CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- University of Charleston Professors Robert Rufus and Laura Miller are bridging the gap between theory and practice in their new forensic accounting textbook.
The two, along with a colleague, presented Pierson Publishing with a practitioner and educator mix pitch for a textbook. Pierson invested time and money in the project and two years later they had the first edition of their textbook available for purchase.
"We were looking for textbooks and realized there weren't any available products that fit our needs and what we felt accurately reflected the true practice of forensic accounting," Miller said. "So we thought let's write our own [book]."
Rufus and Miller work together at Rufus & Rufus accounting in Huntington. They worked with educator Bill Hahn, a professor at Southeastern University, on the textbook called "Forensic Accounting" that Pierson released the first week of February.
The book is "case-based" and practically applies the theories of forensic accounting. That's what sets this text apart, Rufus and Miller said.
Many of the cases in the text are cases Rufus and Miller worked as practitioners.
The authors honed their specialties in the book, Rufus said.
Miller focused her efforts on editing and data. Rufus focused on theory and ideas. Hahn worked on the best way to deliver and apply the lessons.
"We are practitioners but we're also dedicated to advancing the field," Miller said. "When you find the field so compelling you want to contribute."
Looking back to when UC developed its master's of forensic accounting in 2008, Rufus said, "When we were putting the curriculum together, I wanted to offer the education I would have wanted if I were starting over."
That same attitude went into the book. To begin with, the authors sat down with a group of colleagues and asked simple questions. What is it that forensic accountants do? What knowledge do forensic accountants need to know?
"We've been developing the content for years because we've been using it all along," Miller said. "It was just a matter of compiling it in this particular format."
The book took a year to write and a year to edit.
It was the first book the two have authored. At Rufus & Rufus, the two aim to publish at least two articles per year or present at a conference.