Lasser's tax guideAmong our predictions last issue was that tax season was coming, and here's proof: the arrival of the 2005 edition of J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax, the perennial guide to income tax prep. It covers all the tax law changes from the past year - and there were quite a few, believe us - and offers a special section for members of the armed forces, as well as filing tips and instructions, cautions, and planning reminders. Our advice is to make sure that your individual tax return clients don't get a hold of it.
John Wiley & Sons
Mason looks back
Readers of Accounting Today will be familiar with Eli Mason, who has long been one of our most outspoken contributors. Now the man who has long served as "the conscience of the profession" has written a book of the same title that chronicles both the rise and development of the CPA and the modern accounting firm, and also delves into his decades-long experiences as a practitioner. Fascinating, controversial and deeply committed to all that is best in the profession, Mason always has something interesting to say. The appendix includes a compendium of his writings, from his first article, written in 1941, through some of his latest contributions to Accounting Today.
Price: $19.95. Send check to Eli Mason, 1212 Avenue of the Americas 24th Fl., New York, N.Y. 10036.
'The Complete UCITA'
UCITA, in case you don't know, is the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act, the first contract law designed specifically for the information economy. The Complete UCITA, available in print and on CD-ROM, analyzes the commercial and legal background of each section of the act to provide a guide to information contracting law. As lawyers Lorin Brennan, Holly K. Towle and Joel Rothstein Wolfson make clear, information contracting is a lot more complicated than just knowing intellectual property law and the Uniform Commercial Code - the rapid rise of the Information Age has created a host of issues (and legislation) that require careful explanation.
Price: $275; 30-day free trial.
We're pretty sure that someone once said, "Dying is easy; governmental accounting is hard." That was before the release of Governmental Accounting Made Easy, a guide for laymen and accountants with little or no experience of the arcana of this section of the field. Author Warren Ruppel covers everything from the basic accounting concepts and financial statements up to far more complicated issues and likely future developments, paying special attention to the radical ramifications of the new financial reporting model promulgated under Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement 34.
Ruppel has worked at KPMG and Deloitte, as well as serving as assistant comptroller for one of the largest cities in the U.S., and is also the author of Wiley's GAAP for Governments.
John Wiley & Sons
The last 30 years haven't been kind to AT&T, from its court-ordered break-up to the current onslaught of Voice Over Internet telephony and mobile phones. In Tough Calls, former AT&T public relations chief Dick Martin, who joined the company in 1970 and retired in 2003, digs into a particularly rough patch of the company's history - the Telecom Wars of the late 1990s, which were unleashed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Full of juicy inside stories of hubris, fraud and business failure, Martin's book offers valuable practical advice to help companies avoid the same massive mistakes that AT&T made in areas ranging from executive succession and mergers and acquisitions to corporate strategy and public relations.
'Louder than Thunder'
We here at New Products see more than our fair share of business books, and we're prepared to say that, while the topics may be enormously important, the books themselves are often ... dull.
There, we said it.
Even a revolutionary new business model or technique can be rendered lifeless - or worse, impenetrable - by dry, overly technical writing. One way to liven up the presentation is with case studies; another is to cast it as a fable or parable.
The latter is the route taken by communications and marketing consultant Carol Dunitz in Louder than Thunder, which teaches valuable lessons about business and interpersonal communication through the story of a CEO who challenges three vice presidents with a riddle - "What is louder than thunder, as highly charged as lightning, and more powerful than the fierce North Wind?" - with the winner becoming her successor. (We wonder if Jack Welch posed the same riddle to his three would-be successors?)
Price: $19.95. Available in hardcover and on CD.
Canterbury & Parkside
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