Robert Black, professor of economics, recently traveled to San Diego, California to present to members of the Christian Business Faculty Association (CBFA).
Black’s paper, “Accounting & Economics: The Auditing Function, Transactions Costs, and Trust,” explained the social and economic benefits of private and public accounting from the late medieval period to the 1900s. It also highlighted the breakdown of the moral traditions of public accounting, best represented in the spectacular failure in 2001 of the Enron Corporation, an American energy, commodities, and services company based in Texas.
Drafting the final version of the paper involved a collaboration between Black and Houghton accounting, business, and economics students. Accounting majors Ryan Buckley ’16 and Joseph Gilligan ’17 contributed research and writing on certain additions to an earlier draft of the paper. Several other accounting and business students also offered helpful editorial comments on the draft.
Black wrote the paper to express why accounting has an important role to play in society and in a liberal arts college. “The great failures of accounting at Enron and elsewhere show precisely why honest, reputable accounting is so important: to help society to direct investment funds to their best uses,” he remarks. “Our students are especially well suited to preparing to audit with integrity the financial work of others who are competing in financial markets for investment funds.”
The mission of the Christian Business Faculty Association (CBFA) is to assist and encourage Christian business faculty in the study, integration, teaching, and application of Biblical truths in service to the academy, students, and the business community.