Dear Baby Boomers:Please don't retire! Ever! But if you must, do it now, so we can stop worrying about the impending demographic nightmare we've been hearing so much about, and start dealing with it.
One part of that nightmare is the potential wave of partner retirements that will wash over accounting in the next decade or so. The American Institute of CPAs is alive to this trend, and has prepared a wealth of resources to help firms cope. The first is a white paper, Preparing for Transition: The State of Succession Planning and How to Handle the Process in Your Firm, which summarizes the results of the 2004 PCPS Succession Planning Survey, and offers insights and best practices on succession planning from over 500 firms. It's available free at www.aicpa.org/pcps, under the Resources tab.
For a little more depth, the institute has published Securing the Future: Building a Succession Plan for Your Firm, by noted consultant Bill Reeb. The book teaches you how to create a firm that will last beyond its founders, and includes a DVD with tools, checklists, and expert commentary and analysis.
Last but not least, there's a CPE course, Succession Planning: Strategies to Protect the Value of Your Firm, and a series of three Webcasts on the subject available on the institute's Web portal, CPA2Biz.
Price: White paper - free.
Securing the Future - $76.
Better than CSI
Forensic accounting work is a lot better than police forensics. For one thing, there are no corpses, bodily fluids or bugs. Plus, the pay is better - and there's tremendous demand, seeing as almost half of all companies experience significant fraud. That said, it's as complex a subject as police forensics, and A Guide to Forensic Accounting Investigation, by three partners from PricewaterhouseCoopers' forensics practice, covers all the bases, from the psychology of fraudsters to accounting standards and the most modern tools of both fraud and detection.
John Wiley & Sons
We're not bragging or anything, but we here at New Products are exactly the sort of people that Dealing with Problem Employees was written for. Or about. Whatever. The point is, you can't just fire us - you have to make sure you cover all your bases first, and this guide to the legalities of evaluations, discipline, complaint investigations, terminations and severance can help make sure that you do. Then you can fire us!
On the same shelf in your HR Department should be a copy of The Job Description Handbook, which can help you turn a tedious task into a valuable management tool for hiring the best possible people. At the very least, it might help you avoid having to deal with problem employees like us.
Price: Problem Employees - $44.99; Job Description Handbook - $29.99.
Employee stock ownership plans may not get the same press as the stock options awarded to the chief executives of large public corporations, but they both present unique problems in valuation. Financial Valuations of Employee Stock Ownership Plan Shares tackles this problem with a complete reference and research guide, including an explanation of the benefits and attractiveness of ESOPs, the pros and cons of various valuation methodologies, and coverage of the relevant regulations.
John Wiley & Sons
We have clichés like "Too many cooks spoil the broth" because they're true. Replace "cooks" with "leaders," and you have both bad broth and the dilemma posed by Leading Leaders: How to Manage Smart, Talented, Rich and Powerful People. While you want those kind of people working for you, you may discover that they expect to be in charge - all the time. The book has strategies for getting the most out of your best, while avoiding turf wars, power struggles and internecine politics.
Its insights can help you build strong relationships with your movers and shakers, while getting them to direct their many talents to the greater good.
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