BUS A425--Contemporary Accounting Theory

Department of Accounting and Finance

Indiana University/Purdue University--Fort Wayne

Fall Semester 2000


Instructor: Dr. Janet C. Papiernik e-mail: papiernj@ipfw.edu

Office: Neff 350J Office Phone: 481-6477

Office Hours: Mondays 5:00- 6:00 p.m.

Tues/Thurs 10:30-12:00 p.m.

Tues/Thurs 1:00-1:30 p.m.

Other Hours may be Scheduled by Appointment


Required Textbooks/Readings:

Annual Editions: Accounting 99/00, by Aileen Ormiston, Second Edition, Guilford, CT: Dushkin/McGraw-Hill, 1999/2000, including the following articles:

Flesher, D.L., P.J. Miranti, and G.J. Previts (October 1996). >The First Century of the CPA=, Journal of Accountancy,


Barr, S., (September 1994).>FASB Under Siege=,CFO, pp. 34-36.

Beresford, D.R., (June 1995). >How Should the FASB Be Judged?=, Accounting Horizons, pp. 56-61.

Koreto, R.J., (July 1997). >Beresford Looks Forward=, Journal of Accountancy, pp. 67-69.

Swieringa, R.J., (January 1997). >Challenges to the Current Accounting Model=, The CPA Journal, pp. 26-32.

Luecke, R.W. and D.T. Meeting, (May 1998), >How Companies Report Income=, Journal of Accountancy, pp. 45-52.

Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts: Accounting Standards, 1999/2000 Edition. (1999). Financial Accounting Standards Board, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., inlcuding:

--Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts No. 1: Objectives of Financial Reporting by Business Enterprises, by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, November 1978.


--Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts No. 2: Qualitative Characteristics of Accounting Information, by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, May 1980.

--Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts No. 5: Recognition and Measurement in Financial Statements of Business Enterprises, by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, December 1984.

--Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts No. 6: Elements of Financial Statements, by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, December 1985.



These Readings/Articles should be obtained from the

Library Express system on Campus:

Watts, R.L. and J.L. Zimmerman, (April 1997). >The Demand for and Supply of Accounting Theories: The Market for Excuses=, The Accounting Review, pp. 273-304.

Wolk, H.I. and M.G. Tearney, (1997). Accounting Theory: A Conceptual and Institutional Approach. Fourth Edition, Cincinnati, Ohio: South-Western College Publishing:

--Chapter 3: >Development of the Institutional Structure of Financial Accounting=, pp. 54-82.

Skousen, K.F. (1991). An Introduction to the SEC. Fifth Edition,

Cincinnati, Ohio: South-Western College Publishing:

Chapter 2: >Legal Framework of the SEC=, pp. 21-40.

Carmichael, D.R. and J.L. Craig (Editors of >The CPA Journal=) (January 1992). >A Visit to the FASB=, The CPA Journal,

pp. 40-47.


The following will be distributed in class:

Chapter 1: >An Introduction to Accounting Theory=, pp. 1-12.

AICPA Special Committee on Financial Reporting (1991). >The Jenkins Report: Meeting the Information Needs of Investors and Creditors=, Supplement to the Journal of Accountancy, pp. 1-20.





Course Objectives:

The primary objective of A425 is to provide you with an understanding of the development of accounting theory and the related implications for current and future accounting practices. Specifically, you will examine and evaluate the process of accounting theory development, its implementation, and current application.

The second objective of A425 is to enable you to develop a broader set of professional skills, whereby these skills will be integrated with your working knowledge of accounting. These skills will include the ability to critically analyze accounting issues, and to more effectively communicate your analysis and points of view in both verbal and written formats.


Class Preparation and Participation:

Because of the theoretical nature of this course, class attendance, preparation, and participation are critical success factors of the learning process. Readings should be completed in advance so that the student will be prepared for class discussion. You must come to class prepared to discuss the material. Homework will be assigned.


Three exams will be given during the semester. Exams will cover any material assigned in readings and/or discussed in class. Each exam will emphasize the topics for the specific section of the material to be tested, however, because of the cumulative nature of the course, previously discussed material may be relevant.

Make-up exams will be allowed on an emergency basis only. I must be notified in advance of the need for a make-up. Lack of adequate preparation for an exam does not qualify you for a make-up exam. To be fair to your fellow classmates, only one make-up exam per student per semester will be permitted. A student missing an exam will not be allowed to return to class until the make-up exam is completed.

Term Paper

A term paper on a pre-approved topic related to the course material will be required. A list of the topics will be distributed as well as the format requirements. The paper should be 6 - 10 pages in length. Each student will present their paper during the last week of class. Your assigned grade will include points for the paper and the presentation.


Class Term Project:

The School of Business and Management Sciences is working in conjunction with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to provide consulting services to struggling small businesses in the Fort Wayne area. A small business will be assigned to the class in the form of a group project to address the Aaccounting problems@ of the firm. A report and presentation from the students is expected in their role as consultants. As the semester progresses, more information will be forthcoming regarding the requirements, format, and due date of the project submission and presentation. Depending on the size of the class, it is possible that either one or two businesses will be selected, with one business project assigned per group.

Grading: Letter Grades:

Exams I - III (20% for each exam) 60% A = 90% or higher SBDC Project (Report and Presentation) 10% B = 80% or higher

Term Paper & Presentation 30% C = 70% or higher

100% D = 60% or higher F = Below 60%




ACCOUNTING A425: Contemporary Accounting Theory

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Janet C. Papiernik

SEMESTER: Fall 2000


AUG 21 Introduction to the Course; Accounting Theory -

Wolk & Tierney (pp. 1 - 6.)

AUG 28 Accounting Theory - Watts & Zimmerman

(Sections I, II, and III only)


SEPT 11 History of Accounting - Wolk & Tierney Chapter 3

and Annual Editions Article

SEPT 18 Development of Accounting Standards - FASB (Video)

and Annual Edition Articles

SEPT 25 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

OCT 2 Exam I

Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts #1


OCT 9 Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts #1

OCT 16 The Jenkins Report

Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts #2

OCT 23 Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts #2

(Outline and Bibliography of Term Paper Due)

OCT 27 Last Day to Drop the Course

OCT 30 Exam II

Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts #5

NOV 6 Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts #5

NOV 13 Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts #5

Annual Editions Articles

NOV 20 Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts #6

NOV 27 Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts #6

Term Papers Due

DEC 4 Paper Presentations

DEC 11 EXAM III 8:00 - 10:00 p.m.

**The instructor reserves the right to change the class schedule for the benefit of the class majority.


Tentative Topics: Accounting Theory; History & Change of the Accounting Profession; Accounting Organizations and the Standard Setting Process; the SEC; Accounting Principles & Concepts; Qualitative Concepts & the Conceptual Framework;

Accounting Measurements and Valuation; International Accounting; Accounting Ethics.