Accounting Best Practices (Fifth Edition)

BY KIM NILSEN

by Steven M. Bragg, CPA
John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2007, 490 pp.

Steven M. Bragg is back with new and enhanced tips designed to improve the efficiency of business accounting departments. Bragg, a prolific author and former CFO and controller, has penned the fifth edition of his accounting best practices guide.

New features include a chapter on accounting management, revisions to sections on payroll and financial statements and tips on how to avoid missed billing. Still present are exhibits included in each chapter that rate best practices in two key categories: how much money and how much time it will take to implement each best practice. Bragg also flags his favorites for closer review. Offerings range from financial statement best practices to suggestions on internal auditing and credit and collections tips.

Bragg frames the book as a practical, do-it-yourself resource for the manager “who likes to tinker with the accounting department.” He highlights four opportunities that offer the most fertile ground for “installing” best practices:

If benchmarking shows a problem.

If management has a change orientation.

If the company is experiencing poor financial results.

If a business is under new management.

The book closes with a checklist detailing policies and procedures to consider incorporating into a policy manual to support many of the best practices offered in earlier chapters.

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