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A series of brutal murders has suddenly become associated with baseball. Fans are plagued by fear during every second of the game. Who will be next?

Sound like the makings for a murder-mystery novel? If you answered yes, you're partly right. It's also the backdrop for a new accounting textbook, of all things, co-authored by associate professor of accounting Douglas E. Ziegenfuss.

Published over the summer, this whodunit manages to combine the intensity of a mystery novel with the practical aspects of internal auditing.

Written in a novel format rather than that of a typical textbook, "The Big 'R': An Internal Auditing Adventure" is essentially a mystery that mixes a tale of murder and baseball while applying the concepts of internal auditing. The "R" refers to the big risk in business.

Written as a supplemental text for internal auditing classes, the book follows the story of an internal auditor for the New York Yankees who works with the FBI to solve a string of murders associated with Major League Baseball games. Throughout the story, elements of internal auditing, such as typical internal auditing engagement, risk assessment, fraud detection and interpersonal skills, are explained.

According to Ziegenfuss, accounting professor Larry Crumbley of Louisiana State University contacted him about helping to write the book. Crumbley, who has written several instructional novels of this type, always collaborates with a co-author -- someone in the field. Internal auditing is Ziegenfuss' specialty.

"He wrote the exciting stuff, I wrote the boring stuff," said Ziegenfuss, who estimates he was responsible for about 35 percent of the project.

"The Big 'R,'" published by Carolina Academic Press, is expected to be adopted for the spring 2001 semester. Ziegenfuss plans to use it in his classes. Early drafts of the book were reviewed by Old Dominion students last year.

This article was posted on: September 13, 2000

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