'Accounting Control'No one needs to be told that having strong internal controls is enormously important these days - they just need to be told how get them. Accounting expert and prolific author Steven M. Bragg's Accounting Control Best Practices is a thorough, in-depth guide to building a new control environment or improving an old one. With control flowcharts for every chapter, methods for choosing new technologies, and advice on the best controls for specific systems, this book deserves space on the shelf of anyone involved in the area.
John Wiley & Sons
Whether you love Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld or hate him, in his famous comments on "known knowns," "known unknowns" and "unknown unknowns," he introduced the whole nation to the notion of risk management. Risk Intelligence: Learning to Manage What We Don't Know delves into the same subject from a business perspective.
While financial risk management - where there's data to crunch - has been used for some time, author David Apgar explores non-financial risk, where numbers matter less than what you know, what you don't know, and what you can know. He explains how to learn the difference, and offers a Risk Intelligence Scorecard and a Risk Strategy Audit that can help you improve your "Risk IQ" - and that could prove very useful the next time you need to decide between, say, adding a new business line and invading a Middle Eastern country.
Harvard Business School Press
Richard Nixon did it. Hugh Grant did it. Martha Stewart's doing it right now - recovering from a major career disaster. God forbid that anybody who reads Accounting Today should ever need to do the same, but should that sad day arrive when you have to issue the public apology, do a perp walk or head off to those "other pursuits," pack a copy of Firing Back: How Great Leaders Rebound After Career Disasters to read on your involuntary vacation.
In a country that doesn't offer second acts, and where nothing succeeds like success (and nothing's more embarrassing than failure), the book's examination of the best and worst ways to climb back after a fall makes instructive reading.
Harvard Business School Press
We here at New Products share a printer with a group of 20 people - and only one of us knows how to replace the toner cartridge. The holders of secret bits of knowledge like this (and some much more valuable) are scattered throughout every organization, and The Wisdom Network shows how to tap into them. It offers an eight-step process for identifying these junior Illuminati and using their secret knowledge to the benefit of the company as a whole, as well as ways to encourage and reward those who make their knowledge work.
Big companies spend millions on consultants, legal counsel, accounting advice, and procurement and human resources departments to help them make the tricky decisions that come their way on a daily basis. Small businesses can spend $19.95 for The Streetwise Book of Lists and get the same kind of help. Compiled by consultant Gene Marks, the book contains advice, resources and quick answers from over 300 experts that can help business owners manage more effectively, increase sales and lower expenses. As business improvement investments go, it could be the best $20 you ever spend.
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