A shield against madness

PPC's Guide to Compilation and Review Engagements

Thomson Reuters; $240

One of the reasons small businesses love accountants is that they're willing to bone up on the millions of rules and regulations that engender terror and madness in mere mortals. And one of the reasons accountants love reference works like PPC's Guide to Compilation and Review Engagements is that they allow them to do their boning up without succumbing to the terror and madness. In this case, the guide offers comprehensive protection against the horrors of the rules on compilations and reviews, including the changes wrought by the recent release of SSARS 19.

One-volume library

Barron's Accounting Handbook, 5th Ed.

Barron's; $39.99

Nothing says "professional firm" like a wall full of fat leather-bound tomes of esoteric knowledge - even if they're never opened. More useful, if not necessarily contributing as much to the ambiance of your office, is the Fifth Edition of Barron's Accounting Handbook, a mammoth reference to the latest state of accounting (including government, nonprofit and forensic accounting, and IFRS). And while it will certainly be useful in your office, it may be even more useful in your clients' offices, where the 400-plus-page dictionary of accounting terms that it contains will help make sure they know what you're talking about.

Made, sadly

How the Best Leaders Lead

Amacom Books; $24.95

We here at New Products have always clung to the belief that leaders are born, not made, largely because this absolves us from any responsibility for being leaders. Unfortunately, books like How the Best Leaders Lead are making that position harder and harder to maintain. It lays out all the secrets to great leadership and the way to attain it, effectively demolishing our hope that we could blame our perpetual followership on genetics. It lays out the seven major responsibilities of leaders, then takes the reader through a self-assessment to determine what matters to them and the skills they need to develop to achieve it. And it tops it all off with advice and examples from great leaders from a wide variety of fields. The final lesson is that the only thing standing between us and leadership is a great deal of hard work and introspection - and if you know anyone willing to undertake that, let them know that we're happy to serve as a ready-made set of followers.

The next step

Best Practices in Electronic Invoices and Electronic Payments

Lorman Education Services; CD and manual - $159.20 (with WebCPA discount)

Curiously, while consumers have taken up electronic payments with glee, many businesses remain tied to the physical stage of paper invoices and checks. This CD and manual from a Lorman teleconference aims to teach businesses why they should embrace the paperless invoicing and payment revolution, and, perhaps more important, how they should go about it, including a roadmap for the transition.

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