Think of this as the publishing equivalent of eating your spinach: Keeping the Books: Basic Recordkeeping and Accounting for the Small Business (Upstart, 800-235-8866, 1989, $19.95), by Linda Pinson and Jerry Jinnett, tells you everything you ever wanted or needed to know about financial paperwork. Granted, it's dull. But you may never again find in one place so many useful forms, relating to subjects that range from quarterly budget analysis, to accounts payable and receivable, to three-year income projections.

There's also an exhaustive section on taxes. (The book includes every IRS form imaginable, as well as a checklist of possible tax liabilities, organized by corporate structure.) CEOs who lack an accounting background -- meaning, most CEOs -- will find the glossary of accounting terms invaluable. Now they too can enliven their cocktail conversations with terms such as modified accelerated cost-recovery system.

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