Selected Bibliography

Academic Research

Of course, any additional study should begin with the fundamental source for this work, William E. McCarthy, The REA Accounting Model: A Generalized Framework for Accounting Systems in a Shared Data Environment. The Accounting Review, July 1982, 554-577, or at According to Dr. McCarthy’s resume, “Professor McCarthy’s 1982 paper on REA accounting systems was given the first Seminal Contribution to Accounting Information Systems Literature Award at the American Accounting Association meeting in Chicago in 1996.”

An excellent review of the history of and related academic research leading to McCarthy’s paper is found Cheryl L.Dunn and McCarthy, William E., The REA Accounting Model: Intellectual Heritage And Prospects For Progress, The Journal of Information Systems (Spring 1997), 31-51, or at

McCarthy’s own assessment of progress in understanding his work can be found at William E. McCarthy, Semantic Modeling in Accounting Education, Practice, and Research: Some Progress and Impediments Published in: Conceptual Modeling: Current Issues and Future Directions, 1999, 144-53, (April 2008). There is a reference to the Price Waterhouse Geneva solution in this and various other academic articles as one of the few practical implementations of the theory. The Price Waterhouse Geneva solution is now the IBM Scalable Architecture for Financial Reporting (SAFR) product.

David P. Andros and Eric Denna published a paper in Developing an event-based solution: The case of IBM’s National Employee Disbursement System, Journal of Information Systems, Vol. 10, No. 1 Spring 1996, 51 – 69. This system deals with the theory’s implications on the capture of business events (on-line transaction processing) rather than the reporting problems focused on in this book.

Additional information on McCarthy and related academic work can be found at

College Materials

Eric coauthored the following textbook after I left college, but it contains perhaps the best summary of his work. Anita Sawyer Hollander, Eric L. Denna, J. Owen Cherrington, Accounting, Information Technology, and Business Solutions 2nd ed. (© McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.: 2000). This work contains additional details about the methodological steps described for designing an REA business process model.

The call to arms against traditional accounting is best evidenced in Eric’s volume: Eric L. Denna, et al, Event-Driven Business Solutions, Today’s Revolution in Business and Information Technology, Homewood, IL: Business One Irwin, 1993.

The most important text book at school Eric had us thoroughly read and understand was Howard M. Armitage, Linking Management Accounting Systems with Computer Technology, published by The Society of Management Accountants of Canada, Hamilton, Ont. (September 1985).

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Statements of Financial Accounting Concepts: Accounting Standards 1997/98 Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. © 1997) is a very good summary of the conceptual underpinnings of accounting.

See John R. Alexander, The History of Accounting, Association of Chartered Accountants in the US (ACAUS), (May 2006) for a brief summary of the history of accounting. See also Alfred W. Crosby, The Measure of Reality: Quantification and Western Society, 1250 – 1600, [Cambridge University Press, © 1997]

SAFR and PwC Literature

Kevin W. Young, a coworker on the IEF project, and Terry Magee, my instructor for my introductory consulting class in Florida, summarized Eric’s Event-Driven Business Solutions concepts in the PW methodology, later PwC’s Ascendant R0615 Event-Driven Business Modelling section. Portions of this material remain in the IBM Method 7.2 as Artifact: Business Event List (BUS 101) Copyright IBM Corporation.. This material was also influenced by James Martin, Information Engineering, the theory behind IEF as a tool.

Price Waterhouse Data Warehouse Reporting Solution brochure, State of Alaska benefits from data warehouse high-performance solution, May 1996. Copyright IBM Corporation.

This book is directly based upon a number of published papers from Rick Roth as a partner with Price Waterhouse.

Richard K. Roth and Denna, Eric L. Ph.D. Making Good on a Promise: Platform Assignment is the Key to Leveraging Data Warehouses Manufacturing Systems, February 1996 (© Chilton Publications)

Richard K. Roth and Denna, Eric L., Ph.D., Platform Assignment Principles For Decision Support Systems And Data Warehouses Price Waterhouse White Paper, Nov 1995. Copyright IBM Corporation.

Richard K.Roth and Denna, Eric L., Ph.D., A Summary of Event-Driven Systems Concepts Price Waterhouse White Paper, undated (mid 1990’s). Copyright IBM Corporation.

Richard K. Roth, A Practical S/390 Parallel Processing Option for Data Warehouses Price Waterhouse White Paper, undated (mid 1990’s). Copyright IBM Corporation.

Richard K. Roth, [ERP] High-volume Operational Reporting/data Warehousing Summary of Sizing Concepts and Architectural Alternatives Price Waterhouse White Paper, September, 1996. Copyright IBM Corporation.


James W. Cortada has written a three volume history of computers and their impact upon various industries. I have used volume 1, The Digital Hand: How Computers Changed the Work of American Manufacturing, Transportation, and Retail Industries (Oxford University Press: © 2004)

W. H. “Bill” Inmon’s Building the Data Warehouse: Second Edition, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. © 1996) is probably the best work at understanding data warehousing and data base methods for responding to reporting problems.

The definitive work for understanding how a mainframe actually works is the IBM Enterprise Systems Architecture/390, Principles of Operation manual (IBM © 1990 – 1999). I have referred to the seventh edition (July 1999).