Yes, music!We here at New Products have always secretly harbored the dream that we'll be offered a position writing the accounting column at Rolling Stone, so you can imagine our excitement at finally receiving a CD that contained music, instead of tax prep software. And what music!

The novelty song may well be the greatest of American art forms, and Taxpayer Blues has eight of them - all about the joys and woes (mostly woes) of our system of voluntary tax compliance. Our favorite is "My Tax Return the Fanciful" (to the tune of "America the Beautiful"), but the other seven are pretty good, too.

With discounts on large orders, Taxpayer Blues might make a nice giveaway for your tax clients, or a morale-booster for your staff during the upcoming tax season.

Price: $8.99; volume discounts available.

Ruby Tunes LLC

(617) 312-6574

Bankruptcy tax

Bankruptcy no longer carries the social stigma it once did; some companies (major airlines in particular) seem to treat it like a vacation home, visiting at regular intervals to emerge refreshed and ready for more. That's not to say it's an easy proposition from a financial or tax perspective (but then, neither is owning a vacation home). Bankruptcy & Insolvency Taxation, by accounting professor Grant Newton and KPMG principal Robert Liquerman, is a comprehensive guide to the tax complications of this business haven.

A particular bonus: As bankruptcy rules change, publisher Wiley promises to keep purchasers up to date with annual supplements.

Price: $175.

John Wiley & Sons

(800) 762-2974

Falling into business

You didn't fall into business - you went to school and took exams and joined (or created) a firm on the basis of a plan. But a great many people don't have your foresight and ability to stick to a plan, and some of them end up accidentally - and annoyingly - creating businesses. Whoops! I'm in Business is the book for them, with details on all the things new-born entrepreneurs need to know about starting up.

Why should you care? Many of these people may be your clients, now or in the future. And while lots of these businesses won't pan out, it could be valuable to be in on the ground floor for the few that do. What better way to endear yourself to them than by giving them this book, which can prevent a thousand mistakes?

Price: $19.99.


(510) 549-1976


Outsourcing is about saving money; Multisourcing, by Gartner analysts Linda Cohen and Allie Young, is about making your company better. Their research suggests that 50 percent of outsourcing contracts from the past three years will fail to meet expectations; in response, they describe a strategy that evaluates outsourcing more on whether it helps you build or grow your business, rather than on whether it cuts costs. They also outline a new, more proactive way of managing service relationships to maximize the value and the potential synergy of all your business processes, whether they're built or bought.

Price: $35.

Harvard Business School Press

(617) 783-7410

'The Shipbuilder'

The growth of management studies in the past century often led to a mechanical approach to leadership, obscuring its more nebulous emotional aspect. That, in turn, has led to a crop of books like The Shipbuilder, which remind us that, however hard it may be to define and render in statistics, the human touch is often all-important.

Author Jack Myrick tells a simple tale of a Greek shipwright who struggles with labor shortages, construction delays and cost overruns that would be familiar to any 21st century businessman. Through a mentor, the shipwright learns five valuable lessons in leadership that could profitably be tattooed inside the eyelids of managers everywhere.

We're willing to forgive a few historical howlers (the shipwright and his foreman are Greeks living in Athens, for instance, but they're given indisputably Roman names, even though the book is set at a time when no one in the civilized world had even heard of Rome) because this is, after all, a fable - and one with valuable lessons to teach.

Price: $19.95.

Quill Driver Books

(800) 497-4909

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