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Accounting Novels, Plays, and Movies
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Accounting Novels and Plays

Accounting Movies

David Albrecht requested that I provide a listing of my favorite "accounting novels."

When I did an Amazon search of "accounting novels," I got 39 hits, a few of which are actually accounting novels. Of course this is a biased listing of only accounting novels that are still in print and for which there are people who will still pay for these books from Amazon. I'm sorry to say that I've not read a single one of that listing of "accounting novels." Hence, I'm not a very good judge of accounting novels. I will, however, be ordering several that look most interesting to me.

There are really two types of accountancy novels. The first kind (Type 1) is a novel written primarily to entertain that features accounting in the process much like it is popular to feature law, psychology, sociology, and anthropology in novel writing. The second kind (Type 2) is a novel written primarily to teach accounting that is put into a novel for purposes of attracting and holding the reader's attention. Most accounting novels of the latter kind are mystery novels.

I'm sorry to say that I'm disappointed in all the Type 2 accounting novels that I've ever read  (but I've not read them all by any means). As to the Type 1 accounting novels, I can't find any to recommend even though they all are top novels according to critics of repute. I think you can learn a lot about psychology and the criminal mind from some Type 1 books. To the extent that the criminal mind is focused on an accounting crime like embezzlement, the reader may learn a great deal about psychology. But what is learned about accounting seems hardly worth mentioning.

Type 2 novels that are written primarily to teach accounting usually lack research into the historical settings, and it is often this "realism" of the setting that separates great novels from hack jobs.

May 27, 2002 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM

I'm taking a few weeks off, and am thinking of reading some novels. A Google search on "accountant & movies" reveals the following. Can anyone recommend any of these books? I am purposefully bypassing the accountant books written by a professor for students. -- Dave Albrecht (Bowling Green State University)

David Dodge wrote four novels starring a San Francisco tax accountant James “Whit” Whitney, who becomes a reluctant detective. They are: 

Paul Anthony wrote Old Accountants Never Die

John Grisham wrote Skipping Christmas

Paul Bennett (crime thriller author) - Nick Shannon is an accountant who investigates fraud Due Diligence Collateral Damage False Profits The Money Race

Mike Resnick wrote: Eros Ascending: Book 1 of Tales of the Velvet Comet


Type 1 Novels
Suppose we begin with somebody's listing of the top 100 novels of all time such as the listing at
It's relatively easy to identify some of those that teach economics, the noteworthy authors being Ayn Rand and George Orwell. I'm sorry to say that I personally cannot recommend a single novel among the classics that I would recommend as a supplement for teaching accounting.

Nor can I recommend any of my favorite novelists on the basis of accounting? No! Actually I cannot recommend a favorite novelist without some sort of criterion. For example, in terms of realism of settings one of my favorite novelists of all time is Joseph Conrad. However, if I'm planning a long flight I generally add several books by Agatha Christie and Nagio Marsh to my carry-on luggage. Give me an old Christie or Marsh re-read to a current James Patterson or Mary Higgins Clark new-read any day. I do somewhat like Elizabeth George and PD James, although they often get tedious.

I also don't find any interesting accounting novels among the top banned books.

The Online Banned Books Page (updated in 2009) ---

Banned Books ---

I draw a blank in terms of recommending Type 1 novels for learning accounting, even those that may feature accountants.

February 28, 2010 reply from Paul Bjorklund [PaulBjorklund@AOL.COM]

The best story of all time on the subject of estate planning gone awry is Shakespeare's King Lear.

Does that count?


Jensen Comment
Obsession with flattery will get you nowhere ---

Thanks Paul

March 1, 2010 reply from Richard.Sansing [Richard.C.Sansing@TUCK.DARTMOUTH.EDU]

If we are going to open up the competition to plays, we need to put The Producers on the list.

Richard Sansing

Jensen Comment
It's an interesting exercise trying to relate the Madoff Ponzi scheme with Max Bialystock's promotion of a flop that turns into success beyond imagination ---  

Thanks, Richard

March 2, 2010 reply from Clikeman, Paul [pclikema@RICHMOND.EDU]

Here are two accounting novels I would recommend.

1)       The Rose Engagement, by Richard E. and Beverly A. Brown

Unfortunately, this book is no longer in print, but used copies are available on-line.

Reader reviews from Amazon:


5.0 out of 5 stars Very intriguing and creative. It was accounting with a twist, March 15, 1999

I found this book to be an interesting way to explain some of the governmental accounting issues that auditors face. The story line kept my interest the entire time I was reading. Also, the outrageous plot made the technical material easier to remember. This book made for interesting reading of a not-so-interesting topic. Thank you Dr. and Mrs. Brown.


4.0 out of 5 stars The Rose Engagement, June 3, 2002


Very enjoyable. Fascinating plot line. As a CPA who does governmental audits, it was exciting to read about standards in a murder mystery format. I would recommend it to accountants and certainly to students who are considering going into accounting. It is informative as well as entertaining.

2)       Risk, by Dick Francis

An auditor as a hero, accountants everywhere will cheer, March 15, 2001

Dick Francis has a winning formula: he writes books about a young man of around 30, in a career most people might think is boring, but which turns out to be exciting. His hero is usually taken for granted and under-appreciated by his family, and under-employed, but in the course of the book proves he is far smarter, cleverer, and more observant than anyone supposed. Usually, there's a highly intelligent middle-aged career woman who recognizes his worth and helps him along. It's a formula, but the details that Francis provides makes it work every time.

In this case, our hero is an accountant, an auditor. Many people would start to snore at the thought that auditing could be an exciting job; as a former auditor myself, who has since traded it in for the relative calm of a desk job, I was pleased to see him show how varied and interesting the job can be. Auditors have to know a great deal about a variety of industries, do a lot of travelling, and have highly analytical minds used to investigating small details and discrepancies that most people would not notice. (There might be a bit of bias on my part, of course.) All this means that an auditor winds up making a good investigator of mysteries, as well.

Along with the details of Roland's regular job, and the details of horse-racing that are in every book, we also happen to find out a great deal about yacht-building. Such details are all through Francis's books; he seems to know about every possible job, and must collect details as much as most people collect lint. I always enjoy learning these details!

In this particular book, we have some ambiguous people who turn out not to be bad guys, the person captaining the yacht that Roland first is stored on when kidnapped. Then, the bad guy turns out to be a total surprise, someone we don't suspect at all till the end is revealed. Nonetheless, once the details are pointed out, one goes "Of course!"


 Paul M. Clikeman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Accounting. Robins School of Business, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA 23173



Type 2 Novels
Among the more financially successful Type 2 novels designed to teach management are the Eliyahu Moshe Goldratt books ---
I can honestly say that I never read one of his books that I thought was worth a tinkers damn in spite of the fact that cults have formed in praise of Eliyahu's fads.

The most financially successful mystery novels designed to teach economics as well as entertain were those of my former colleague Bill Breit and Ken Elzinga.

Three mystery novels penned under the name of Marshall Jevons are as follows:

Although I never personally thought these were great novels, for a time they became widely popular as high school adoptions where there is a huge sales market. One time I wrote a tribute to Bill and Ken at 
Wherein I wrote my own Muppets screen play about arbitrage.

One of the more serious accounting education mystery novels is Code Blue by R.E. McDermott, K.D. Stocks, and J. Ogden (Syracuse, UT:  Traemus Books, ISBN 0-9675072-0-0, 2000) --- 

What you are about to read represents a new way of teaching technical material. As the approach is unorthodox, an explanation is warranted. The format chosen is that of a textbook-novel. It tells the story of a CPA who accepts a consulting job for a community hospital, a job that involves him in romance, mystery, murder, intrigue, and...managed care!

My primary purpose in selecting this format is learning in context. Many learners complain that traditional education fails to prepare them for the real world. In this textbook-novel, I discuss not only how to find the right answers but also how to identify the right questions. My experience has been that the second issue is often far more important than the first.

In a similar vein, the book stresses the principle that how a manager does something is often as important as what he or she does. Some managers fail even though they do the right thing--because they do it in the wrong way. It is not enough to be sincere; one must be right. It is not enough to be right; one must be effective!

Creativity is another topic that can best be covered in the format of a textbook-novel. How does one apply old principles to a new environment? What process does one follow in breaking a complex consulting project into manageable tasks?

This book was written for anyone impacted by the cost of healthcare or interest in one "solution" that has been offered--a set of principles known as managed care. This audience certainly includes physicians, nurses, healthcare administrators, accountants, personnel directors and other executives of businesses that pay the cost through health insurance premiums.

In a recent Fortune Magazine poll, nearly two out of three CEOs called skyrocketing medical costs one of the most important problems facing American corporations. One-third of those surveyed stated that healthcare costs are the single biggest problem they would face this decade. The United States currently spends more than $1 trillion for the healthcare of its citizens. Projections indicate this figure will double within the next decade.

This book also contains technical material for the accounting student who is interested in learning more about healthcare cost accounting. It has been three decades since the number of service-industry jobs in the United States bypassed those in manufacturing. Still, accounting textbooks continue to emphasize traditional manufacturing cost accounting while neglecting or even ignoring the service industry.

Technical supplements, found in the appendix, illustrate the concepts taught, explain service industry accounting and contrast it with manufacturing accounting. This material is not essential to the story line and can be skipped by the more general reader. Questions for each chapter can be found on the author's web page:

As a boy, I lived on the shores of Lake Washington in the small community of Hunt's Point. Many of the homes have docks, and one of our neighbors bought an airplane boat--not a plane with floating pods, as one often sees in that part of the country, but a plane with a hull--like a boat!

The advantages of such a craft in the Pacific Northwest are not hard to imagine, but the vehicle had some drawbacks. Although it did things neither a boat nor airplane could do alone, it didn't always fly as well as a plane nor sail as well as a boat. This analogy had come to me as I've studied the art of fiction. I am a hospital administrator turned consultant as well as a professor of accounting and healthcare administration. In my formal training, I was taught expository writing. Fiction is obviously a different animal.

In a professional article, the author begins with an introductory statement: a thesis that is followed by an explanation and a summary. Organization is tight--redundancy is discouraged. In fiction, the author must have a story line that involves opposition. Characters must be interesting; and the plot must keep moving. Merging the objectives of these two writing styles presents challenges, especially when the purpose is to explain the technical principles of managed care, accounting, and finance.

A textbook-novel is not as easy to write as a textbook and may not be as action focused as a novel. On the other hand, a textbook-novel is hopefully more informative than many novels and is certainly more interesting, perhaps even more educational from the standpoint of context, than a textbook.

As the creator of Code Blue, my goal is to make learning easy by making it fun. It is up to you to determine how successful we were in achieving this objective.

Richard E. McDermott 
January 1, 2000

The most prolific accounting mystery novel writer is Larry Cumbley at LSU. Larry eventually took his books into the realm of forensic accounting education.

"SHERLOCK HOLMES AND FORENSIC ACCOUNTING ," D. Larry Crumbley, Stanley H. Kratchman, and L. Murphy Smith, Texas A&M, March 4, 1997 ---

Larry Crumbley authored or co-authored a number of accounting novels, but they seemed too formula driven (Larry's a novel writing machine) and never appealed to my tastes. Many were written under the pen name Iris Weil Collett and were designed to teach forensic accounting as well as entertain ---

The best of the Crumbley books may be
Larry Crumbley and Doug Ziegenfuss and (O'Shaughnessy?), Forensic Accounting Educational Novel, Carolina Academic Press, Second Edition, 2008 ---

Risk. It's a factor calculated into all big-time sports operations. But baseball was completely unprepared for the risk of major league murder in the stands. Fleet Walker, internal auditor for the New York Yankees, a forensic accountant, a FBI agent, and the protagonist of The Big R lead the reader through the fundamentals of forensic auditing, while using their accounting skills and knowledge of baseball history to track a serial killer who is threatening the national pastime.

Using the form of a novel to stimulate interest, The Big R is designed to supplement a forensic auditing, internal auditing, fraud examination, or graduate financial statements course. Readers will enjoy the suspense of this psychological thriller that integrates the foundations of forensic accounting and brings these applications to life. Authors Crumbley, Ziegenfuss, and O'Shaughnessy mix engaging storytelling with factual and practical information to create a resource guide that is both entertaining and informative.

Larry's mass-produced books that I'm less fond of include the following:

Collett, I.W., Accosting the Golden Spire, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248: Thomas Horton & Daughters, 26662 S. New Town Drive, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248, 1988; The Ultimate Rip-off: A Taxing Tale, Sun Lakes, AZ: Thomas Horton & Daughters, 1988; and L.M. Smith, Trap Doors and Trojan Horses, Sun Lakes, AZ: Thomas Horton & Daughters, 1991. 

Collett, I.W., The Ultimate Rip-off: A Taxing Tale, Sun Lakes, AZ: Thomas Horton & Daughters, 1988; 

Collett, I.W., Accosting the Golden Spire, Sun Lakes, AZ: Thomas Horton & Daughters, 1988.

Collett, I.W. and L.M. Smith, Trap Doors and Trojan Horses, Sun Lakes, AZ: Thomas Horton & Daughters, 1991. See M. Opsata, "It was a Dark and Stormy Night," Dow Jones Investment Advisor, January 1997, pp. 98-102.

Collett, I.W. and Dana Forgione, Costly Reflections in a Midas Mirror, Sun Lakes, AZ: Thomas Horton & Daughters, 1995.

Smith, K., M. Smith, and D. Crumbley, The Bottom Line is Betrayal, Dame Publications, Inc., Houston, TX, 1995

Larry Crumbley and Stanley Kratchman, Deadly Art Puzzle: Accounting for Murder, Dame Publications, Inc., 7800 Bissonnet, Suite 415, Houston, TX 77074, 1996.

Larry Crumbley, Gary Giroux, and Bob Myers, Nonprofit Sleuths, Dame Publications, Inc., Houston, TX. See also

Here are a couple of older messages from

Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry
August 22, 2005 message from Dennis Beresford [dberesfo@TERRY.UGA.EDU]

I recently purchased Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry [Paperback] By: B.S. Johnson through Amazon. While I haven't had a chance to start reading it yet, the following is the book's description in Amazon:

BS Johnson is one of those experimental writers, controversial during their lives that subsequently vanishes from print. Johnson was a journalist, a socialist, and a fine novelist. Best known for The Unfortunates (his book in a box where every chapter is separately bound and the reader is invited to read them in any order he or she wishes), Christie Malry's Own Double Entry is perhaps his most accessible novel. However, this "accessibility" is in the midst of a studiedly experimental text. This is a corruscating satire in which Johnson targets one of the symbols of capitalism, the double entry system. The very basis of accountancy, and the manipulation of finance, Johnson turns this building block on its head as his central character, Christie Malry, a young man with a future, decides that he will live his life according to the principles of double entry.

Johnson's novel has acute observations on a variety of issues in British life that still merit comment. How working class people come to vote conservative, the manner in which people's worth is measured financially; and all of this is in the midst of an angry satire where Malry wreaks vengeance on the system. It is a bitter cycnical novel, with a dark wit.

There is love, sex, and death; and an unusual use for shaving foam. And all of this is presented in a slightly distant way, where Johnson continually turns to the reader and winks, letting you know this is a novel. Characters are aware of their place in fiction, and Johnson deconstructs the novel to let you see how it works. (end of review)

By the way, while it is not on point with your request, I just finished reading "The World is Flat" and found it to be one of the most interesting and provocative books I've read in a long time.

Denny Beresford

August 22, 2005 reply from JOHN STANCIL [jstancil@VERIZON.NET]

“The Principles” by Barry Cameron and Tom Pryor ( ) is a novel incorporating the principles of Activity Based Costing.

John Stancil

Although I've great respect for USC's Zoe-Vonna Palmrose, I cannot say her Thog's Guide co-authored "novel" appealed to me in the least. Maybe I'm just too dense to find greatness in Thog's Guide.

Thanks Denny,

Wanda and I served on the same AAA Executive Committee during what was perhaps the first AAA Annual Meeting in Hawaii (at the Hilton Hawaiian Village). That was the same year the AAA Executive Committee (with spouses) met in Amsterdam (courtesy of funding raised by Jerry Searfoss).

A book editor once told me that Wanda Wallace was the best textbook author he'd ever worked with in the sense that her books were virtually perfect before they were sent out for editorial review.

Wanda was also a former Editor of Issues in Accounting Education (IAE).

Her message to the 2002/2003 AAA Executive Committee (under Pete Wilson)  that tried to terminate both Accounting Horizons and IAE played a key role in saving these journals ---

Many AECM subscribers perhaps have forgotten the role the AECM played in the above struggle to save these journals for extinction ---

I wish Wanda and Jim the very best in retirement.

Bob Jensen

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dennis R Beresford <>
Date: Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 4:22 PM
Subject: Fwd:
To: Bob Jensen <>

Bob, Now here's a forthcoming publication from an accounting academic that some people may actually read!  The title of Wanda's novel is "The Soothsayers." Denny

Sent from my iPad

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Wallace, Wanda" <>
Date: June 12, 2012 3:15:54 PM EDT
To: "" <>

Dennis R. Beresford
Ernst & Young Executive Professor of Accounting
J.M. Tull School of Accounting
Terry College of Business
Athens, GA 30602


Dear Denny,
It's been a long time since we've been in correspondence, but thought I'd drop a line to say hello and share some news.


Since retirement from academe I've been enjoying writing poetry and fiction. My first novel is to be launched in September 2012, and I am thrilled. The cover is already posted as "Coming Soon" on the home page of


Hope things are going well,


P.S. One of my published fiction short stories is in the literary journal The MacGuffin (Fall 2011) called "Intrusions" and was great fun to craft. FYI

Wanda A. Wallace (The John N. Dalton Professor of Business Emerita)
College of William and Mary, School of Business Administration
Williamsburg, Virginia 23185
Email address:



Hence David, I await your forthcoming enlightenment about the top accounting novels that I should be reading.

I'm sorry to say that I'm disappointed in all the Type 2 accounting novels that I've ever read  (but I've not read them all by any means). As to the Type 1 accounting novels, I can't find any to recommend even though they all are top novels according to critics of repute. I think you can learn a lot about psychology and the criminal mind from some Type 1 books. To the extent that the criminal mind is focused on an accounting crime like embezzlement, the reader may learn a great deal about psychology. But what is learned about accounting seems hardly worth mentioning.

Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment ---

Bob Jensen's threads ---

Accounting-Related Updates


David's February 25, 2010 Book Review
"Shell Games by Sara McIntosh," by David Albrecht, The Summa, February 25, 2010 ---

Sara McIntosh (a pseudonym) has published her first novel, Shell Games, a financial action/thriller.  It’s a good first novel, and well worth the time invested for reading. [ordering information]

Shell Games is a fun read for anyone.  Accountants, though, will receive an extra dose of enjoyment.  The plot is thrilling.  In some tense scenes, I found myself cheating a look at the final chapter to see how the story ends.

When considering the sub-genre of financial action/thriller novels that showcase the role of fraud auditor (aka financial sleuth or forensic accountant), there are few options.  Well, there has been only one serious option–The Devil’s Banker by Christopher Reich.  Shell Games is a pleasant contrast to the heavy international espionage of Reich.

The Devil’s Banker is a complicated story of international terrorist money transfer, with bombs, assassinations and too many characters.  It reads much like a Bond film, with a super sleuth accountant as a Daniel Craig type of 007.  The male protagonist does all the heavy duty accounting, and a female spy does most of the heavy action.  Reich never convinces me, though, that the hero is truly an accountant.  Perhaps it’s because Reich has a finance, not an accounting background.  This is never more apparent than in Reich’s Numbered Account, a story that would greatly have benefitted from some nuts-and-bolts accounting, had Reich been able to supply it.

In McIntosh’s Shell Games, though, we suffer no such handicap.  The heroine–super sleuth and super sexy Marjorie Stevens–is all accountant.  She is convincing as a fraud auditor because McIntosh was a fraud auditor.  McIntosh’s bio reveals she was a, “fraud auditor and financial executive for two of the largest consumer products companies in the world, [and] uncovered numerous frauds, including one that earned her … [an award for] ‘Finance Person of the Year’.”  In addition, she “founded her own finance and accounting consulting business, serving Fortune 100 companies” that could investigate fraud in global financial operations.”  Shell Games is convincing because McIntosh truly has been there and done that, and she is a good enough writer to be able to show us her former world.  Obviously, there is a lot of Sara McIntosh (SM) in Marjorie Stevens (MS).

McIntosh’s female perspective is a significant influence.  Instead of a male dominated action thriller with several shoot ‘em up scenes, the fast-paced action of Shell Games is moved along by characterization and charming characters.  Be prepared for women that are effective and efficient in their roles (a woman is up for Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission) and men are not.  Needless to say, the women are uber attractive despite having passed their 39th birthdays.

Continued in article

How is accountancy practice like mystery writing?

"Mystery Writer," by Gail Farrelly, Journal of Accountancy, March 2010 ---

As different as they seem, accounting and mystery writing actually have a lot in common: Both deal with details. Both are structured. Both require intricate and involved thinking. And, on a personal level, both have been an important and fulfilling part of my life.


Writing mysteries was not one of my early life goals. Armed with an MBA as well as an M.A. in philosophy, I taught business subjects in a junior college. Then, in 1977 The George Washington University was searching for an accounting teacher who would earn a stipend and free tuition to work on a doctorate. I jumped at the opportunity to apply. Being able to teach at a higher level appealed to me. I was accepted, and I earned my doctorate in business administration from GWU, with a major in accounting and a minor in finance.


The more I studied accounting, the more I discovered how much I liked it—so much so that I sat for the CPA exam while I was still in graduate school. After earning my doctorate, I chose to continue teaching accounting, first at Southern Methodist University for three years, then at Rutgers University for 18 years.


I began “serious” writing long before I published my first mystery novel. “Publish or perish” is the unwritten rule for those of us in academia, so throughout my university career I published a number of papers. One of them, co-authored with another professor, caught the eye of Quorum Books. We added another author and published Shaping the Corporate Image: An Analytical Guide for Executive Decision Makers. It was my first book.


Sometimes, when I was doing a serious paper or an op-ed article for the newspapers, I began to dream about writing for fun, which, to me, was to write a novel. I finally decided to see if I could make my dream come true and started my first work of fiction.


Mysteries have always topped my list of leisure reading. As a girl, I read all of the Nancy Drew books, then worked my way through Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie. From an interest perspective, it was natural for me to tackle the mystery genre for my fiction work. After a five-year effort, in 1995 I published my first novel. Seeing my name on the book cover— an experience that is hard to describe—motivated me to start on my second mystery. Because I wrote after hours, it took me another five years to finish it.


In 2002, I was ready to begin the next chapter in my life—to become a full-time writer. With my future financially secure, I took an early retirement from the university and devoted myself to writing. My biggest adjustment has been budgeting my time, since as a writer I do not have short-term deadlines as I did as a professor.


My CPA background has helped me in an unexpected way: I’ve called upon it to develop plots for two of my books—Beaned in Boston: Murder at a Finance Convention and Duped by Derivatives.  Likewise, I used my academic experience as a backdrop for my third novel, Creamed at Commencement.


Writing is more than putting words on paper and organizing them to tell a story. Writing involves hard work—even after a book is written. I am constantly looking to promote my books by giving talks, blogging, arranging book signings and exploring ways to expand distribution, such as through e-publishing.


Writers are dreamers. Two of my dreams have been fulfilled teaching at the university level and publishing novels. My wildest dream is to get on The New York Times best-seller list! I don’t know if I will ever reach that goal, but I know I will have a lot of fun trying. Many people have a similar dream; they would like to write a book. My advice: Just do it—but in little chunks each day. Once you see your name in print, you’ll never regret the sacrifice it took to get it there.

Edutainment via Fiction Writing

'May 7, 2011 message from Larry Crumbley,

Bob, you may wish to update your accounting novel material. My tax Ultimate Ripoff novel is now in the fourth edition and I am now revising it. My cost accounting novel Costly Reflections in A Midas Mirror, is in the 3th edition at Carolina Academic Press. They also have published later editions of my auditing and forensic accounting novels. LSU press will have my Sports Marketing out shortly. Give me your mailing address and I will send you a couple. Larry

May 8, 2011 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Larry,

My forays into fiction  so bad that even I won't share them --- and I share almost everything I write. My one exception is my "play"  on eduarbitraging at 
Now you know why I won't share my other fiction attempts.

I'm glad you're still doing well with your mystery/detective novels.

My threads on edutainment via accounting fiction writing are at 
The module on the books by Larry Crumbley needs updating. I will add your listing of teaching innovation references at 


Also see


I also need to update my page on Accounting Novels in general at
If you have any suggestions for things I should add here beyond what are noted above, please let me know.

Bob Jensen

May 9, 2011 message from Gerald Trites

I’ve played around with fiction too over the years. So far, I’ve published a novel ( and a book of short stories ( . I self-published both of them. The novel centers around a merger (and might be classified as an accounting novel, Bob) and has far too much technical material in it for a commercial publisher to handle so I decided to publish it myself. The short stories were of interest to a publisher but they felt there weren’t enough of them and asked me to write some more. But I didn’t do that and published them as a smaller book. I formed my own publishing company to publish them and some of my other previously published books for which I retained re-publishing rights. I thought it would be interesting to see if I could form a publishing company and find a niche for it given all the turmoil that the publishing industry is going through. So I’ve been experimenting with e-books, (Both of the above are on Kindle) some taken from the public domain and altered to fit various formats. I offer the public domain books for free on my publisher website (

Sa far it’s not been profitable, but I have learned a lot about e-commerce, which is useful since I teach it and  it helps a lot to be an actual player in that field in order to teach that stuff. Indeed, I have learned a lot more about e-commerce from these field efforts than I would have with many more hours of reading about it.


May 9, 2011 reply from Bill Ellis

I’ve been assigning Goldratt’s The Goal in my intro managerial accounting classes. Lately I’ve started using both The Toyota Way and Velocity: Combining Lean, Six Sigma and the Theory of Constraints to Achieve Breakthrough Performance, Dee Jacob, Suzan Bergland, Jeff Cox, Free Press. ISBN 978-1439158920 for the intro class (business majors) and the cost class (accounting majors).

Accounting novels are hard to find. The Rose doesn’t meet the expectations for my governmental class.

I’ve asked students to read All the Devils are Here for one of my advanced classes this past semester and it received great reviews from the students.

Bill Ellis, CPA
Furman University




Fiction-Related Updates (not necessarily accounting)

The following books are not free, but they may be of interest to mystery buffs that are also interested in history
"Five Best These historical mystery novels," by David B. Rivkin Jr., The Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2010 ---

By Lindsey Davis
St. Martin's/Minotaur, 2009

Set during the first-century reign of the Roman emperor Vespasian, Lindsey Davis's "Alexandria" is an especially captivating entry in the historical-mystery series featuring Vespasian's "informer," sleuth extraordinaire Marcus Didius Falco. This time around, trouble finds Falco even when he is on a family vacation in Alexandria. Shortly after he dines with the head of Alexandria's renowned library, the librarian is found dead. Other mysterious deaths among the city's intelligentsia follow. As he begins digging into the case, the practical-minded Falco casts a sardonic eye on decadent Egyptian life in a city where people "picked pockets, exchanged goods, held assignations, complained about Roman taxes, insulted other sects, insulted their in-laws, cheated and fornicated." The novel offers many memorable elements, including a fine corpse-dissection scene and a monstrous man-eating Nile crocodile that terrorizes the city. One of Davis's virtues is the way she roots her tales in ancient times even as she adds sly modern touches; in "Alexandria" she lampoons today's universities with a hilarious portrayal of academia circa A.D. 75, replete with rancorous board meetings, pretentious intellectual wrangling and petty professional jealousies.


A Morbid Taste for Bones
By Ellis Peters
William Morrow, 1977

Brother Cadfael is a most unusual 12th-century monk: He has spent decades in the secular world, fighting in the Crusades, romping with the fairer sex and learning many of the skills that he uses to solve the mysteries in Ellis Peters's series. "A Morbid Taste for Bones" finds Brother Cadfael in a Welsh village called Gwytherine, where the remains of a local saint are coveted by an ambitious Benedictine prior, who wants to buy them for his abbey in far-away Shrewsbury. His plan meets fierce resistance in Gwytherine, where one of the most vocal opponents is murdered. Brother Cadfael, comfortable in both the secular and spiritual realms, investigates the killing and soon turns up evidence—by paying Holmesian attention to the big meaning of small details—and concludes that suspicion has been focused on the wrong party. The author keeps the suspense high, but Peters raises the story well above the average whodunit with his descriptions of the Welsh countryside's stark beauty, his vivid characters and his command of medieval church matters. Mystery, after all, is best framed by history.


The Emperor's Pearl
By Robert H. van Gulik
Scribner, 1963

Judge Dee is a busy magistrate in late-seventh-century China: In addition to performing his legal duties in the fictional Poo-yang district, he juggles three wives, collects antiques and studies Confucius. Part of his job, as fans of the Judge Dee series will know, is criminal investigation. In "The Emperor's Pearl," the judge begins looking into a murder that leads from one killing to the next but all tied to a famous pearl that had been stolen from the imperial household generations ago. Aided by his faithful retainer, Sgt. Hoong, Judge Dee sets a clever trap to solve the case—a purloined domino plays an important role. But he is not entirely reliant on his mental powers: The judge is a ferocious interrogator, and there is no doubt about how he would treat today's captured terrorists. One of the pleasures of the Judge Dee mysteries—in addition to the fine storytelling and attention to period detail, like the Chinese love for dragon-boat racing—is the sprinkling of illustrations by the author, the Dutch diplomat and student of Chinese history, Robert H. van Gulik, who died in 1967.


Slayer of Gods
By Lynda S. Robinson
Warner, 2001

Lynda S. Robinson has a doctorate in anthropology, specializing in archaeology. Such expertise clearly informs her richly atmospheric depictions of ancient Egypt in her Lord Meren mysteries. In "Slayer of Gods," we find Meren serving as chief security officer for Pharoah Tutankhamun in the 14th century B.C. The young Tutankhamun is intent on restoring tradition after the turbulent reign of the heretical Pharoah Akhenaten. But unfinished business remains from Akhenaten's rule: the poisoning murder of his wife, Queen Nefertiti. It's considered a cold case, but Meren won't let it go and is soon entangled in a story fraught with immense political and religious significance, colored by that characteristic obsession of ancient Egypt, the afterlife.


The Fire Kimono
By Laura Joh Rowland
St. Martin's/Minotaur, 2008

In this entry from Laura Joh Rowland's beguiling series featuring the samurai detective Sano Ichirô at the turn of the 18th century in Japan, the shogun gives Sano three days to solve a 40-year-old mystery. Why? Because the mystery concerns a fire that nearly destroyed the shogun's city, Ido, and Sano's own mother has emerged as a suspect. But Sano has other pressing concerns as well: A rival is threatening his position at court, and the murder of a close relative of the shogun has outraged the tightly controlled social system. Rowland's tale is graced with evocative period detail, as when Sano is horrified to see his mother's maid cooking a duck—a culinary taboo at the time—only to be mollified when the woman explains that the dish is permissible because it is meant to restore his mother's fading strength. But "The Fire Kimono" lingers in the memory as a haunting story of an honest man trying to navigate in an honor-obsessed culture where elaborate ritual can conceal sinister intrigue.


Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials ---
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines ---
Edutainment and Learning Games ---
Open Sharing Courses ---

Accounting Videos

Accounting, Auditing, and Tax Humor Videos

Hi Linda,

Probably the best thing to do is to go to YouTube and search for "Auditing Humor" ---

When I did that on YouTube a few possibilities emerged. For example, take a look at
The Fixed Assets Audit ---

You can also try other YouTube search terms like "accounting humor," "bookkeeper humor," "SNL Accountant," "Tax Accounting Humor," "Tax Humor," "Accounting Nerds" and "Bob Newhart Accountant."

You might consider the movie "Hot Millions" with Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, and Karl Malden.
I never could find this on NetFlix so I bought it cheap from Amazon.

My sadly neglected threads on accounting novels, plays, and movies are at
There's not much in the way of humor here.

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting and finance humor ---
There's not much in the way of video humor listed here.

I know you teach ethics as well. Professor Roselyn Morris (Texas State University at Sn Marcos) had a nice listing of ethics movies and some accounting movies on the Web. However, I don't think she included humor videos. The link to her Web page on this is now broken. You might contact her. If she has a newer URL to that page please send it to me.

Wikipedia has a page on
Hollywood Accounting ---
But there's nothing funny here.



Professor Roselyn Morris has a listing of ethics movies and some accounting movies---

"Perceptions of accountants' ethics: evidence from their portrayal in cinema.: by Felton, S., Dimnik, T. and Bay, D. (2008, December).  Journal of Business Ethics, 83(2), 217-232.

Abstract: "This article examines popular representations of accountants' ethics by studying their depiction in cinema. As a medium that both reflects and shapes public opinion, films provide a useful resource for exploring the portrayal of the profession's ethics. We employ a values theoretical framework to analyze 110 movie accountants on their basic ethical character, ethical behavior, and values."

Spout's Movies Tagged for Accounting ---

Amazon's Wall Street Movies ---

And here are some entrepreneur movies. Of course there are countless movies that feature business (usually in a bad light).

"Must-See Movies for Entrepreneurs," by Anthony Tjan, Harvard Business Review Blog, March 12, 2010 ---

After the Oscars last weekend, I started to think about which movies have really inspired me as an entrepreneur. Here are three films I believe that you should not only see, but also share with your teams. Each ties to an important entrepreneurial and leadership lesson.

Man on Wire
A story of the fanatical pursuit of a dream. Philippe Petit, a French tightrope walker, was consumed by the idea of walking a wire between New York's former World Trade twin towers. To do so, he would need years of planning and would have to do it as a covert mission. When I first watched this film, I did not know if it was based on a true story or not. The narrative and grainy black-and-white shots made me constantly question whether I was wishing for this to be true or if it was just brilliant story-telling. The fact that Petit is real and actually accomplished the feat in August of 1974 is beyond incredible. In an earlier post, I wrote about the thin line that great entrepreneurs balance between what Oscar Levant described as genius and insanity. You want someone like Petit to succeed because it seems so improbable and outlandish that it takes a creative visionary with some degree of craziness to pull it off. Seeing this movie is an inspiration for those who dare to think differently and push the boundaries.

More than a Game
This is the inspiring story of a high school basketball team and their quest for the national title. It is also happens to be the documentary of the high school basketball team on which superstar Lebron James played. I loved this movie for so many reasons, but the inspiration for entrepreneurs is in the unfolding of how Lebron and four of his closest friends from childhood pursued a dream, Starting as a team of fifth graders playing and growing up together in some of the poorest neighborhoods and practicing in a Salvation Army basketball court with linoleum floors. The movie highlights how the journey is always as important as the ultimate goal and inspires us to believe that almost anything is possible with the right people and right dedication.

Slumdog Millionaire
A hugely successful film about how you can create your own luck. So many successful entrepreneurs I have met talk about the role of luck in their careers, but it is equally true that they put themselves in the pathway of opportunity. In some ways this movie was like a modern day Bollywood version of Forrest Gump (we all need a little Bubba Gump shrimp luck in our lives). Both are believable tales because of the attitudes of the protagonists who, like great entrepreneurs, have a boundless optimism and openness that allow luck to come to them.

That's it for my Siskel and Ebert moment. I'll see you all at Netflix.

From: THE Internet Accounting List/Forum for CPAs [mailto:CPAS-L@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU] On Behalf Of John Anderson
Sent: Friday, April 09, 2010 6:04 PM
Subject: Re: Some Interesting History on Risk-Based Auditing

“Billion Dollar Bubble” is the movie about Equity Funding.  

After begin told a few years ago that the position of the PCAOB was that the General Computer Controls could never lead to a Material Weakness, I brought up Equity Funding!  

I was told that incident occurred too long ago!  

If I knew where the guy was today, I’d ask him if Madoff is recent enough!   

Best Regards! 





Financial & IT Business Consultant

14 Tanglewood Road

Boxford, MA 01921


Great Mystery Writers (not accounting related usually)
Agatha Christie ---
Ngaio Marsh --- z
Arthur Conan Doyle ---
Dorothy Sayers ---
Dashiell Hammett ---
Patricia Highsmith ---
Elmore Leonard ---
Stieg Larson ---

Other Mystery Writers ---

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials ---
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines ---
Edutainment and Learning Games ---
Open Sharing Courses ---
Free Online Books ---

Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment ---

Bob Jensen's threads ---