O'KELLY'S FINAL GIFTIt is not given to most of us to know the time and manner of our death; if it were, we might waste less time, and make more of what we have. Few of us, though, would be likely to make as much of our remaining time as the late Eugene O'Kelly. In the 100 days between his diagnosis with an inoperable brain tumor and his death on Sept. 10, 2005, the former chief executive of KPMG set out on a systematic plan in anticipation of his death, preparing his family, saying goodbye to hundreds of people, and, not incidentally, writing a revealing and inspirational book, Chasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life.
As you would expect from a man who worked his way up to the top of one of the world's biggest firms, the book is neither mawkish nor sentimental - O'Kelly made a mission of facing his death, and accomplished it with determination, focus and a no-nonsense attitude. Surprisingly, that approach yields no small amount of wisdom, and Chasing Daylight is the fruit of that - and O'Kelly's parting gift.
While some say that that government governs best that governs least, we say that that government governs best that's audited most - and the federal government and its departments are being audited more now than ever before. These are complex engagements, though, with little in the way of guidance, so Federal Government Auditing: Laws, Regulations, Standards, Practices & Sarbanes-Oxley is a particularly useful reference.
Packed with information, the book covers the most up-to-date laws, regulations and audit standards, condensing this mind-bogglingly complex realm into a concise, accessible guide, with real-life examples of federal audits. So throw open the books, and let's find out what happens to our tax money!
John Wiley & Sons
Frankly, you can never know enough about Sarbanes-Oxley, and it can never hurt to brush up on what you do know. For those who want to review, or those who are new to it, there's The Sarbanes-Oxley Act: Overview and Implementation Procedures. The book is a "working manual" that leads you through the act section by section, with the appropriate actions to take for each. It also includes checklists and a section on the COSO Framework, as well as details on the ramifications SOX has for Canadian and U.K. firms. As if that weren't enough, it comes with a CD containing templates of all the forms in the book, and a PowerPoint presentation of compliance requirements.
'MASTERING THE TRADE'
Mastering the trade, it turns out, requires first mastering yourself. Professional trader John Carter - who started trading in the markets when he was in high school - begins his Mastering the Trade: Proven Techniques for Profiting from Intraday and Swing Trading Setups with a section on the psychology of the markets, and how to understand and control your own trading personality.
After that, it's on to the details: the hardware and software, the specifics of different markets (including futures and foreign exchange), various strategies and the trading rules that apply to them, and how to build a "trader's business plan."
If you've always wanted to get into trading, but don't want to end up featured in one of those horror stories about amateur investors who lose everything by day trading, this is the book for you.
'ON CLOUD NINE'
The continuing balkanization of the workforce by age - Baby Boomers versus Gen Xers, with Gen Y against everyone - has so far led to only limited bloodshed, but if we hope to avoid a full-scale shooting war, we need to find ways to reconcile the divergent work practices and philosophies of the different age cohorts. We would suggest uniting everyone in the common goal of oppressing the next generation to enter the workforce - the Millenials - but since the accounting profession is already having a hard time attracting them, the gentle solutions offered in On Cloud Nine might make more sense for your firm.
The book begins firmly in the business-advice-as-fable category, examining the clashes that arise from differences in age-specific values, ethics and expectations, but in its second half it gets down to details on the individual work styles and expectations of the various generations, and how to get them to work together.
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