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CPA Now
Dec 27, 2016

Time to Pick Up a Good Book for 2017

By Maureen Renzi, vice president – communications


If this is the year you want to advance in your career, learn something new, get a new job, or challenge your professional growth, a good book is great place to start. But all the choices in the business section of the bookstore can sometimes be paralyzing. CPAs can help you sort it out.

The Pennsylvania CPA Journal Editorial Board met in early December to discuss its editorial calendar, and during the conversation they started talking about books they recently read that helped them focus on the changing dynamics in the accounting profession and the business world. Here are a few board members’ suggestions for your 2017 reading list:

  • ReadingEnd of Accounting and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers by Baruch Lev and Feng Gu
    You may not agree with everything the authors have to say, but they raise compelling arguments as to why historical financial statements and GAAP reporting have lost much of their relevance to investors. For instance, much of the value associated with companies like Google and Amazon is derived from intangible assets, which are largely not reflected in the financial statements under current GAAP. Notwithstanding its draconian title, the book also proposes a path forward.
    Submitted by Jerry Maginnis, CPA | Former managing partner of KPMG, Philadelphia, and executive-in-residence at Rowan University
  • Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
    Does today's environment of on-demand connectivity and multitasking ever make you feel like you are skimming across the surface of a raging river? Do you ever feel like you are always "busy" but accomplishing little of substance, leaving you starved for more intellectual satisfaction in the way that a person who eats snacks all the time craves a fine, sit-down meal? In this book, Cal Newport reminds us what "deep work" is, and provides strategies for bringing it back into our professional lives.
    Submitted by James Caruso, CPA | CFO, All Metro Health Care
  • Family Inc. by Douglas McCormick 
    This book offers a practical approach to running family finances as you would run a business. It offers great insight in managing not only the family financial assets, but also the intangibles of time and lifetime earnings potential.
    Submitted by Timothy J. Gooch, CPA | Partner, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP
  • Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business by Danny Meyer
    What can the CPA profession learn from a restaurateur? Those CPAs who understand that a great client experience is as important as quality technical advice will find this book holds many valuable insights, lessons, and ideas. And it goes without saying that those who have clients in the restaurant industry should read it from that perspective as well.
    Submitted by James Caruso, CPA | CFO, All Metro Health Care
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    Daniel Kahneman provides an excellent perspective on how we should reevaluate our decision-making process.
    Submitted by Timothy Dinan, CPA | Vice president – finance, Berks Packing Company Inc.
  • Pendulum: How Past Generations Shape Our Present and Predict Our Future by Roy H. Williams and Michael R. Drew
    This is a great book for understanding how older generations think compared with the younger generation. It was written as a marketing book, but it is very relevant to accountants wanting to understand how millennials think.
    Submitted by John D. Rossi, CPA | Associate professor of accounting, Moravian College
  • Superforecasting – The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock and Dan Garner
    This is an excellent book for those in the CPA profession as it moves more toward predictive analytics.
    Submitted by Timothy Dinan, CPA | Vice president – finance, Berks Packing Company Inc.
  • So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport
    There's a lot made these days about "following your passion" as an overall career strategy, but Cal Newport's book is a reality check. He reveals that this talk of passion is a misguided fantasy and a recipe for failure. Newport provides an alternative strategy, one that sounds new but is actually ancient: adopt the mindset of a craftsman. Build skills, develop career capital, keep your options open, and you may just find your passion at an appropriate point in your career where it can actually lead you to meaningful and satisfying work. This book provides excellent guidance for those at the start of their careers, as well as for those veterans who are still deciding what to be when they grow up.
    Submitted by James Caruso, CPA | CFO, All Metro Health Care

This is a good start for your 2017 reading list. If there is anything missing that you think CPAs should be reading, let us know in the comments section.


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