August 1999


Edited by Gary Previts

Jai Press, hardcover, $78.50. ISBN: 0762304650

Reviewed by Robert Kawa

This volume is divided into four sections: main papers, research reports, perspectives, and book reviews. Each presentation within the book is written by a different author. Although it covers a number of subject areas, the book's primary concentration is auditing issues.

In both the main papers and research reports sections, a number of research studies are presented, including studies on independence, audit failure, auditor tenure, audit homogeneity, and liability reform. The research on auditor independence is quite current and examines a number of factors, such as provision of MAS services, audit firm size, length of auditor­client relationship, and audit fee influence on auditor independence. For those interested in a historical perspective on these audit issues as well as those presently engaged in auditing research, the book provides useful insights and supported conclusions. In light of today's ever-changing audit environment, the book brings to light a number of important audit research areas.

Other areas examined in these sections include a study of SFAS No. 128 on earnings per share, the relationship between states' educational requirements and CPA exam performance, market value accounting, and an update on SEC disclosure requirements.

The perspectives section includes five very different subjects ranging from thoughts on the euro to the 1998 AICPA amicus brief in the Silicon Graphics, Inc., case.

The book reviews section includes four reviews on a broad range of subject matter.

The variety of issues presented in the book is probably its most distinguishingcharacteristic. It may also be its weakness. Outside of auditing, many of the topics covered seem to be hit-or-miss in approach. The book will be most useful to graduate accounting students and researchers, and the auditing issues and research presented can be incorporated in an advanced auditing class. Many of the papers present additional research that could be conducted. In addition, the book presents good historical perspectives on a number of topics in auditing and SEC activity that may be of interest to the accounting historian. *

Robert Kawa, CPA, is an assistant professor of accounting at LeMoyne College and a member of the NYSSCPA Professional Ethics Committee.

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