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Book Corner 
Sponsored by John Wiley & Sons

JOHN WILEY & SONS is a global publisher of print and electronic products with approximately 22,700 active titles and about 400 journals. In partnership with Wiley, SmartPros provides its members with excerpts of new and cutting-edge accounting and finance books, as well as fresh articles exclusive to SmartPros written by the book authors themselves.

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Five Positive Ways to Deal With Negativity
With the mortgage meltdown, floods in the Midwest, $4 a gallon for gas, food prices, the economy, famine, war in Iraq, etc., many would agree that there is a lot of negativity in the world and certainly a lot to complain about. And yet...


Mind Over Matter: Why Intellectual Capital is the Chief Source of Wealth
Ron Baker, founder of the think tank VeraSage Institute and a frequent name on Accounting Today's Top 100 Most Influential People, has published several books in his four-part Intellectual Capitalism series. In a conversation with SmartPros, he discusses the contents of his third book. 


Retaining Youth
If you are like most business leaders, you've no doubt noticed a trend in the way employees behave in recent years. Most likely you consider it a negative trend -- too much entitlement, not enough loyalty, no work ethic, only interested in themselves, and on and on. To better understand who your employees are and what drives them to succeed, perhaps it's easiest to understand who they are not.


Your Brand Is Everything
Your brand is everything. Don't think that just because you're not Nike or Coke that you don't have a brand. You ARE a brand.


T&E Expense Policy and Reimbursement Process: Not What it Was a Few Short Years Ago
Travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses are the second largest controllable expense for most organizations, explains Mary S. Schaeffer, author of Travel and Entertainment Best Practices.  Hence, the process should get a lot of attention.


Better Use of the Intranet: The Finance Team's Role
This excerpt from Pareto's 80/20 Rule for Corporate Accountants discusses how the finance team can make better use of a company intranet.


Don't Forgo Early Payment Discounts: The Returns Are Astounding
Few CFOs or controllers would turn their noses up at an investment that returns 36 percent a year. In fact, most would actively pursue one that returned just a quarter of that. Yet that is what thousands of organizations do when they allow inefficient processes to stand in the way of their firms earning those very attractive returns. What are we talking about? Early payment discounts.


Why Is Corporate Governance Important?
Good corporate governance helps to prevent corporate scandals, fraud, and potential civil and criminal liability of the organization. It is also good business. A good corporate governance image enhances the reputation of the organization and makes it more attractive to customers, investors, suppliers and, in the case of nonprofit organizations, contributors.


Why Do Employees Lie, Cheat, and Steal on the Job?
In Fraud Auditing and Forensic Accounting, 3rd Ed., authorities in white-collar crime (criminologists, psychologists, sociologists, risk managers, auditors, police, and security professionals) give 25 reasons for employee crimes.


Why SOX Matters to Small Private Companies
Despite what can be an expensive venture, implementing two provisions of this law -- whistleblower protection and document preservation -- is an excellent habit for a small business to form, says Peggy Jackson, a risk-management consultant and author of the forthcoming book Sarbanes-Oxley for Small Businesses.


Ron Baker's Value Pricing Mission
Ronald J. Baker is on a mission. He wants to spread the word among professional service firms -- from accounting to advertising to law -- that value pricing a service is far superior to relying on the traditional cost-plus method and old-fashioned timesheets. Baker provides us with the inside scoop, from the current state of the model to future trends.


Quiz: You're an Invisible Employee If . . .
The following quiz is an excerpt from The Invisible Employee: Realizing the Hidden Potential in Everyone by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton.


Demystifying Performance Management
"Performance management is a process problem, and software is not the solution," according to Mark Stiffler, founder and president of Synygy Inc., a Chester, Penn.-based company that provides performance management solutions and consulting.


Signs of Budget Ineffectiveness
A business owner should regularly review the company budget to ensure it is effective. In this excerpt from the book, the authors of Accounting and Finance for Your Small Business list some signs that the budget or budget process is less than optimally effective.


Accounts Receivable Management Best Practices
John Salek, Parson Consulting National Leader, Receivables Cycle Management, discusses his book, Accounts Receivable Management Best Practices, and shares a best practice from the book.


The Challenges of Outsourcing
Outsourcing: A Guide to ... Selecting the Correct Business Unit ... Negotiating the Contract ... Maintaining Control of the Process -- it's a long title for a book that covers a lot of ground. Author Steven Bragg explains the challenges of outsourcing in an interview with SmartPros.


Is This Meeting Necessary?
Too often, people get caught up in the "Tuesday morning project meeting" grind. Yet sometimes, deciding not to meet may be the best use of everyone's valuable time. Here are four questions to ask before moving forward from Meeting Excellence: 33 Tools to Lead Meetings That Get Results.


Is Training a Good Bet for Outsourcing?
Outsourced learning is gaining momentum among major companies. Indeed, recent research by industry analyst IDC shows that training tops the list of functions that corporate executives are considering for outsourcing, "higher than sales and marketing, HR, finance and accounting," says Michael Brennan, corporate learning program manager for IDC.


Purchase Power: How to Select a Laptop
While spending on security and storage will level off in 2006, mobile devices will become a major purchasing priority, according to research from Gartner Inc. And one of the most important mobile-device purchases a company makes is a laptop.


Offshoring Defined
SmartPros asked an authority on offshoring, John Berry, author of Offshoring Opportunities: Strategies and Tactics for Global Competitiveness to give a brief explanation of what this business practice is all about.


Creative Accounting in the Post-SOX Era
More than three years after its original publication, a bestselling book on creative accounting is now available in paperback. An interview with the authors reveals their thoughts on the post-Sarbanes-Oxley era -- some of which may surprise.


The Basics of Handling a Garnishment Efficiently
One of the more labor intensive tasks the payroll department must tackle is processing garnishments. Whether it is for child support, a tax levy or a creditor garnishment, keeping up with processing each garnishment correctly is a daunting challenge for payroll. But it can be done.


Beyond Cost-Based Pricing
As long as customers are willing to pay at least as much as the target price, everything appears to be fine. However, this cost-based pricing strategy might be masking future costs that are spiraling out of control.


Cash Flow: Fact or Fiction?
Cash flow is an important indicator of corporate financial health, but it isn't necessarily a trustworthy measurement of financial performance, according to Charles Mulford, co-author with Eugene Comiskey of Creative Cash Flow Reporting: Uncovering Sustainable Financial Performance.


Simplifying the Inventory Count
Controllers are not usually responsible for the quantity of inventory in which a company invests, but
they certainly can be held accountable if inventory counts are inaccurate, leading to inaccurate inventory valuations. There are several ways to improve the accuracy of inventory counts, thereby avoiding these problems.


BPO: A Golden Opportunity for Professional Service Firms
A convergence of factors has created an alternative business model for professional service firms.


Payroll and Security: A Great Combination
With all the technology advances that have affected payroll, one thing remains the same: the need for good security. Payroll advisor Vicki Lambert discusses several areas that the payroll department must review to ensure that records are secure and that staff is safe.

When It Comes to Fraud, There Is No Silver Bullet
In reality, auditors can never guarantee that they will discover a material fraud. But short of unattainable perfection, much can be accomplished in detection and deterrence, according to the author of The Auditor's Guide to Forensic Accounting Investigation.


SmartPros Top 10 Bestselling Titles in 2004
We have compiled the top 10 bestselling titles sold in 2004 via While four titles are CPA exam study guides, the remainder are useful technical guides on a wide range of topics, from collection managment to best practices for the accounting department.

Auditing: A to Z
Take a peek at a new desk reference for accountants, the Auditor's Dictionary by David O'Regan. The following definitions are excerpts from the book to give you a feel for the guide's style.

Protecting the Fruits of Your R&D
From completing an invention disclosure form to motivating investors, learn how to ensure inventions by your employees actually belong to your company.


Client-Centric Marketing: What Clients Want
A new book by accounting marketing gurus August J. Aquila and Bruce W. Marcus explores professional services marketing and management in the twenty-first century and what it means to be "client-centered." 


10 Deadly Marketing Sins
Is your company commiting a deadly marketing sin? According to marketing guru Philip Kotler, author of Ten Deadly Marketing Sins: Signs and Solutions, your company needs to re-prioritize its marketing objectives if it commits a marketing "sin."


Eight Ways to Build Your Firm Over the Next 12 Months
Is this going to be your year for turning on the power of marketing and sales in your business? If your answer is yes, here are eight keys to success, from certified public accountant Troy Waugh's new book, 101 Marketing Strategies for Accounting, Law, Consulting and Professional Services Firms.


The Corporate MVP: The Key to a Successful Business
Accountants and financial planners, listen up. Profitable growth in any business -- even your business -- is largely dependent on the ability to attract and retain high-performing, results-driven people. Margaret Butteriss and Bill Roiter, authors of Corporate MVPs, explain why and and how an MVP creates value, and tells how to attract them to your firm.


You Can't Govern a Company You Don't Own
What is a CFO to do under conditions where everyone is just trying to survive the next change of management? Several routes to the same end might be employed -- such as going private or shifting capital structure -- that may be considered alone or in combination.


The New CFO Checklist
The new CFO should place top priorities on learning the particular areas during the first few months on the job, from cash flow to contracts. Steven M. Bragg, author of The New CFO Financial Leadership Manual, itemizes specific areas of concern.


New Book Helps Companies Win Battle for Leadership Talent
The authors of Leading the Way outline "three leadership truths" for companies to win the battle for talent: CEO and board development, a focus on best talent, and development and execution of the right programs.


Effective Techniques to Collect Receivables Less Than $500
From the author of the new edition of The Collection Management Handbook: The Art of Getting Paid, Third Edition, learn the economics and psychology of small-balance collection, and how to recover receivables less than $500.


Using Best Practices to Jump-Start the Accounting Department
A common misperception of a best practice is a cutting edge, technological experiment only engaged in by the largest companies.  In reality, a best practice is anything not yet installed that would improve the company. Steven M. Bragg, author of the new edition of Accounting Best Practices, provides tips on how to gradually implement best practices.


SmartPros Top 10 Bestselling Titles in 2003
We have compiled the top 10 bestselling titles in 2003 on the SmartPros Web site. As expected, CPA exam study guides make up half of the list, but there are also useful technical guides and cutting-edge commentaries.


Mind Your Payroll Controls
The ongoing evolution of the payroll function within a company requires continual revisions to the accompanying controls, explains Steven Bragg, author of Essentials of Payroll: Management and Accounting.

Business Books of the Year
It has been a year of great business books! We've highlighted some of the top sellers. Each makes a great stocking stuffer for the business savvy person on your gift list! The best of the year includes Financial Reckoning Day, The Sales Bible, and Gray Matters: The Workplace Survival Guide.
Making the Most of the Web
The just-released second edition of Best Websites for Financial Professionals, Business Appraisers, and Accountants sorts the good sites from the bad. SmartPros asked co-author Eva Lang to share her thoughts on some of the best free and fee-based sites. Learn which Web site delivers the most for the money...
Five Reasons to Employ Economic Value Management
Economic Value Management, as defined in the book by the same name, is a rigorous and disciplined approach that can provide immediate gains and better long term strategies, ensure focused execution, and create the alignment within organizations that is critical for success. There are many reasons to employ this approach to managing a business. Here are five.
Is the Glass Half Empty?
Our exclusive interview with J. Edward Ketz, author of Hidden Financial Risk, taps the Penn State professor's three decades of study on financial accounting and reporting. An authorative and controversial voice in the world of accounting, his philosophy on the present and future state of the profession are sure to make you ponder.
Unaccountable Accountants: A Fresh Perspective on How to Regain Public Confidence
Perhaps one of the most fascinating perspectives on accounting scandals comes not from an accountant, but a journalist embedded in a Big Five accounting firm throughout the 1990s. Read our interview with Mike Brewster, the author of Unaccountable: How the Accounting Profession Forfeited a Public Trust.
The Firm of the Future
Read our exclusive interview with Ron Baker, CPA and co-author of The Firm of the Future: A Guide for Accountants, Lawyers and Other Professional Services, a cutting-edge "new paradigm" on what professional services firms will look like in the future. 
Jump-Start Your Corporate Performance Management Initiative
By performing the following seven steps outlined by Michael Coveney, co-author of The Strategy Gap, an organization can create a roadmap to help jump-start its CPM initiative.
Strategic Tax Planning by and for Managers
Strategic Corporate Tax Planning is a new approach to enable and motivate managers and entrepreneurs to think about the big things in taxes in an organized fashion, and thus be more effective in enhancing the bottom line.
A Guide to Building CEO Reputation and Company Success
CEO Capital by Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross is a collection of practical dos and don'ts for CEOs and those who advise them. CEOs must heed their reputation for the benefit of their companies. Read this interview with the author, and test your "CEO capital" skills.
Managing Cash Flow: An Operational Focus
Without cash availability the organization will die; with it, the organization can grow and prosper -- with proper management and effective operations. This new book by Rob Reider and Peter Heyler focuses on the tangible, cash flow operations that make business work.
Top 10 Bestsellers in 2002
We have a feeling the top 10 bestselling books on this year will remain among the most popular as we settle into 2003, including CPA exam guides like the one pictured here. Accountants will continue to learn how to improve their practices, expand their professional skills, and make the profession as best as it can be.
10 Gift-Worthy Business Books
We've got a book for every stocking, from fraud to corporate malfeasance to investment and career guidance. Among our list of 10 books worth giving to family, friends and colleagues this holiday season is Martha Inc.: The Incredible Story of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Though written prior to the insider trading scandal, it takes a close look at how Stewart came to be one of the most powerful women in American business.
Activity-Based Cost Management: An Executive Guide
Expert Gary Cokins outlines the benefits of activity-based cost management, a concept accountants often have difficulty grasping. Cokins' book on the topic currently tops the list as the bestselling activity based costing guide on the major book distributor Web sites. Find out how ABC/M "gets it right."
Growth and Profitability: Optimizing the Finance Function for Small and Emerging Businesses
One of the most often overlooked areas of strategy development is the finance and accounting function. In this SmartPros article, the author of Growth and Profitability explains the critical role of the "back office" and how all aspects of the business are affected by the finance function.
The Best Websites for Financial Professionals, Business Appraisers, and Accountants
If you are looking for a book (yes, that's right, a book) that succinctly organizes the best of the accounting and finance Internet resources out there in cyberspace, this one may be your answer.
Valuation: Maximizing Corporate Value
How does a corporation ensure its various divisions are working together to achieve the product/service mix that will satisfy customers and optimize cash flows? In this SmartPros article, George M. Norton III, author of Valuation: Maximizing Corporate Value, explains how the MCV process and lists seven steps to creating a strategic framework.
Shared Services: A Business Model for Every CEO
In this SmartPros article, Brian Bergeron, author of Essentials of Shared Services, explains how the shared services model optimizes people, capital, time, and other corporate resources to improve the bottom line and enhance the competitiveness of the parent organization.
How Should Accounting Cope with Structured Finance?
Stephen G. Ryan, author of Financial Instruments & Institutions: Accounting and Disclosure Rules, explains the distinct roles of the consolidation of SPEs and fair value accounting for contracts in improving the accounting for structured financial transactions, and describes the importance of expanded estimation sensitivity and risk disclosures for these transactions.
Collection Tips from the Field
There is an old saying in the credit profession that says, "a sale is a gift until the invoice is paid." This excerpt from Essentials of Credit, Collections and Accounts Receivable by Mary Schaeffer provides general tips and techniques for collecting payments from customers.
Risk Management: What Your MBA Program Should Have Taught You
In The Real World of Finance: 12 Lessons for the 21st Century, author James Sagner describes business risk as a fact of every transaction; consequently, managers often fail to appreciate the extent of risk in normal business operations.
What Is Explicit Cost Dynamics?
Is it cheaper to make 15 units than five assuming that the same amount of labor is used in each case? Do you believe that efficiency and productivity increases lead to lower costs? Traditional accounting approaches such as ABC get these questions wrong, but Explicit Cost Dynamics gets it right, according to Dr. Reginald Tomas Yu-Lee, author of Explicit Cost Dynamics and Essentials of Capacity Management.
The E-Business Workplace
Grant Norris, co-author of The E-Business Workplace, provides a thorough overview of one of the most exciting developments in the world of business technology -- the e-business workplace.
Cost Management and the Balanced Scorecard
The discipline of cost management is currently facing a transitional challenge -- meeting the rapidly changing information needs of today's decision makers. This article by Paul Niven, author of Balanced Scorecard Step-by-Step, briefly explores a role for the Balanced Scorecard to play in the cost management transformation.
The Four Steps of Business Process Mapping
There is an old saying in the credit profession that says, "a sale is a gift until the invoice is paid." Here, a number of general tips and techniques for collecting payments from customers from J. Mike Jacka, an Auditing Manager at Farmers Insurance and co-author of Business Process Mapping: Improving Customer Satisfaction.
It's Premature to Say Goodbye to GAAP
While there is much to criticize in GAAP, it is not to blame for recent financial reporting dust-ups. The problem is not the result of bad rules, per se, but with the brazen and intentional flouting of those rules. Ralph Nach, co-author of Wiley GAAP 2002, explains why now more than ever accountants and financial professionals need to understand GAAP.
Audit Committee Responsibilities: Lessons from Enron
Louis Braiotta, Jr., author of The Committee Handbook, 3rd Ed., explains the audit committee's role and the appropriate actions to take when fraudulent financial reporting is spotted.
Activity-Based Pricing for Competitive Advantage
Many companies are losing big money on a handful of products because they are blissfully ignorant of the relationship of the price and true cost of their products explains John L. Daly, author of Pricing for Profitability: Activity-Based Pricing for Competitive Advantage.
Essentials of CRM
Clearly, managing the customer relationship is the key to profitability -- and perhaps even survival -- in the new economy. The challenge for accountants and financial managers is to become familiar with the more technical aspects of CRM. Bryan Bergeron, the author of Essentials of CRM: A Guide to Customer Relationship Management, highlights some developments that are making CRM easier.
Creative Accounting: Prevention and Detection
With the collapse of Enron Corp. and the subsequent Congressional hearings, the debut of The Financial Numbers Game, a book by Charles W. Mulford and Eugene M. Comiskey, could not have arrived at a more perfect time. The book focuses on educating investors on how to spot "creative accounting practices."

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