Fire extinguisher

Forensic Analytics: Methods and Techniques for Forensic Investigations

Wiley; $95

Most books on fraud are like those warning pamphlets from the fire department: They let you know that frauds, like fires, are bad things, and that you should really do something to detect and prevent them. Forensic Analytics, on the other hand, is like a fire extinguisher: full of stuff you can point at a fraud to put it out. It starts with an in-depth discussion of using Access, Excel and PowerPoint in a forensic setting, and then describes 20 actual tests you can use to detect fraud, errors and biases, with real-life case studies. It also explores valuable statistical techniques, statistical approaches to uncovering financial statement fraud, and more. Best of all, you don't have to worry about changing the batteries every six months.

 

You're next

Not for Free: Revenue Strategies for a New World

Harvard Business Review Press; $29.95

In the past, we in the media liked to mock the music business for letting its business model be destroyed by file sharing, but then the Internet started destroying our model, too. You in accounting can still afford to mock both us and the record companies - but not for long. Somehow the Internet will find a way to destroy your business model, and if it doesn't, something else will, whether it's regulatory changes, technology, client resistance or some kind of South American beetle that feeds on accounting firms and has no natural predators. Before that day comes, you'll want to read Not For Free, which is full of new and interesting ways to think about your revenue models. It's easier to change how you charge customers, the book points out, than to change what you or your industry does, and it offers plenty of strategies that are directly applicable to accounting firms.

 

Where the money is

Selling to the New Elite: Discover the Secret to Winning Over Your Wealthiest Prospects

Amacom; $27.95

There's a refreshing honesty to Selling to the New Elite: It makes no bones about its desire to help people sell luxurious things to ridiculously wealthy people. And it neatly navigates between the twin shoals of portraying them as misunderstood victims or as marks who need to have their wallets lightened. Instead, it describes both how they perceive themselves, and the sort of value propositions and sales approaches that will be meaningful to them, based on an annual survey that's been going on for five years. Among other revelations is the fact that the wealthy have become much more value-oriented in the past few years (but then, who hasn't?), and this new emphasis has serious repercussions for those who want to serve them. While the book is mainly aimed at those selling luxury goods, it offers many valuable lessons for wealth managers, financial advisors and estate planners.

 

Where the money isn't

The Guide to Getting Paid: Weed Out Bad Paying Customers, Collect on Past Due Balances, and Avoid Bad Debt

Wiley; $24.95

In the last few years, you may have experienced a rise in clients paying late, or not paying at all. You may also have experienced a consequent rise in blood pressure, and in fantasies that involve baseball bats and clients' knees. While emotionally satisfying, these are rarely financially satisfying. More useful, if less exciting, is collections expert Michelle Dunn's latest book, The Guide to Getting Paid. Turns out there's a whole approach to collections that isn't thuggish or fun, but rather professional, methodical - and successful. Covering everything from establishing credit policies and rules for hassle calls and letters, to the ways you can and can't use social media to get paid, the book should help you get more from your clients. And it's a hardcover, so if all else fails, you can beat recalcitrant clients with it.

 

Do you speak Coke?

The Cultural Intelligence Difference: Master the One Skill You Can't Do Without in Today's Global Economy

Amacom; $22

It's nice to have the biggest military and the biggest economy in the world - among other things, it means not having to learn other languages or cultures, since Coke and cruise missiles are understood around the world. Lately, though, it seems as if they don't get us as far as they used to. While we're not really getting weaker, the rest of the world is getting relatively stronger, so if we want to do business with them, we need to invest a little more energy in cross-cultural understanding and accommodation. The Cultural Intelligence Difference makes a strong case for this, not in a fuzzy, "We Are the World" kind of way, but from a practical, results-oriented point of view, and offers a process for assessing and improving your ability to succeed with different cultures.

 

Also in print

Deloitte Consulting principal Jonathan Copulsky has written Brand Resilience: Managing Risk and Recovery in a High-Speed World (Palgrave Macmillan; $26), on the key steps company's need to take to protect and maintain their reputations. ... The Center for Audit Quality has released In-Depth Guide to Public Company Auditing, a booklet explaining the audit process in more detail than its previous guide. The free PDF is available online at www.thecaq.org, in the Publications section. ... If you think our software reviews are thrilling, wait until you read South River, a new novel written by our reviewer Dave McClure, which follows private investigator Jack MacLeod as he unravels a case in the Shenandoah Valley that starts with a death and a mysterious ledger. It's available at Amazon.com, and while the Kindle version will require installation, there are no maintenance fees.

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