The Finer Print

Accounting for Business Combinations, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets

CCH; $199

Some might think that the tricky part of mergers and acquisitions comes in working out the fine print - all the little details that can determine the success of a deal. In fact, the trickiest part is the fine print that comes after the deal, in figuring out the accounting treatment. CCH's new Accounting for Business Combinations, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets tackles this head on, with practical resources to help accountants make the best choices for the entities involved, while still remaining compliant. It covers a wide variety of transactions, from plain vanilla to leveraged buyouts, reverse acquisitions and more, with details from the appropriate sections of the new FASB Codification, as well as relevant sections of International Financial Reporting Standards, which are crucial in this age of convergence.

Zombie Patrol

PPC's Guide to Going Concern

PPC; available in print and on DVD; $175

Identifying a zombie is easy: You look for the rotting corpse feasting on your neighbor's brains, and say, "Hey! That's a zombie!" Identifying a zombie company, on the other hand, is not so easy, and the consequences to investors and your firm of issuing an incorrect "going concern" notice can be just as serious, up to and including malpractice lawyers feasting on your firm. PPC's Guide to Going Concern takes you through the process of evaluating a company step by step, with practical guidance on applying the going-concern standards, case studies, practice aids, and samples of financial statement note disclosures. One warning: Should you identify a zombie company, at no point should you attempt to behead it yourself. Leave that to the professional liquidators.

Grading Your Learning

Positioning and Measuring Learning in an Organization

PublishAmerica; $14.95

You learn something new everyday, but is it worth it? In the time it took you to learn that new thing, you could have made money doing one of the old things you already know. The fact is, while many firms have embraced the need for learning, they may not be getting much from it. Positioning and Measuring Learning in an Organization makes the case that the traditional focus on return on investment (for instance, did staff learn what they were supposed to?) should give way to a broader focus on "return on strategy." In other words, did all that learning actually lower staff turnover, improve customer retention, and, ultimately, make you money? The book lays out a detailed methodology for applying the "ROS" approach to grading your learning programs; once you learn it, you can use it to determine whether it was worth learning.

Wealth Isn't for Fun

Stop Acting Rich ... and Start Living Like a Real Millionaire

Wiley; $39.95

We all know what millionaires are supposed to look like: driving their Bentleys to their mansions in the Hamptons, wearing their top hats and furs, drinking Dom Perignon mixed with the blood of the working man. Turns out, though, that most millionaires don't live up to this stereotype, and that when the rest of us aspire to it, we're actually endangering our chances of truly being wealthy. Stop Acting Rich explains why the real millionaires are the ones who drive Toyotas, don't have second homes, and rarely, if ever, exsanguinate the proletariat, and is a valuable corrective for the clients who blow holes in your carefully constructed wealth management plans because they mistakenly believe that they're allowed to enjoy their money.

Now Twice as Complex!

Accounting for Equity and Other Comprehensive Income: Dual Reporting Under U.S. GAAP and IFRS

Sapienza Rome State University Press

Issues that are complicated enough under a single set of accounting standards aren't going to get any simpler when you throw another set of standards into the mix. Accounting for Equity and Other Comprehensive Income tackles the differences between GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards in reporting stockholders' equity, explaining the rules and alternatives, and the pros and cons of the different approaches. It also proposes an overall approach to equity to help managers and accountants deal with this difficult area.

The Funding Fathers

American Entrepreneur: The Fascinating Stories of the People Who Defined Business in the United States

Amacom; $29.95

The evolution of business as a framing narrative for American history is not new, but it has tended to focus on the growth of the corporation as an entity, and on the financial and regulatory systems that underpin our form of capitalism. American Entrepreneur takes as its narrative thread the impact of the individual risk-takers and businessmen who, it claims, have done more to shape our country than almost any else. It makes a good case, taking the activities of entrepreneurs whose stories are usually considered singly and showing them as parts of a continuous, if unacknowledged, process of development, and making explicit the underlying philosophy of American entrepreneurialism. The individual stories are, as the book's subtitle claims, fascinating, but their connection into the broader tapestry is what really makes the book worth reading.

Nonprofit ABCs

Guide to Non-profits - From the Trenches - An Overview for Controllers, Treasurers, CPAs and CFOs

CreateAmerica; $99.50

Knowing regular accounting will only get you so far when it comes to nonprofit accounting, but if you're interested in jumping in, Guide to Non-profits - From the Trenches is a good place to start. Written by a CPA with extensive experience in the field, it gives financial professionals an insider's view of what they must know about nonprofits. Starting with what, exactly, nonprofits are, the book then covers the basics of nonprofit accounting, dealing with revenue and government grants, nonprofit financial statements, tax and internal control issues, and more.

Ours to Reason WHY

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Portfolio (Penguin Putnam); $24.95

On looking into Start with Why, our first question was, "WHY does WHY have to be capitalized every time it appears? And WHY are WHAT and HOW capitalized, too? Doesn't the author realize it makes him look crazy?" He's not actually crazy, just caught up with his main idea, which is that most businesses and leaders focus on WHAT they're doing, but the most successful and inspirational ones focus on WHY they're doing it. It seems a little simplistic (and overcapitalized) at first, but as the author's real-world examples accumulate, and he takes you through all the ramifications of starting with WHY and how to apply it to a business, you'll find yourself wondering, "WHY didn't I think of that?

Management in a Minute

Oops! I'm the Manager! Getting Past 'What Do I Do Now?!' in 5 Easy Steps

BookSurge Publishing; $14.99

Some are born to management; others have management thrust upon them. For the latter, who may find themselves bewildered by their sudden assent to the middle of the heap, Oops! I'm the Manager will come in handy. With a calming dose of humor, it offers accidental managers plenty of helpful ideas, hints and tips for getting control of their new role quickly - in particular, the "Playground Personalities," a set of personality descriptions that managers can easily apply both to themselves and to those they're suppose to manage, and use to make their team play nice.


Funding Trusts in Estate Planning

Lorman Education Services; $159.20 (with WebCPA discount code S6094425)

Having clients set up a trust is only half the battle; they also have to fund it properly to get the full benefit. This course, on CD with an accompanying manual, offers an introduction to the mechanics of contributing property to revocable trusts, and the timing and tax consequences of funding testamentary and irrevocable trusts.

For more books from WebCPA's bookstore, click here.

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