During my undergraduate education, I have never forcibly buy a text book. As a government funded college, STAN provided me with (almost) all text book which were used during the college. Some people, including me, decided to voluntarily buy a text book (99% of them were Indonesian translation edition from our English text book). So, I’ve never experienced the hurt feeling of buying expensive text book.
Nowadays, the story is different. As an AusAID student, (I admit that) I’ve got enough money to buy a (new) textbook. However, during the beginning of my study, I have to spent money , as follow:
Fundamentals of Financial Management, Brigham et al., newest edition (11th Ed.) cost me $170 (Anjrit…itu buku harganya Rp 1.400.000, ngelebihin UMR-nya Jakarta yang cuma Rp 900 ribuan).
Accounting – What the Numbers Mean, Marshall et al., newest edition (2nd Ed.) cost me $90.
COMM 7033 Quantitative Methods, Berenson et al., 2nd Ed., cost me $170.
Business Communication, Ray Adams, cost me $60.
Financial Calculator, HP 10BAII, $87.
In total, I’ve to spent $577 (or Rp 4.800.000), each semester. With such amount of money, I can buy 1000 kgs of rice, at best quality, in Jakarta.
The story continues with the fact that three out of my four text book are newest edition, mean I can’t use old edition (used books). Used books usually sold by students who had finished the subject, it cost until half of a new text book. So, a great amount of can be saved by buying used text book.
So, the question whether buying a newest edition of text book is worth to do arise. I’ve compared between the first edition of Accounting – What the Numbers Mean and it’s second edition. Here is the result of my research.
The authors claim that the key feature of the new edition are:
Streamlined structure: Topic content in Management Accounting has been revised and redistributed into four chapters. Fundamentals Interpretations made from Financial Statement data has been repositioned to compliment the material in the Financial Statement Analysis chapter.
Improved coverage of Ratio Analysis: Ratio Analysis is presented more comprehensively and Australian Accounting Board standards or equivalents AIFRS) are used consistently throughout.
Strong learning focus: End of chapter questions have been added to each chapter and exercises have been updated throughout to aid student learning.
I do really sorry, but to me, the key feature of the new edition are:
- The cange of paper’s color, from green to pink. Yeah, pink is a good choice…, but not for me.
- The change of text font, from Serif type to San Serif type. They should really realize to use San Serif that since the first edition. Hope they don’t change it back to Serif on the next edition, for the sake reason that should be a ‘significant’ change.
- The change from header type to footer type. What a significant change is that…
- They move Chapter Fundamental Implementation of FSA from Chapter 3 to Chapter 9. So, that it is close the next similar chapter 10 (Financial Statement Analysis). Well, love that…, why don’t you do that since the first edition? Oh, I know… so you can revised it on the edition, I guess.
- They also combined Chapter 11 and 14 in the first edition book into one Chapter 11 in second edition book. Nice move, hope you can do that to rest of the chapter on the edition.
How about the contents? Frankly, I haven’t read it thoroughly (and I don’t think I will), but I’ll analyse using the tutorial question given by my lecturer. I’ve compared the 70 tutorial questions throughout semester, between the first edition book and the second one. The result?
- 41 questions (or 57,58%) are exactly the same question. They, sometime, change the year, from 2006 to 2008. What a smart technique, a kindergarten students can differentiate it well.
- 24 questions (or 24,28%) are different in numbers. This means, the question are still similar but the figure were changed, most of it were doubled, others are only a minor figures change.
- 3 questions (or 4,28%) they add a sub-question.
- 2 questions (or 2,85%) are new questions.
Quite a striking figures, huh? Buying a new text book is NOT worth at all. Lets face it, students are cash cows of the publisher (and the authors). Where are the position of lecturer and tutor? Dunno, ask it by yourself.