Risk managementWhat with all the scandals and their aftermaths, the last six years have been pretty exciting for auditing, and it does not look as though things are ready to settle anytime soon. The most recent development to shake up the field was the release of the Auditing Standards Board's new risk assessment standards, which promise to up-end the way auditors plan and strategize their engagements.
Fortunately, PPC has seen fit to offer some useful help to unravel the new standards. Its Guide to Audit Risk Assessment, by former Public Company Accounting Oversight Board chief accountant Douglas Carmichael (who has written on the same topic a couple of times recently for Accounting Today), should help auditors get a grip on the new rules, while its Smart e-Practice Aids on risk assessment ease the process of implementing the new planning, strategy and documentation requirements.
And as if that wasn't enough, PPC has even scheduled a conference on the subject, from Nov. 30-Dec. 1, in Washington.
Price: Contact vendor.
(800) 323-8724 opt. 6
To help users deal with the post-Sarbanes-Oxley era of near-continuous change in accounting and auditing standards, BNA has launched a new Accounting Policy & Practice Series, which will include a continually expanding series of its Portfolios, as well as a biweekly topical publication and assorted special reports.
Among the topics that the new series will provide analysis of and insight on are revenue recognition, accounting for investments in debt securities, pension accounting, accounting for share-based compensation, accounting for not-for-profits and museums, and audit committee oversight, along with many others.
Price: Contact vendor.
Other people's problems
We here at New Products work at a solution-centric organization in the sense that we're always trying to solve the problems we've caused. That's a long way from what's proposed in The Solution-Centric Organization, which suggests that firms shift their focus to solving their clients' problems.
The notion is that most firms are product-oriented - they focus on the products or services they create, rather than on filling whatever needs their clients may have. The book offers a framework for changing to this business model, and explains how to tie it in to your marketing and sales processes.
Bad dog! Bad!
When a dog misbehaves, you can whack him over the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. When a pack of dogs misbehaves, the problem is far more serious. Much the same thing applies to the business world, where you can lock up Bernie Ebbers, but you can't put all of American capitalism in prison. The real shame is that you can't even start whacking noses, though if you could, we'd recommend using a copy of Permission to Steal.
The book explores the scandals at Enron, WorldCom and the like in an attempt to discover what went wrong, and why. The author, a philosophy professor and business ethics expert, ends up calling for a re-assessment of what corporate America considers "good," in hopes of preventing this sort of chicanery in the future. But then again, we all know what the dog returneth to... .
Legacies and lame ducks
We predict that sometime around the middle of 2007, President Bush will begin the pathetic ritual that all modern-day presidents indulge in: thinking about his legacy. He'll start reading presidential biographies and introducing unobjectionable but high-minded initiatives, while everyone else focuses on the business of succeeding him. What makes the ritual pathetic is that, like all the presidents before him who started thinking about their legacy late in their last term, he'll be the lamest of lame ducks, with no power to affect history's perception of him in any significant way.
The problem, as Your Leadership Legacy makes clear, is that your legacy is being built long before you start worrying about it. The book suggests reversing the order: Instead of having a career and then cobbling a legacy together from it, why not decide how you want to be remembered, and shape your career and your leadership to leave precisely that memory? It certainly beats sitting alone before the next guy's inauguration, hoping that people don't remember you only for, say, a disastrous war, a sleazy affair with an intern, vomiting on the prime minister of Japan, or acting with a chimp.
Harvard Business School Press
Send your product news to Daniel Hood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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