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The Age-Old Kieso Problem
on August 18, 2009
Except for having to buy it new, there are reasons to like the Kieso series including this 13th edition of Intermediate Accounting, which is really Financial Accounting II. These authors have done everything to make the subject progressively more accessible in each edition. I know as I suffered through the courses once too. I have a master's in accounting and am a CPA. It's surprising how many accounting texts assume the student has certain prerequisite skills and knowledge and equally surprising how so many accounting professors want to lecture on what enhances their knowledge base instead of teaching to the student. The Kieso books are really teaching books. I buy used recent editions for myself just for reference since they're so well done and so cheap. Not all CPAs do that but I practice financial accounting.
You'll be lucky if the professor is permissive enough to go with an older series because most students quickly sell these books once the course is over, so used editions are MUCH cheaper. But most professors insist on the most recent edition. I think they're motivated because their authority rests on being up to date. In this 13th edition, there's a big emphasis on International Accounting Standards, and you can be sure the professors want to bone up on this themselves. The financial meltdown has discredited the whole U.S. financial complex, and one result is that the pull is now stronger toward international accounting standards rather than U.S. GAAP. Also, the authors anticipate that everyone wants to use the cheaper previous edition, so they always change the end of chapter problems. The publisher also provides the professors with additional materials including exam materials, so there's always the incentive for the professor to use the latest edition and claim that it's the only acceptable one due to the end of chapter problems.
These are really heavy books - no fun to carry around. The book weighs 6.2 pounds. That's ridiculous. 1,440 pages and you darn well have to know this material. This gives a hint why so many people, despite knowing that good accountants tend to stay employed in a recession, won't even consider this route. But at least the Kieso books, other than their workbooks, are hardcover with large dimensions and quality paper and binding. Nothing is worse than using a thick softcover text that feels like a phone book. Unfortunately they're expensive new, and you might one day be buying the 18th edition used for a fraction of this price.
Note, if you need the WileyPlus access code, it is NOT included with this book. If your professor makes you get the code, you've got to spend even more money. You get this access code at the Wileyplus website. A kind student emailed me that the code now costs $83.50 at the site. Wiley also puts in place separate deals with some but not all college bookstores, although then the prices vary a lot at the college bookstore level. Sometimes, depending on how the professor intends to use the WileyPlus resource, you might just ask the professor and get the code, but those cases are rare.
A word of caution and encouragement: This Intermediate Accounting course along with the first one, Financial Accounting, are the two that were traditionally used to weed out students from becoming accounting majors. You've got to spend a lot more time on this course than you usually would for a typical course. Good luck - I wish you the best!