Small biz accountingIt has always been a great shame that most businesses don't come with owner's manuals, since they are full of complications and pitfalls for the unwary. But there is a manual for at least one aspect of running a business: the second edition of Accounting and Finance for Your Small Business, an invaluable guide and reference for the business owner, the head of the accounting department, the outside accountant and just about anyone else involved in this area.
The book clearly lays out all the processes and procedures that are needed to establish and maintain a profitable small business, with real-world examples and step-by-step guidance. With finance and accounting squared away, now all we need are books on every other part of the business.
John Wiley & Sons
Learning how to be charming might strike some as questionable; it's a skill, after all, that many think of as superficial, or even manipulative. But while The Power of Charm will teach you how to get people to like you, the methods that coaches Brian Tracy and Ron Arden lay out are anything but questionable. Their most important pointers - show an interest in other people, listen more than you speak, pay attention, maintain eye contact - are really more about making other people feel good, with the expectation that they will like you for it. And if you're still uncomfortable with the notion of "charm," you can call it what your parents used to call it: manners.
More than just accounting
The next time someone suggests to you that accounting is nothing more than "number crunching," and that accountants are nothing more than "bean counters," clock them over the head with Accounting, the Social and the Political. It's a good solid book and will do a fair amount of damage; more important, while the offending party is recovering in the hospital, they can read this collection of 35 carefully chosen (and mercifully abridged) scholarly articles, which explore accounting's wider role and impact in organizations and society at large.
While they can get a little academic and jargony, the articles present a fascinating picture of a profession whose influence is even wider than you might have expected, and offer valuable insights at a time when, with scandals abounding, some wonder if accounting hasn't lost its way.
We don't care how good your mousetrap is - the world isn't beating a path to your door. And if they are, it's only so they can steal the blueprints. So if you or one of your clients has had a brilliant idea, our suggestion is to keep it secret and never tell a soul. Legal publisher Nolo, on the other hand, thinks it's better to get it out there in the marketplace, and offers two books to help you both to make the most of it, and to protect it. Profit from Your Idea shows innovators and inventors how to market their creations and draft licensing deals that ensure that you're the one raking in the profits, while Patent, Copyright & Trademark is a guide to intellectual property law that covers everything from protecting your business' name to how intellectual property affects the Internet.
Price: Profit from Your Idea - $34.99; Patent, Copyright & Trademark - $39.99.
Economists like to talk about Homo economicus, the so-called "Rational Man" who makes financial decisions based on reason. The problem with the model isn't just that most people don't base their decisions on reason, it's that everyone has their own individual financial personality, an amalgamation of learned behaviors, irrationalities and preferences that makes every decision-making process unique.
Discovering your financial personality and figuring out a successful strategy that fits it is the thrust of Financial DNA, by Hugh Massie. The book shows investors - and their advisors - how to examine their behavior, learn what makes them tick, and then make the most of it.
John Wiley & Sons
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