Not that kind of expert

Divorce: The Accountant as Financial Expert

AICPA; $116.25, members - $93

Being good at divorce is hardly a skill anyone aspires to. Being good at helping people through divorces, on the other hand, is a skill that's definitely worth developing. Divorce: The Accountant as Financial Expert starts from the premise that CPAs, with their skills in analysis, valuation and taxes, are well-positioned to specialize in the financial issues that surround divorce. It offers information and advice on everything from creating a comprehensive lifestyle analysis and fine-tuning a net disposable income schedule, to dealing with clients, managing a divorce practice, and creating sound expert witness reports. It even covers data forensics in relation to divorce, and some of the tax ramifications of civil unions and same-sex marriages.

 

The chief weapons

Project Management Accounting: Budgeting, Tracking, and Reporting Costs and Profitability

Wiley; $65

Much like the Spanish Inquisition, good project managers number a variety of diverse elements among their chief weapons. Skill at organization, people management, risk assessment, analysis and more are required - and now you can add accounting skills, according to Project Management Accounting. The book details the accounting knowledge project managers need to choose the right project, improve project expensing and profitability, and maximize outcomes. Full of current case studies and sample checklists, it makes a good case for calling accounting one of the chief weapons of the project manager. That, and organization. And people management. And ... .

 

No fraud here

Fraud Fighter: My Fables and Foibles

Wiley; $39.95

As founder of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the pre-eminent figure in the fight against modern fraud, Joseph Wells could hardly get away with the kind of Vaseline-lensed, unrevealing autobiography that so many public figures churn out. But Wells takes transparency and truthfulness to new levels in this fascinating book, describing his brutal childhood, his professional and personal missteps, his battles with addiction, and more. All this is told in a wry, straightforward style and makes for compelling reading, but equally compelling are his descriptions of many of his investigations as an FBI agent, which include kidnapping and political corruption cases, and of the founding of the ACFE and its growth.

 

Lion tamers

Taming the Beast: Wall Street's Imperfect Answers to Making Money

Wiley; $27.95

While you read this sentence, another wildly popular new approach to investment will pop up. While you read this sentence, it will be proven wrong. Despite many decades of trying, no one has yet developed a foolproof way to beat the market; Taming the Beast takes you on an informative historical tour of some of the more respectable attempts, from value investing to indexing, mutual funds, behaviorism, and one of the current favorites, alternative investments. Without fear or favor, it highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each, and comes to the valuable (if not entirely startling) conclusion that no single system will tame the beast: Savvy, successful investors will jump from method to method as the markets change.

 

Chiefs and Indians

The Little Book of Leadership Development: 50 Ways to Bring Out the Leader in Every Employee

Amacom Books; $19.95

Balancing the ratio of chiefs to Indians in business is difficult, but it's interesting that the problem is usually seen as one of too many chiefs, because all too often it's really that there's a lack of qualified chiefs, and no way to make them out of all the available Indians. That's because chief-making - otherwise known as leadership development - is really, really hard, and not something that comes naturally to most people. But if firms are to successfully navigate the future, they'll need to start following the advice in The Little Book of Leadership Development, which lays out a host of very specific ways you can create the partners and managers who'll pay for your retirement. While each one can help individually, what you'll realize by the end is that it's constant effort, day in and day out, by the chiefs of today that makes the chiefs of tomorrow.

 

Just chiefs

The Elements of Power: Lessons on Leadership and Influence

Amacom Books; $27.95

If you conscientiously apply the lessons of the previous book, you may find yourself with a surplus of chiefs, and the inevitable power struggles that result. In that case, you could read The Prince for advice, but unless you have an army of condittieri and a couple of Michaelangelo-class artists on hand, you may not find it relevant. Consider instead The Elements of Power, which lays out 11 sources of power - five personal and five organizational, and the over-arching source of willpower - and explains how to both develop them and keep them flowing. With a number of "Portraits in Power" of real-life power brokers, it should help you keep on top of all those other chiefs you so foolishly developed.

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