Seven must-read books for chartered accountants

By Eleanor O'Neill, CA Today

21 June 2016

If you're looking to kill time on the commute or just find a book for the beach, Eleanor O'Neill has made the job easy by rounding up our picks of must-reads for CAs.

1. The Honest Accountant, Peter Milwain, (Paperback £6.49/eBook not available)

In a rare novel of financial intrigue, a City accountant stumbles across evidence of insurance fraud that has a trail of dead bodies in its wake. Follow Tom Mackay as he is drawn deeper and makes the choice between his career and his conscience.

A highly-praised and little-known debut, The Honest Accountant resonates with the morality at the heart of the profession. Featuring a cynical protagonist and a host of familiar characters, the fast-paced plot is sure to keep you gripped until the last page.

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie, (Paperback £6.74/eBook £6.49)

Something of a self-help classic, the immensely popular bestseller covers confidence, networking, public speaking and all the other basics for personal success.

The ultimate how-to for people skills has aged well, still offering a lot of practical advice for improving colleague relationships in the modern world.

3. The Joy of Tax, Richard Murphy, (Paperback £6.74/eBook £9.99)

Tax campaigner Richard Murphy takes to the page to argue that there is indeed a joy in tax. He addresses the fundamentals of what tax really is and its potential to change the world for the better.

In the wake of the Panama Papers and ahead of the EU referendum, a suggestion for reform in the tax system makes for an interesting read. Brief and informative, The Joy of Tax offers an earnest opinion on fixing the flaws in governance.

4. Risk, Dick Francis, (Paperback £7.99/eBook £4.99)

When accountant and amateur jockey Roland Britten is kidnapped, he doesn't know why or by whom. With no other option, he turns his analytical mind to solving the mystery and getting himself home.

Penned by one of the most renowned crime writers of modern times, Risk is a thrilling tale that brings to fore the advantages of having a meticulous accountant's mind, particularly in sticky situations. Quick and clever, it's a definite good choice for fans of horse racing, audits or thrillers.

5. Thrive, Arianna Huffington, (Paperback £6.99/eBook £5.49)

The Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post challenges us to redefine what it means to be successful in the modern world and zeros in on the benefits of a healthy work to life balance.

Aimed at high-flyers and particularly women in business, Thrive is an account of the author's own struggles as well as a compilation of research into habitual behaviour.

6. Work It Out with a Pencil, Timothy Timpkins, (Paperback £13.99/eBook £3.99)

A humorous take on a life in accounting and finance. Work It Out with a Pencil is an autobiographical collection of anecdotes and observations from more than 20 years in the business.

Easy to read and delightfully amusing, this is one for every finance worker, no matter the stage of your career.

7. Fatal Risk, Roddy Boyd, (Paperback £18.99/eBook £18.04)

One of many books written on the 2008 financial crisis, Fatal Risk stands out by detailing the dramatic escalation of events inside AIG that contributed to the global meltdown.

Essentially a cautionary tale of what happens when regulations and good practice come second to profit, this is a riveting behind-the-scenes account of an unbelievable true story.

What book would you recommend for CAs? Tell us in the comments below.


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