2013 Summer Reading for Accountants

Short—but valuable—reads for the profession

As we did last year, we searched our shelves on a quest to find books of interest to accountants that were light enough and short enough to bring to the beach, but still worth the effort.

Here they are, divided roughly by category. And yes, you do detect an emphasis on leadership …

Memoir Memoir

Accounting Changes: Chronicles of Convergence, Crisis, and Complexity in Financial Reporting

By Robert Herz


While prominent politicians and business figures often are expected to produce memoirs, it’s not common practice for important players in accounting to do so. A dip in former Financial Accounting Standards Board chair Robert Herz’s book may make you wish that it was. He’s had a fascinating career, and is clearly a thoughtful guy, with a serious vision for the future of financial reporting.

Business Business

Wallet Share: Grow Your Practice without Adding Clients

By Lee Eisenstaedt and Tom Siders

L. Harris Partners

The “3x3x3” model laid out in Wallet Share is deceptively simple: Go through your client base and make sure that you’re selling each one three service, that you have three contacts at each one, and that they have three contacts at your firm. Properly implemented, it can unlock a tremendous source of new business, while cementing your long-term client relationships.

Inspirational Inspirational

Leadership at its Strongest: What Successful Managing Partners Do

By Robert J. Lees, August J. Aquila and Derek Klyhn

Bay Street Group

Leadership at its Strongest creates a guide to being a successful managing partner by distilling the experience of 150 actual managing partners. It identifies and focuses on the four essential traits shared by great leaders: providing a compelling direction and strategy; engaging partners in the effort and gaining commitment; initiating activities that support their strategy; and setting a personal example.

Travelogues Travelogues

Leading Firms: How Great Professional Service Firms Succeed & How Your Firm Can Too

By David C. Kuhlman


Many of the books that cross our desks about building successful companies are fairly generic: Be nimble. Value your people. Encourage innovation. Avoid doing stupid things. And so on. This one, on the other hand, actually includes specific advice that's actually relevant to actual professional service firms. Well worth a look for any partners who want to take their firm to the next level.

Guide Books Guide Books

The Leader’s Pocket Guide: 101 Indispensable Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Any Situation

By John Baldoni


Since leadership is awfully hard, and a 24/7 sort of job, the fact that this book is actually pocket-sized, and that its advice is short and pithy, makes it even more useful.

True Crime True Crime

Faces of Fraud: Cases and Lessons from a Life Fighting Fraudsters

by Martin Biegelman Wiley

Look, it doesn't matter if you read Faces of Fraud because you want to stop them or because you want your face in a future edition—the fact is that it's a fascinating anecdotal look at frauds, cons, swindles and scams of all sizes and types. If nothing else, it'll make sure that you never, ever trust anyone else again.

Autobiography Autobiography

The Sid Kess Approach: 60 Years of Best Practices in Tax, Education, Careers and Life

By Sid Kess (as told to James Carberry)


Sid Kess has been synonymous with tax education for many years, but this book is not about tax: It's really about Sid, and the lessons he has to teach outside of tax. Part tribute, part leadership primer and part inspirational text, it ultimately offers a pathway for personal and professional satisfaction.

Remedial Reading Remedial Reading

CPA Firm Succession Planning: A Perfect Storm

By Marc Rosenberg

The Rosenberg Associates

This was on last year’s reading list, too—but you probably still don’t have a succession plan, do you? Read this comprehensive look at why it matters, the challenges firms face, and how to build and develop staff to support your exit strategy.

Doorstops Doorstops

The Affordable Care Act

Congress and the Administration

You don’t really want to read this—among other things, it would take all summer, and you'd have to read all other laws that it refers to—but you want to read something on it from your research provider of choice, because come fall, your business clients are going to flood you with questions on it … .

Most Suspicious IRS Audit Triggers

The Minnesota Society of CPAs has compiled a list of red flags that could trigger an audit from the IRS if they apply to your clients' tax returns.

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Top 7 Retention Tactics

The Top 100 Firms get creative when trying to retain top talent.

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Top 10 Recruiting Tactics

The Top 100 Firms share their best strategies.

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The Fastest-Growing Firms in the U.S.

The firms with the highest 2014 revenue growth in our Top 100 Firms/Regional Leaders list

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Where the Wealthy Go to School

Looking for rich clients? Here's a ranking of the top U.S. universities by number of ultra-wealthy alumni.

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Secrets in the 1040

7 things you can learn during tax prep to build a stronger client relationship

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The Dirty Dozen Tax Scams

The IRSís annual pick of the worst of the worst

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Most Outrageous Tax Deductions of 2015

The Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants recently surveyed its CPA members in public accounting on the most outrageous tax deductions clients tried to take on their tax returns. Their responses included everything from pets and weddings to cars impounded by the police.

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Top Fraud Predictions for 2015

Technology will give fraudsters an edge in 2015, but it will also provide new tools for organizations and investigators, according to three experts from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners who were asked for their top fraud predictions for 2015.

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Are You Ready for Tax Season?

Preparing your office for the race to April 15

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