About

0.1 General Information

I’m Dr. Brian D. Knox at Boise State University, and I made this website. It is intended for an upper-division cost accounting class (e.g. ACCT 314 at Boise State) or a graduate-level managerial/cost accounting class (e.g. ACCT 514 at Boise State).

You can reach me at bknox@boisestate.edu.

I assign the entire site a CC BY 4.0 copyright. For more information on that, go here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Unless otherwise noted all images are mine. Any images that are not mine are noted as such and are from the public domain.

I thank James R. Martin, professor emeritus from the University of South Florida. His publicly-available managerial accounting site, maaw.info, helped inspire me to create an open managerial accounting website of my own.

0.2 Textbook Philosophy

0.2.1 Clear Narrative Structure

I approach this textbook with an interest in telling students who is doing what in cost accounting and why they are doing it. One of the most impactful books I ever read was a calculus book that took a historical perspective. I believe it was this one. Understanding the questions that drove ancient societies to develop mathematical techniques made those techniques much more understandable.

No, I do not hammer students with a lot of cost accounting history. But I do try to mimic that book by providing a clear narrative structure throughout. Again, my focus is on who is doing what and why.

And that is something missing from most if not all cost and managerial accounting textbooks out there. I created this textbook partly out of frustration with those books. They tend to present topics in a jumble. Some of their explanations of where topics fit and some of their transitions between topics are horrid. I found students begging for help relating one topic to the next.

“So how does activity-based costing really relate to job-order costing?” They would ask me, since the textbook’s reasoning (if it existed) was no help.

0.2.2 Simple and Coherent Writing

And don’t get me started on the writing. These textbooks often left students so dazed and bored they wanted to lick a wall for fun.

I keep my terminology and phrasing as simple as I can. I prioritize internal consistency to help students create a strong construct of cost accounting in their minds. I leave them to sort out some of the details as to how my textbook relates to practice. There’s only so much I can write before this looks like a manifesto mailed to a news station.

Also, before you send me an email, I intentionally omit commas after short introductory phrases that start a sentence. That’s not a typo. Unless omitting the comma would be confusing, these commas aren’t necessary and lead to a fussier text. I consider about five words to be a long introductory phrase, thereby requiring a comma.

More generally I omit commas anytime I can get away with it. Commas are the worst. Maybe I even omit them when I can’t get away with it. I also consider myself free to capriciously split infinitives, maliciously end sentences with prepositions, jaggedly start sentences with conjunctions, and casually use contractions. In short, grammarians, I’m a terrible human being.

But I do try to correctly use singular pronouns with “each,” “every,” “none,” etc. Maybe there’s some hope for me yet.

0.2.3 Mathematical & Theoretical Foundation

I introduce a mathematical/theoretical model for firm profit early on (in section 1.2, the second subsection of the textbook), and I build on that model throughout. This model does a lot of the heavy lifting in building my narrative structure. I like to say, “this topic in cost accounting arranges this part of the equation for profit in this way.”

I decided to take a theoretical approach because it is the best way to add the most value to the education of the largest percentage of students in an upper-division undergraduate cost accounting class. Most of them are not going on to do this stuff full time.

So I want to present cost accounting in a theoretical manner that lets them see where the concepts fit more generally. My thought is: if they understand cost accounting from a theoretical perspective, they can apply that theory to whatever practical environment they find themselves in. If I instead focused on this or that specific practical angle on cost accounting, I will simply waste time for those in the class who never see cost accounting in that specific context in their professional lives.

0.3 Technical Information

I intend this website to be lean, responsive, and simple. I try not to embed videos or include website add-ons that might be clunky to load.

In my experience the tables and some of the figures work slightly better on a desktop or laptop screen. However, one should still be able to understand the material just fine on a mobile device.

I don’t collect personal information or have any accounts or logins anywhere on the site.

I don’t have ads or affiliate marketing on this site.

I built this site using WordPress, running the High Responsive theme, version 1.5.1, from Catch Themes.