THE ULTIMATE RIP-OFF: A TAXING
An Educational Novel For Use in Taxation and Public
Larry Crumbley, LSU
Add some excitement to your course. The Ultimate Rip-Off is an
educational novel that mixes fraud, crime, politics, and taxation together to
get a better way of learning the taxation process. Jeff Burke, an Ollie
North-type Special Agent in the IRS, goes beyond the law to find several rogues
who are evading taxes.
Featuring sleuths who handle net worth statements and financial records the
way most detectives handle guns, the humorous characters put taxation concepts
into real-life individual and business decisions. Along the way public finance
concepts and political controversies, contemporary individual and corporate tax
planning, tax fraud and avoidance, and the life of IRS employees are elucidated
in a way both students and instructors will find gripping as well as
informative. Never dull! This educational novel is both didactic and
entertaining. Exam questions are provided.
SOME COMMENTS ABOUT TEACHING NOVELS
"Aims to lend excitement to the study of debits and credits by couching the
stuff in romantic prose."
Business Week"Proves that the phrase ‘suspenseful
accounting’ is not necessarily an oxymoron."
Wall Street Journal"Master of the teaching novel,
a new form of instruction designed to explain to students what CPAs really do."
Accounting News"The 48-year-old cross between
Mickey Spillane and Mr. Chips [is] jump starting student interest in subjects
not known for flair—from tax codes to accounting to auditing."
Washington Post"Commended for this innovative
approach to tax education and his efforts in combating the unfavorable
stereotype of accountants and the IRS."
Issues in Accounting Education"He focuses on
protagonists like the forensic accountant—the investigator of ledgers—allowing
the otherwise dry material to take on the aura of mystery. The dramatic
intrigue, in turn, helps the student-reader retain the principles."
Administrator"A standing ovation for taking the
technical and sharpening it into digestible fare of today’s earnest students.
Overall, Collett’s approach is refreshing and deserves praise."
Lagniappe"Perhaps now is the time for more faculty
to follow Crumbley's lead in writing didactic novels and for others to consider
adjustments to their traditional instructional methods. We documented the
successful use of fiction in three offerings of an advanced undergraduate tax
course. Students in these classes obtained many of the benefits attributed to
fiction. Students did gain some vicarious real-life experience. They saw
stereotypes challenged, engaged in critical thinking, and tried to resolve
ethical conflicts. The instructor's observations and the students' comments
indicate that the students' interest was piqued and that they acquired more
facility with technical terminology. Students' comments to the professor were
overwhelmingly positive and some even expressed their favorable views to other
accounting and tax instructors. As a result, two colleagues are now considering
including novels in their syllabi, one in an intermediate accounting course and
the other in marketing."
Professors Dorocak and Purvis in
"Using Fiction in Accounting Courses," Advances in
Accounting Education, Vol. 1, 1998, pp. 69-92.How to Order:
Instructors may request a desk copy of Ultimate Rip-Off from
Carolina Academic Press, 700 Kent Street, Durham, NC 27701; Tel: (800) 489-7486;
Fax: (919) 419-0761, www.cap-press.com
Email D. Larry Crumbley
Accountants in the Literature
Sherlock Holmes and