The Big "R": The CIA Exposť

An Instructional Novel for Internal Auditing Classes

BY

D. Larry Crumbley

CPA, DABFA

Louisiana State University

 

Douglas E. Ziegenfuss

CIA, CPA, CMA, CFE, CGFM, CISA

Old Dominion University

 

John J. O’Shaughnessy

CIA, CMA, CPA

San Francisco State University

 

Larry Crumbley has written twelve instructional novels covering topics as diverse as income tax evasion, management accounting, and forensic accounting. The novels have been a big hit with professors, students, and even practitioners. His latest instructional novel, The Big "R" The CIA Exposť (The Big R for short), combines baseball, a serial killer, and internal auditing. This exciting novel is due to be printed this summer in time for adoption during the FALL 2000 semester from Carolina Academic Press (see box below for ordering details).

The Big R begins with a series of heinous murders on the date and site of baseball’s perfect games. The killings soon cause baseball attendance to drop threatening the national pastime with its biggest crisis to date! Not to worry! Fleet Walker, internal auditor for the New York Yankees is on the case. He teams up with the FBI and other law enforcement officials across the nation in hunting for the serial killer. Meanwhile, various aspects of the internal auditing profession are presented during breaks in the action: the function and purpose of internal auditors, the typical internal auditing engagement, risk assessment, control self-assessment, fraud detection, and interpersonal skills. 

The killers are able to frame Milt Pappas, a former Chicago Cubs pitcher, as the person responsible for the terror. In 1972, Milt Pappas came within one out of pitching a perfect game, but according to Pappas, the umpire called at least two strikes balls, resulting in the twenty-seventh batter walking to first base. That umpire was killed in the novel.

The plot builds to a thrilling conclusion not to be revealed here. However, a couple of excerpts are presented to wet the reader’s appetite:

Fleet had heard one speaker call it the "Big R." The speaker said that each organization has many small risks, some moderate risks, and one or two huge risks. The "Big R" can destroy the organization. Risks can also be classified as operational, financial reporting, and compliance risks. Some auditors because they have an accounting background focus on the financial reporting risks and ignore the potentially more severe operational and compliance risks. None of the risks can be ignored.

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Douglass then asked, "What is the hardest part of the audit?"

Fleet responded, "The hardest part for me has always been the final meeting with management to present our report. The only thing that management sees is that report, and you bet it better be right. In addition, you never know when a situation like that is going to go bad in the sense that management totally rejects what you have found."

"In other words, like a pitcher who just can’t throw anyone out and is sent to the showers," said Douglass.

An early draft of The Big R was reviewed by students enrolled in the ‘Operational Auditing’ course at Old Dominion University during the Summer 1999 semester. The identity of the authors was withheld to prevent biasing their response. The students found the novel to be a good medium to present the various aspects of the internal auditing profession. The students especially liked in-class discussions involving risk assessment and control design as it pertains to one company (The New York Yankees) or an entire industry (Baseball/entertainment industry). The students also felt the novel complimented other course materials and lectures.

Dr. Larry Crumbley is the KPMG Endowed Professor in the Department of Accounting at Louisiana State University. Prior to that, Dr. Crumbley was on the faculty of Texas A & M University. Although Dr. Crumbley’s chief area of teaching was accounting and taxation, more recently he has taken to writing instructional novels and teaching forensic accounting and fraud examination. Dr. Crumbley is one of the most prolific accounting authors having published numerous books and articles. His accomplishments can be viewed on his web site at http://www.bus.lsu.edu/accounting/faculty/lcrumbley/crumbley.html

Dr. Douglas Ziegenfuss is an associate professor at Old Dominion University where he teaches the auditing courses and serves as the Endorsed Internal Auditing Program coordinator. He holds numerous professional designations and is very active in the internal auditing profession having eight years experience as an auditor prior to entering academia. Dr. Ziegenfuss was awarded the 1996 Leon R. Radde Award as the Institute of Internal Auditors "Educator of the Year." Dr. Ziegenfuss developed an "Operational Auditing" course for delivery over the internet which can be viewed at the following website: http://web.odu.edu/dziegenf

Dr. John O’Shaughnessy is a professor at San Francisco State University where he teaches accounting and auditing courses, and serves as the Endorsed Internal Auditing Program coordinator. He holds numerous professional designations and is very active in the Institute of Internal Auditors both at the local and international. Dr. O’Shaughnessy has authored numerous articles on internal auditing. Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s website is at: http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~joshaun/

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