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Accounting Best Practices (Wiley Best Practices)

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The accounting department is a cost center. It does not directly generate revenues, but, rather, provides a fi xed set of services to the rest of the company, and is asked to do so at the lowest possible cost. Consequently, the accounting staff is called on to process transactions, write reports, create new processes, or investigate old ones—while doing so as an ever-shrinking proportion of total corporate expenses.

This cost-based environment is a very diffi cult one for most accountants, for their training is primarily in accounting rules and regulations, rather than in how to run a very specialized department in a cost-effective manner. They fi nd a few ideas for improvements from attending seminars or perusing accounting or management magazines, but there is no centralized source of information for them to consult that itemizes a wide array of possible improvements. Hence the need for the sixth edition of Accounting Best Practices, which contains 406 accounting best practices, of which 57 are new to this edition.

This book is compiled from the author’s lengthy experience in setting up and operating a number of accounting departments, as well as by providing consulting services to other companies. Accordingly, it contains a blend of best practices from a wide variety of accounting environments, ranging from small partnerships to multibillion-dollar corporations. This means that not all of the best practices described within these pages will be useful in every situation— some are designed to provide quick and inexpensive, incremental improvements, while others are groundbreaking events requiring six-fi gure investments (or more) and months of installation time. Consequently, each chapter includes a table that notes the ease, duration, and cost of implementation for every best practice within it. These tables separate best practices into a number of subcategories, and also contain a reference number that is useful for locating the main text for each best practice within the chapter. Also, a selection of best practices have an “Author’s Choice” graphic posted next to them. These best practices are ones the author has found to be particularly effective in improving accounting operations. All best practices are also noted in summary form in Appendix A.

Praise for Accounting Best Practices Sixth Edition

"For a comprehensive, yet easy-to-read guide to fixing those all-too-common shortcomings in your accounting department, look no further than this excellent book. Steve Bragg provides hundreds of fixes, many of them requiring surprisingly little time or cost while providing a handy guide to common implementation pitfalls . . . I would recommend this invaluable book to anyone who is looking to enhance their existing processes, whether due to growth in their business, compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, or just as part of their ongoing improvement process."
Martyn Webster, CPA, Director of FinanceXenoPort, Inc.

"This book is critical to running an efficient and accurate accounting department. The use of RFID technology to track documents is one of many valuable tools in this latest edition. A required read for the demanding accounting manager's role."
Jason Charet, CPA

"I've used Steve Bragg's Accounting Best Practices books for years as a source of ideas for improvement. Like the previous editions, the Fifth Edition has a number of new, actionable best practices as well as refinements of those ideas reported in previous editions. The books are broad enough in their perspective so that nearly any organization could find ideas that could pay back the cost of the book many times over."
John Temmerman, Controller, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

"What a great resource! I have been in the accounting field for over twenty years, and I was still able to gain insight into improving processes within my office. Thanks for putting it all in one book!"
Tina M. Thomas, CPA, CTP, Controller, Goodman & Company, LLP

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