accounting issues following the order of sections in the Codification: first, issues involving scope and recognition (Ch. 6), followed by accounting measurement (Ch. 7), and specifically fair value measurement (Ch. 8).

Chapters 9–12 introduce skills specific to performing research in other environments, including auditing and professional services research (Ch. 9), governmental research (Ch. 10), tax research (Ch. 11), and international research (Ch. 12). Each of these chapters stands on its own, so instructors can choose to cover only the chapters relevant to their own courses.

Finally, Chapters 13 and 14 focus on softer skills. Chapter 13 teaches students how to prepare and deliver effective presentations. Chapter 14 emphasizes the need for professionals to stay current as accounting requirements change and introduces the standard setters’ due process for issuing new guidance. This chapter is a must-read and encourages students to sign up for accounting news alerts.


Engaging Pedagogy

Research is a skill that you learn by doing; accordingly, the pedagogy in this book is designed to foster active learning.


Chapter Opening Vignettes, Learning Objectives, and "Organization of This Chapter" Diagrams

Each chapter opens with a brief vignette placing students in the shoes of a beginning researcher. This opening vignette is followed by a list of the learning objectives for the chapter, and then by a diagram illustrating the organization of content within the chapter. These chapter-opening elements are intended to generate reader enthusiasm for chapter content, as well as provide students with an overview of the information to come.

Example Chapter Opening Vignette (from Chapter 5, Nonauthoritative Sources)



Example Learning Objectives (from Chapter 2, regarding the FASB Codification)



Example "Organization of This Chapter" Diagram (from Chapter 3, regarding the research process)

Each chapter includes a graphic showing the organization of topics within the chapter, along with narrative discussion of what the reader can expect key chapter themes to include. Following is one such chapter organization graphic:



Chapter Features

Chapters are written in concise, easy-to-understand language, with boldfaced key terms to call students’ attention to certain topics. In addition, chapters include extensive screenshots (from research tools, particularly the Codification) and diagrams illustrating key chapter concepts, intended to both engage students and improve their familiarity with research tools.

Chapters also include the following features, intended to engage students in active learning:


Now YOU Try

Throughout each chapter, students are challenged to practice and apply key skills as they are taught (Now YOU Try questions). These exercises might involve, for example, a student being asked to “draw a picture” of a transaction, “draft an email” describing an issue, “show the search path you would use,” or “identify the journal entries” for a scenario, using guidance from the Codification as a guide for the appropriate accounting. Instructors can use these questions as a lead-in to active in-class discussions.

For example, following is a Now YOU Try from Chapter 3, on identifying the accounting problem (the “researchable question”), a key step in the accounting research process.



Tips from the Trenches

Periodically throughout the text, students will find TIPS from the Trenches, which offer additional insight on chapter content. These tips are designed to be like the insights you might hear an audit senior offer an audit staffer from across the table.



End of Chapter Questions and Case Studies

At the conclusion of each chapter, review questions and exercises are provided, which instructors may choose to assign as homework.

  • The review questions encourage students to recall and apply key points from the reading. Instructors may choose to use these as a basis for quiz questions.
  • The exercises provide students with an opportunity to practice their research skills using external resources, such as the FASB Codification, AICPA literature, IFRS, or Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Edge.

In addition, case study questions are included at the end of each chapter, providing students with the opportunity to apply the research process to more involved accounting issues. Students may be asked to respond to these questions in the form of an email or by drafting an accounting issues memo. Cases of varying degrees of complexity are provided; accordingly, instructors may choose to assign case study questions as individual homework or as group research assignments.


Example Case Study Questions (from Chapter 2, regarding the FASB Codification)




New to This Edition

myBusinessCourse: Current video examples, both brief and expanded, have been added to MBC. Additionally, an expanded offering of quiz/test bank questions is now available

Features the latest FASB Codification Platform: This revision offers updated search strategies for navigating the new FASB Codification interface.

New Standards: Continued, current emphasis on navigating the revised revenue and lease topics as well as additional coverage of recently issued ASUs.

Improved Opening Scenario Integration: Improved integration between opening scenarios and chapter content, building upon the success of the Andale Events (concession sales) example that runs through Chapters 3 and 4.

Nonauthoritative Sources: Streamlined presentation of nonauthoritative sources, presented in the context of how a researcher would consider these sources (and in what order) when faced with a challenging research question.

IFRS Coverage: Refreshed presentation of IFRS material, in a manner that should be clearer and more efficient for students to follow. Introduces the new sustainability standards board, the ISSB.

Case Studies: The text includes new, current, and real-world case studies of varying difficulty level. Cases continue to place increased emphasis upon the use of professional judgment.


New to This Edition

All supplements for this book have been created by the books authors.

Instructors Manual—Includes resources for instructors of this course, including sample course schedules and grading considerations, teaching tips for each chapter, and links to external resources.

PowerPoint SlidesAvailable for each chapter, PowerPoint lecture slides highlight key matter from each chapter.

Solutions Manual—Includes solutions to all end-of-chapter review questions, exercises, and case studies.

Now YOU Try ResponsesAvailable to instructors, solutions to the Now You Try exercises are intended to assist instructors in leading class discussions.

myBusinessCourse: A web-based learning and assessment program intended to complement your textbook and classroom instruction. This easy-to-use course management system includes practice quizzes and guided examples videos narrated by the author. MyBusinessCourse provides students with additional help when you are not available. MyBusinessCourse is ideal for online courses or traditional face-to-face courses for which you want to offer students more resources to succeed.



Expand/Collapse All
Foreword (pg. iii)
About the Authors (pg. iv)
Preface (pg. v)
Brief Table of Contents (pg. xiii)
Contents (pg. xiv)
Chapter 1: Overview of Accounting Research (pg. 2)
Why Accounting Research Skills Matter (pg. 4)
What Is Accounting Research, and Why Is It Performed? (pg. 4)
In What Future Roles Might I Perform Accounting Research? (pg. 5)
Now [ YOU ] Try 1.1 (pg. 6)
When Is Accounting Research Performed? (pg. 6)
Researching a Proposed Transaction (pg. 6)
Researching a Past Transaction (pg. 8)
Now [ YOU ] Try 1.3 (pg. 9)
Research Performed After Financial Statement Issuance (pg. 9)
Research for the Purpose of Shaping Future Accounting Standards (pg. 10)
In What Environments Is Accounting Research Performed? (pg. 10)
Different Guidance for Each Research Environment (pg. 11)
Now [ YOU ] Try 1.4 (pg. 11)
Accounting Standard-Setting Bodies (pg. 12)
The Securities and Exchange Commission (pg. 12)
Now [ YOU ] Try 1.5 (pg. 13)
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (pg. 13)
Now [ YOU ] Try 1.6 (pg. 14)
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (pg. 14)
Now [ YOU ] Try 1.7 (pg. 15)
Now [ YOU ] Try 1.8 (pg. 15)
Chapter Summary (pg. 15)
Review Questions (pg. 16)
Exercises (pg. 16)
Case Study Questions (pg. 17)
Chapter 2: The FASB Codification: Introduction and Search Strategies (pg. 20)
What Is the FASB Codification? (pg. 22)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.1 (pg. 23)
What Sources of Guidance Were Used to Populate the Codification? (pg. 23)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.2 (pg. 24)
How Is the Codification Updated? (pg. 24)
Navigating the Codification (pg. 24)
How is Information Organized Within the Codification? (pg. 25)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.3 (pg. 26)
Areas and Topics (pg. 27)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.4 (pg. 28)
Subtopics (pg. 28)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.5 (pg. 29)
Sections (pg. 29)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.6 (pg. 34)
Subsections and Paragraphs (pg. 34)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.7 (pg. 35)
Tips for Performing Browse Searches (pg. 36)
Show All in One Page (pg. 37)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.8 (pg. 37)
Navigating a Subtopic, Considering All Areas of “Required Reading” (pg. 38)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.9 (pg. 40)
Other Search Methods (pg. 40)
Keyword Searches (pg. 40)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.10 (pg. 41)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.11 (pg. 43)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.12 (pg. 44)
Search by ASC Reference Number (pg. 44)
Master Glossary (pg. 44)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.13 (pg. 45)
Pending Content and Effective Dates (pg. 46)
What is “Pending Content”? (pg. 46)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.14 (pg. 46)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.15 (pg. 47)
Private Company Accounting Alternatives in the Codification (pg. 48)
Now [ YOU ] Try 2.16 (pg. 48)
Chapter Summary (pg. 48)
Review Questions (pg. 48)
Exercises (pg. 49)
Case Study Questions (pg. 51)
Chapter 3: The Research Process (pg. 54)
Why Use a Research Process? (pg. 56)
The Accounting Research Process (pg. 56)
Pre-Step: Understand the Business (Industry) (pg. 57)
Now [ YOU ] Try 3.1 (pg. 59)
Step 1: Understand the Facts/Background of the Transaction (pg. 59)
Now [ YOU ] Try 3.2 (pg. 60)
Step 2: Define the Problem. That Is, Identify the “Researchable Question.” (pg. 61)
Now [ YOU ] Try 3.3 (pg. 62)
Now [ YOU ] Try 3.4 (pg. 62)
Step 3: Stop and Think: What Accounting Treatment Will Likely Be Appropriate? (pg. 62)
Step 4: Search Potentially Relevant Sources of Guidance, Copying Any Relevant Guidance into a Word (pg. 63)
Now [ YOU ] Try 3.5 (pg. 63)
Now [ YOU ] Try 3.6 (pg. 64)
Step 5: Analyze Alternatives, Documenting Your Consideration of Each (pg. 65)
Now [ YOU ] Try 3.7 (pg. 65)
Step 6: Justify and Document Your Conclusion (pg. 67)
Now [ YOU ] Try 3.8 (pg. 67)
Judgment and Decision Making-A Brief Introduction (pg. 67)
Common Biases (pg. 68)
Now [ YOU ] Try 3.9 (pg. 69)
How Do You Overcome These Biases? (To Reach a Sound Decision?) (pg. 69)
Learn from Your Mistakes (and Successes!) (pg. 70)
Now [ YOU ] Try 3.10 (pg. 70)
Chapter Summary (pg. 70)
Review Questions (pg. 71)
Exercises (pg. 71)
Case Study Questions (pg. 73)
Additional References (pg. 75)
Chapter 4: Creating Effective Documentation (pg. 76)
Documentation Is Integral to Accounting Research (pg. 78)
Communicating Accounting Research (pg. 79)
Emailing the Results of Research Questions (pg. 79)
Now [ YOU ] Try 4.1 (pg. 81)
Drafting an Accounting Issues Memorandum (pg. 83)
Facts (pg. 84)
Now [ YOU ] Try 4.2 (pg. 85)
Issue(s) (pg. 86)
Analysis (pg. 86)
Now [ YOU ] Try 4.3 (pg. 89)
Now [ YOU ] Try 4.4 (pg. 90)
Now [ YOU ] Try 4.5 (pg. 91)
Conclusion (pg. 91)
Now [ YOU ] Try 4.6 (pg. 92)
Financial Statement and Disclosure Impacts (pg. 93)
Reread Your Work Before Submitting (and what to look for) (pg. 93)
Now [ YOU ] Try 4.7 (pg. 94)
Properly Referencing Accounting Guidance (pg. 94)
How Do I Reference a Passage from the Codification? (pg. 94)
Now [ YOU ] Try 4.8 (pg. 95)
Should I Ever Use Footnotes in Professional Memos? (pg. 95)
When Should I Use Quotation Marks? (pg. 96)
When Is It Appropriate to Alter an Excerpt from the Guidance? (pg. 96)
When Is It Appropriate to Use Ellipses? (pg. 97)
Style Tips for Professional Communication (pg. 98)
Use Proper Voice in Your Memos (pg. 98)
Keep Your Language Neutral (Avoid Strong Words) (pg. 98)
Get the Grammar Right (pg. 99)
Getting Feedback On Your Writing (pg. 100)
Chapter 4 Appendix (pg. 101)
Sample Accounting Issues Memo (pg. 101)
Chapter Summary (pg. 105)
Review Questions (pg. 105)
Exercises (pg. 106)
Case Study Questions (pg. 108)
Chapter 5: Using Nonauthoritative Sources to Supplement Codification Research (pg. 110)
Nonauthoritative Guidance: What Is It, And How Is It Used? (pg. 112)
Now [ YOU ] Try 5.1 (pg. 113)
Benefits of Nonauthoritative Guidance (pg. 113)
Big Four Guides and Other Accounting Firm Resources (pg. 114)
Now [ YOU ] Try 5.2 (pg. 116)
Accounting Standards Updates and Pre-Codification Standards (pg. 119)
Now [ YOU ] Try 5.3 (pg. 121)
Now [ YOU ] Try 5.4 (pg. 121)
Peer Benchmarking (pg. 122)
Now [ YOU ] Try 5.5 (pg. 124)
Now [ YOU ] Try 5.6 (pg. 126)
AICPA Resources (pg. 126)
International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) (pg. 128)
Now [ YOU ] Try 5.7 (pg. 129)
FASB’s Conceptual Framework (pg. 130)
Now [ YOU ] Try 5.8 (pg. 130)
Now [ YOU ] Try 5.9 (pg. 130)
Now [ YOU ] Try 5.10 (pg. 132)
Now [ YOU ] Try 5.11 (pg. 133)
Using Nonauthoritative Sources: There’s a Right Way, and a Wrong Way (pg. 138)
Is It Wrong to Cite Nonauthoritative Guidance Only? (pg. 140)
How Do I Reference Nonauthoritative Sources? (pg. 140)
Chapter Summary (pg. 141)
Review Questions (pg. 141)
Exercises (pg. 142)
Case Study Questions (pg. 144)
Chapter 6: Scope and Recognition Guidance: A Brief Introduction (pg. 146)
Scope Guidance: An Area of Required Reading (pg. 148)
Applying Scope Guidance: A Few Examples (pg. 149)
Considering Scope, Glossary, and Interpretive Guidance (pg. 149)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.1 (pg. 149)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.2 (pg. 151)
Evaluating Subsections with Unique Scope Guidance: Nonmonetary Transactions (pg. 151)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.3 (pg. 152)
Which Topic Applies? Navigating Investments Topics (pg. 154)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.4 (pg. 155)
Performing a Scope Test: Derivatives (pg. 156)
Evaluating Whether an Instrument Meets the Definition of a Derivative (pg. 156)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.5 (pg. 156)
To Document, or Not to Document My Scope Review? (pg. 158)
Recognition Guidance: A Brief Introduction (pg. 159)
Derecognition Guidance in the Codification (pg. 160)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.6 (pg. 160)
Revenue Recognition: Learning to Apply the Five-Step MODEL (pg. 161)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.7 (pg. 161)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.8 (pg. 162)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.9 (pg. 163)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.10 (pg. 164)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.11 (pg. 165)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.12 (pg. 166)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.13 (pg. 167)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.14 (pg. 168)
Applying Different Recognition Thresholds (pg. 168)
Uncertain Taxes: Recognize If More Likely Than Not (pg. 168)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.15 (pg. 169)
Effective Settlement of a Tax Position (pg. 170)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.16 (pg. 170)
Subsequent Events: Recognize If Conditions Existed at the Balance Sheet Date (pg. 171)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.17 (pg. 173)
Applying Derecognition Guidance: Liability Extinguishments (pg. 174)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.18 (pg. 175)
Now [ YOU ] Try 6.19 (pg. 176)
Chapter Summary (pg. 177)
Review Questions (pg. 177)
Exercises (pg. 178)
Case Study Questions (pg. 179)
Chapter 7: Using the Codification to Research Measurement Issues (pg. 182)
What is Accounting Measurement? (pg. 184)
Overview and Conceptual Background (pg. 184)
Measurement Attributes (pg. 184)
Now [ YOU ] Try 7.1 (pg. 185)
Now [ YOU ] Try 7.2 (pg. 185)
Where Can I Find Measurement Guidance? (pg. 186)
Now [ YOU ] Try 7.3 (pg. 188)
Who Performs Accounting Measurement in Practice? (pg. 188)
Initial Measurements (pg. 189)
Overview (pg. 189)
Applying Initial Measurement Guidance (pg. 189)
Now [ YOU ] Try 7.4 (pg. 190)
Now [ YOU ] Try 7.5 (pg. 192)
Subsequent Measurements (pg. 195)
Overview (pg. 195)
Applying Subsequent Measurement Guidance (pg. 196)
Now [ YOU ] Try 7.6 (pg. 196)
Now [ YOU ] Try 7.7 (pg. 199)
Now [ YOU ] Try 7.8 (pg. 200)
Disclosure Should Accompany Key Measurement Judgments (pg. 201)
Chapter Summary (pg. 201)
Review Questions (pg. 202)
Exercises (pg. 202)
Case Study Questions (pg. 203)
Chapter 8: Fair Value Measurements in the Codification (pg. 206)
Fair Value Overview (pg. 208)
What Is Measured at Fair Value? (pg. 208)
Now [ YOU ] Try 8.1 (pg. 209)
How Is Fair Value Measured? (pg. 209)
Now [ YOU ] Try 8.2 (pg. 210)
The Fair Value Hierarchy (pg. 210)
Now [ YOU ] Try 8.3 (pg. 211)
The Debits and Credits: How Are Changes in Fair Value Reported? (pg. 212)
Now [ YOU ] Try 8.4 (pg. 212)
Now [ YOU ] Try 8.5 (pg. 213)
How Do I Navigate Fair Value Guidance? (pg. 213)
Organization of ASC 820 (pg. 214)
In What Other Circumstances Are Fair Value Measurements Permitted or Required? (pg. 215)
Option to Measure at Fair Value (pg. 215)
Now [ YOU ] Try 8.6 (pg. 217)
Items Measured at Fair Value for Disclosure Purposes (pg. 218)
Now [ YOU ] Try 8.7 (pg. 218)
What Is The Relationship Between Fair Value and Present Value? (pg. 219)
Contributions Payable: Measuring Fair Value Using an Income Approach (pg. 219)
Now [ YOU ] Try 8.8 (pg. 220)
Valuation Technique Disclosures: An Insight Into How Fair Value Measurements Are Performed (pg. 221)
Now [ YOU ] Try 8.9 (pg. 222)
Fixed Assets: Testing For Impairment Using Fair Value (pg. 223)
Now [ YOU ] Try 8.10 (pg. 224)
Now [ YOU ] Try 8.11 (pg. 227)
Chapter Summary (pg. 228)
Review Questions (pg. 229)
Exercises (pg. 229)
Case Study Questions (pg. 230)
Chapter 9: Audit and Professional Services Research (pg. 232)
Introduction to Auditing Research (pg. 234)
When Is Audit Research Required? (pg. 234)
Types of Services-A High-Level Overview (pg. 234)
The Standard Setters: The AICPA and the PCAOB (pg. 235)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.1 (pg. 236)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.2 (pg. 237)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.3 (pg. 238)
Researching Auditing Standards (pg. 238)
AICPA Auditing Standards (pg. 238)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.4 (pg. 240)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.5 (pg. 241)
PCAOB Rules and Auditing Standards (pg. 243)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.6 (pg. 244)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.7 (pg. 245)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.8 (pg. 246)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.9 (pg. 247)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.10 (pg. 248)
Searching for Auditing Guidance within Firm Research Databases (pg. 250)
The AICPA’s Code Of Conduct (pg. 251)
The Code Is Organized Into Three Parts (pg. 251)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.11 (pg. 251)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.12 (pg. 253)
The Conceptual Framework Approach (pg. 253)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.13 (pg. 254)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.14 (pg. 255)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.15 (pg. 256)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.16 (pg. 256)
How Is Guidance in the Code Organized? (pg. 257)
Now [ YOU ] Try 9.17 (pg. 258)
How Can I Search for Guidance in the Code? (pg. 260)
The Code Will Continue to Change (pg. 261)
Standards for Other Professional Services (pg. 261)
Attestation Standards (pg. 261)
Compilation and Review Standards (SSARS) (pg. 261)
Internal Audit Standards (pg. 262)
Documentation of Professional Services Research (pg. 263)
Citing Professional Standards (pg. 264)
Chapter Summary (pg. 265)
Review Questions (pg. 265)
Exercises (pg. 266)
Case Study Questions (pg. 267)
Chapter 10: Governmental Accounting Research (pg. 270)
Governmental Accounting Research (pg. 272)
Now [ YOU ] Try 10.1 (pg. 272)
State and Local Accounting Standards (pg. 272)
Now [ YOU ] Try 10.2 (pg. 273)
Now [ YOU ] Try 10.3 (pg. 274)
Now [ YOU ] Try 10.4 (pg. 275)
Now [ YOU ] Try 10.5 (pg. 277)
Now [ YOU ] Try 10.6 (pg. 278)
Now [ YOU ] Try 10.7 (pg. 279)
Now [ YOU ] Try 10.8 (pg. 282)
Federal Accounting Standards (pg. 283)
Now [ YOU ] Try 10.9 (pg. 284)
Now [ YOU ] Try 10.10 (pg. 286)
Referencing Governmental Accounting Guidance (pg. 287)
Governmental Auditing Standards (pg. 288)
In What Circumstances Are Government Audits Required? (pg. 288)
Now [ YOU ] Try 10.11 (pg. 289)
Who Performs Government Audits? (pg. 289)
Standards for Government Audits (pg. 290)
Now [ YOU ] Try 10.12 (pg. 291)
Now [ YOU ] Try 10.13 (pg. 292)
Now [ YOU ] Try 10.14 (pg. 294)
Chapter Summary (pg. 295)
Review Questions (pg. 295)
Exercises (pg. 296)
Case Study Questions (pg. 297)
Chapter 11: Fundamentals of Tax Research (pg. 300)
Who Performs Tax Research, and When? (pg. 302)
The Tax Research Process (pg. 302)
Step 1: Understand the Relevant Facts (pg. 303)
Step 2: Identify the Tax Issues Involved (pg. 304)
Now [ YOU ] Try 11.1 (pg. 306)
Step 3: Analyze Tax Research Findings (pg. 306)
Step 4: Document and Communicate Tax Research Results (pg. 307)
Sources of Federal Tax Law (pg. 310)
Primary Sources of U.S. Federal Tax Law (pg. 310)
Now [ YOU ] Try 11.2 (pg. 314)
Now [ YOU ] Try 11.3 (pg. 314)
Now [ YOU ] Try 11.4 (pg. 320)
Now [ YOU ] Try 11.5 (pg. 321)
Now [ YOU ] Try 11.6 (pg. 325)
Secondary Sources of U.S. Federal Tax Law (pg. 326)
Now [ YOU ] Try 11.7 (pg. 327)
Using an Online Tax Research Service to Find Tax Law (pg. 328)
Table of Contents and Index Searches on Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Edge (pg. 328)
Keyword Searching (pg. 329)
Citation Searches (pg. 331)
Additional Guidance for Using Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Edge (pg. 332)
Updating Tax Research Results (pg. 333)
Citators (pg. 334)
Standards of Professional Tax Practice (pg. 336)
Circular 230 (pg. 336)
AICPA Statements on Standards for Tax Services (pg. 337)
Chapter Summary (pg. 338)
Review Questions (pg. 338)
Exercises (pg. 339)
Case Study Questions (pg. 341)
Chapter 12: The International Research Environment (pg. 344)
Introduction (pg. 346)
IFRS: The Predominant Global Financial Reporting Framework (pg. 346)
A Brief History of International Accounting Standards (pg. 346)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.1 (pg. 347)
When Are Financial Statements Required Internationally? (pg. 347)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.2 (pg. 348)
The IFRS Foundation and Its Standard-Setting Bodies (pg. 349)
Standard-Setting Bodies of the IFRS Foundation (pg. 350)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.3 (pg. 350)
Governance and Oversight of the IFRS Foundation (pg. 350)
Advisory Bodies of the IFRS Foundation (pg. 351)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.4 (pg. 351)
Funding for the IFRS Foundation (pg. 351)
International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) (pg. 352)
Understanding “Full IFRS” (pg. 352)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.5 (pg. 352)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.6 (pg. 353)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.7 (pg. 354)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.8 (pg. 355)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.9 (pg. 356)
Performing IFRS Research (pg. 357)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.10 (pg. 358)
Statement of Compliance with IFRS (pg. 359)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.11 (pg. 360)
IFRS for Small and Medium-Sized Entities (pg. 360)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.12 (pg. 361)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.13 (pg. 363)
How Do I Know Whether IFRS Applies to a Particular Country? (pg. 363)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.14 (pg. 364)
IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards (pg. 364)
When Are International Standards Relevant to U.S. Accountants? (pg. 364)
Foreign Private Issuers (pg. 365)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.15 (pg. 365)
Other Areas Relevant to U.S. Accountants (pg. 365)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.16 (pg. 366)
Citing International Accounting Standards (pg. 366)
Nonauthoritative Resources (pg. 367)
Appendix 12A: International Auditing Standards (pg. 367)
When Do International Auditing Standards Apply? (pg. 367)
The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and Its Standards Boards (pg. 368)
Now [ YOU ] Try 12.17 (pg. 369)
Chapter Summary (pg. 370)
Review Questions (pg. 371)
Exercises (pg. 371)
Case Study Questions (pg. 372)
Chapter 13: Delivering Effective Presentations (pg. 374)
When Will I Use Presentation Skills in Practice, and What Is the Format? (pg. 376)
Presentation Formats (pg. 377)
Now [ YOU ] Try 13.1 (pg. 377)
What Are the Qualities of a Great Presentation? (pg. 377)
Creating Effective Content (pg. 378)
Now [ YOU ] Try 13.2 (pg. 379)
Find Ways to Make the Information Resonate (pg. 379)
Now [ YOU ] Try 13.3 (pg. 380)
How Much Detail Should I Include in My Slides? (pg. 380)
Now [ YOU ] Try 13.4 (pg. 381)
Does Font Choice Matter? (pg. 382)
Use Consistent Bullet Style (pg. 382)
Now [ YOU ] Try 13.5 (pg. 382)
Edit Your Presentation (pg. 383)
Delivering a High-Quality Presentation (pg. 383)
Tips for Powerful Body Language (pg. 383)
Now [ YOU ] Try 13.6 (pg. 384)
What If You Have a Fear of Presenting? (pg. 385)
Think beyond the Case Facts (pg. 385)
What Should You Wear? (pg. 386)
Online Presentations (pg. 386)
Considerations for Those Working in a Group (pg. 386)
What If a Member of My Group Is a Non-Native English Speaker? (pg. 388)
Now [ YOU ] Try 13.7 (pg. 388)
Chapter Summary (pg. 388)
Review Questions (pg. 388)
Exercises (pg. 389)
Case Study Questions (pg. 390)
Chapter 14: Staying Current with Emerging Guidance (pg. 392)
The Professional Advantages of Staying Current (pg. 394)
Now [ YOU ] Try 14.1 (pg. 395)
The Standard-Setting Process (pg. 395)
Why Do Accounting Standards Change? (pg. 395)
Now [ YOU ] Try 14.2 (pg. 396)
The Standard-Setting “Due Process” (pg. 396)
Identifying Resources for Staying Current (pg. 397)
First, Identify the Standard Setters You Want to Monitor (pg. 397)
Next, Identify Resources for Monitoring These Standard Setters (pg. 398)
Now [ YOU ] Try 14.4 (pg. 400)
Chapter Summary (pg. 402)
Review Questions (pg. 402)
Exercises (pg. 403)
Case Study Questions (pg. 404)
Index (pg. 405)
Shelby Collins

Shelby Collins

Shelby Collins currently works as a consultant assisting companies with adoption of the new FASB revenue and lease accounting standards. Prior to this role, she taught the Masters-level accounting and auditing research course at the University at Buffalo School of Management from 2011 through 2016.

Shelby’s entire career has focused specifically on performing and communicating technical accounting research, in a diversity of settings. Immediately after receiving her Bachelors’ and Masters’ degrees in Accountancy from the University of Georgia, Shelby went on to serve as a postgraduate technical assistant at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). From there, Shelby went on to work in KPMG’s Accounting Advisory Services group, then in the Accounting Policy and Research group at Exelon Corporation in Chicago. In these roles, Shelby focused on the application of technical accounting guidance to complex and judgmental transactions.

While at the University at Buffalo, finding no textbook on the market that offered a hands-on, active learning approach to accounting research, she chose to create her own course materials including handouts, lecture slides, and case studies. Many of these materials have been incorporated into this book and its supplements.

Few professionals have the opportunity to hit the ground running with a career in research; accountants often get their first shot at higher-level research projects after several years on the job. Shelby's career is unique in that she started researching before she even had the depth of knowledge afforded by several years of experience. She quickly achieved that depth of knowledge through her work as a researcher. She therefore understands how to convey complex accounting concepts alongside the basic skills necessary for success in research, in a language that beginning researchers can understand. Her enthusiasm for teaching will serve as an asset to students utilizing this book.

Martha L. Salzman

Martha L. Salzman

Martha L. Salzman authored the tax research chapter of this book. Martha is a full-time adjunct assistant professor at the University at Buffalo School of Management, where she teaches the Masters-level professional tax research course and business law courses. Martha is a graduate of the University of Rochester (B.A., Political Science) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D.), and is licensed to practice law in the State of New York. Martha spent 18 years at the law firm of Phillips Lytle LLP, where her practice focused primarily on taxation, including advising clients regarding tax planning, compliance, audits and disputes. Martha enjoys using her real-world tax experience to better prepare students for their futures as tax and accounting professionals.