Clue them inYou know a great deal about your clients' businesses, but how much do they know about yours? Let's face it - clients can be abysmally ignorant when it comes to accounting and finances. That is, after all, why they hire you. But their ignorance can harm them and, even worse, make your job harder. A self-confident CPA might consider giving his less-educated clients a copy of Robert Low's Accounting and Finance for Small Business Made Easy: Secrets You Wish Your CPA Had Told You. The book was created as a primer for the small business owner with no interest in accounting, promising to demystify the subject, help readers avoid the financial booby traps that can destroy their businesses, and give them the understanding that they need to implement effective financial management.
This can enrich a client relationship, assuming, that is, that you are comfortable letting clients see a little of what's behind the curtain - and that you've got more back there that you won't show them.

Price: $19.95.
Entrepreneur Press
(800) 864-6864

A Good Book

Tempting as it may be to think of accounting firms as sui generis, they do, in fact, share certain basic characteristics with other professional services firms. That's why the expert advice gathered together in The Professional Services Firm Bible applies equally well to accounting, law, consulting, architecture, real estate and marketing offices, among others.

The authors, John Baschab and Jon Piot, discuss developing sales approaches, marketing and business development strategies, partnership and organizational structure, firm management, measuring performance and more. The book also comes with a CD-ROM of customizable tools.

Price: $75.00.
John Wiley & Sons
(800) 762-2974

Project management

Having barely survived yet another annual Top 100 Firms survey, we here at New Products have a healthy respect for quality project management, and wish that we had read Kevin Callahan and Lynne Brooks' Essentials of Strategic Project Management before embarking on that mammoth task. Not that the T100 didn't come out well - we're very proud of it - but we're pretty sure that the project management techniques, checklists and strategies in this concise volume would've helped, and that the latest thinking on project management theory will come in handy while planning next year's Top 100.

Price: $34.95.
John Wiley & Sons
(800) 762-2974

If you can't beat 'em ...

You can't beat the financial markets, nor can you time them. They're more efficient, better informed, and much more attractive than you are. You can't see it, but the Invisible Hand is flipping you the bird.

Financial markets expert Larry Swedroe might not put it quite that way, but that's more or less the message of his new book, The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need. The individual investor, he says, doesn't have the resources and time to succeed at active investment. The solution? Passively managed funds, which cut out many of the costs and risks, but still deliver the returns. Swedroe shows how to implement this strategy step by step, outlining model portfolios and offering guidelines for determining risk tolerance, as well as up-to-date information on the Tax Act of 2003, and a list of recommended investment vehicles.

Price: $24.95.
St. Martin's Press

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