Having the appropriate accounting records can help ensure that your finances are in order, whether you’re a sole proprietor, an aspiring bookkeeper, or an experienced CPA. If you want to succeed in business, having strong accounting skills is essential as well as being financially literate. Strong accounting knowledge is essential for everything from tax planning to making judgment calls based on precise financial data.

We identified the most useful and readable accounting books among the many available options, many of which are textbooks.

Why Should You Read Books To Learn Small Business Accounting?

You can improve your knowledge and become an expert at managing your finances by reading accounting books.

The accounting for your small business may seem intimidating if you are not a trained accountant. Nevertheless, it’s an essential component of managing any small business.

The best books provide fundamental tools, industry best practices, and crucial information about financial management. They’re also excellent for referring to when you run into roadblocks. They are also less expensive than enrolling in a course or hiring a professional.

Best Book For Small Business Accounting

Best Book for Small Business Accounting

Accounting All-in-One for Dummies

Consider this the most thorough, user-friendly guide if you’re new to accounting or simply need a refresher course. This book presents the fundamentals of accounting in the customary “Dummies” style, giving readers a solid understanding of the subject. It is technically nine “mini-books” in one and is thorough while still being readable.

You will learn everything from how to set up your accounting system to using balance sheets and income statements from author Kenneth W. Boyd. Additionally, there are more complex sections on identifying fraud, making financial business decisions, and other accounting specialties. This book is useful for both novices and experts, whether it is used as a training manual or a handy reference.

As an added bonus, you’ll have access to online tests that go along with each chapter of the book to make sure your newly acquired knowledge is sticking.

Accounting for the Numberphobic

Spreadsheets with endless numbers can be frightening to look at, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking at. Here is Dawn Fotopulos’ “Accounting for the Numberphobic: A Survival Guide for Small Business Owners,” written for those who try to avoid accounting at all costs but who still need a basic understanding to get by.

It goes over the key accounting concepts that are pertinent to your company, such as how to read a balance sheet, cash flow statement, and net income statement. More importantly, it assists you in finding the answers to important questions like the value of your company or the amount of revenue required for profitability.

 Tax Savvy for Small Business

Tax accounting is one of the key facets of running a business that is crucial to comprehend. The author of “Tax Savvy for Small Business,” Frederick W. Daily, has 35 years of experience as a tax lawyer. Using a clever and astute tax planning strategy can help safeguard and improve your bottom line, he shares what he believes to be true.

This manual covers every important aspect of business tax accounting, such as how to determine your eligibility for tax credits and how to make the most of them, which expenses and long-term assets you can deduct, and how to keep accurate financial records. Although an audit is the last thing you want, this book explains how to handle one. You’ll stay current with this new version, which also includes all of the most recent tax laws.

 Profit First

“Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine,” a business strategy book and accounting guide, teaches business owners how to put profits first. Readers will learn how to simplify their bookkeeping and concentrate on paying themselves first by using a different accounting perspective (one that goes against generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP), as well as a breakdown of four important accounting principles.

The idea is similar to what financial experts frequently advise when it comes to saving money: take some money out of your paycheck directly rather than from what is left over. This is a great book to read because of the author Mike Michalowicz’s straightforward writing style as well as his original accounting and budgeting tips. Michalowicz shares numerous case studies as a multiple business owner to support his theories.

Best Book for Small Business Accounting

 Accounting Best Practices

For businesses to optimize operations and increase profits, the right data is essential. This thorough guide from financial expert Steven Bragg explains accurate accounting and provides solutions, tips, and refinements for typical accounting problems. It almost reads like a troubleshooting manual. It’s definitely not for beginners, as the majority of the techniques are sophisticated and demand some familiarity with accounting. But for those in the industry, “Accounting Best Practices” is a useful tool to have on hand for reducing costs, fostering efficiencies, and enhancing accounting accuracy.

The most recent sixth edition includes two additional chapters on credit and collections in addition to 90 new best practices.

 The Accounting Game

Although not everyone is an accounting expert, the majority of people are probably familiar with operating a lemonade stand. The Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh from the Lemonade Stand by Darrell Mullis and Judith Orloff is based on this straightforward but brilliant idea. The authors explain the fundamentals of accounting to anyone who needs a straightforward but “sticky” explanation by using the illustration of the well-known childhood business venture.

In just 179 pages, it simplifies complicated accounting terms and concepts into understandable language and step-by-step illustrations. To aid readers in understanding each topic, each section concludes with tests and worksheets that include examples of spreadsheets. All in all, anyone looking to understand their own finances as well as accounting students will benefit from reading this book.

 Warren Buffett Accounting Book

The “Warren Buffett Accounting Book: Reading Financial Statements for Value Investing” by co-authors Stig Brodersen and Preston George Pysh focuses on accounting concepts to know from the successful investor himself because Warren Buffett is well-known for his investing abilities. This is the second book in a trilogy that contains strategies for selecting profitable stocks.

The book’s most important lesson is how to value a company using two different approaches. Aspiring investors will also learn how to read an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement, all of which are crucial skills for selecting the right companies for your portfolio.

Barron’s Accounting Handbook

Sometimes all you need is a good reference book on accounting. The “Barron’s Accounting Handbook,” which was written by four accounting experts, does what Barron’s books do best: it covers all the information financial professionals need to know about the legal and regulatory requirements for financial reporting. It addresses both IRFS and U.S. GAAP (International Financial Reporting Standards).

It’s not exactly easy reading because the book has over 1,000 pages and a dictionary of accounting terms. For more experienced accounting students, however, it’s a valuable addition to your library.

 Accounting Made Simple

“Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less” is a quick read on DIY accounting that can be finished in an afternoon or two. Its author, Mike Piper, a certified public accountant, aims to assist solo practitioners in learning the fundamentals of accounting.

The book explains everything, including the distinction between the cash method and the accrual method as well as how to understand and create financial statements. It also briefly discusses other important financial ideas like depreciation, amortization, and more in a way that even a beginner can grasp. The best part is that Piper uses practical examples to make these ideas come to life.

Best Accounting Books For Beginners

Best Book for Small Business Accounting

Accounting All-in-One for Dummies

Accounting All-in-One for Dummies, which is a part of the ubiquity Dummies series on every conceivable subject, has been a best seller in its category since the publication of its second edition in 2018. A third edition, released on August 30, 2022, hasn’t received much attention but seems remarkably similar.

The term “All-in-One” in the title refers to the fact that the book’s 700+ pages are broken down into nine distinct “books” on various accounting topics, beginning with “Setting up Your Accounting System” and concluding with “Auditing and Detecting Financial Fraud.”

The second edition’s introduction states that its target audience includes “an investor who needs to understand how to make sense of financial statements,” as well as “an accountant, accountant want tobe, a businessperson who needs to know about some aspect of business accounting.” Because higher-level math is “the reason we have accounting software,” the book also makes the assumption that readers are reasonably comfortable with basic math.

Accounting for Non-Accountants

Accounting for Non-Accountants is a 210-page paperback that is simple to read and covers the fundamentals of accounting for companies of all sizes, though it will probably be most useful to smaller ones. It is currently in its third edition, published in 2013, and illustrates how to create a balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, and other common documents using a hypothetical small business that manufactures, repairs, and sells bicycles. It also demonstrates how to create a master budget, general journal, and general ledger. Throughout the book, helpful glossaries of pertinent terms can be found.

In addition to being a certified public accountant (CPA), the author, Wayne A. Label, also has a Ph.D. in accounting. Although Label says at the end of the book that he is considering a fourth edition, the current edition is this one. Contabilidad Financiera Para No Contadores, a Spanish-language edition of the book, is also available.

Accounting QuickStart Guide

The two books mentioned above are just two of many books available today that can introduce small business owners to the fundamentals of accounting. The Accounting QuickStart Guide, on the other hand, stands out for its upbeat tone, clarity, and comprehensiveness (all in just 213 pages), making it an excellent option for busy business owners with a lot on their minds. The book includes a helpful chapter on tax issues in addition to a good introduction to the fundamentals of accounting and bookkeeping.

According to his bio, CPA Josh Bauerle specializes in assisting online business owners. The third edition of this book, which was released in 2018, is the most recent revision.

Nonprofit Accounting & Financial Statements: Overview for Board, Management, and Staff

Nonprofit Accounting and Financial Statements provides advice for board members, managers, and staff members of not-for-profit organizations, as its subtitle indicates. However, the piece was primarily written from the perspective of a board member because the board is ultimately responsible for oversight and financial accountability, according to author Thomas R. Ittelson. The book takes readers step-by-step through the accounting regulations that are relevant to this industry, the kinds of financial statements that non-profits must prepare, and the expectations placed on board members.

Ittelson is also the author of a 60-page visual “companion book” called A Picture Book of Nonprofit Financial Statements, which covers statements of activities, statements of financial position, statements of cash flows, and statements of functional financial statements. This 3rd edition of the 283-page book was released in 2020.

Best Book for Small Business Accounting

Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements

Beginning with a quote from the renowned “Oracle of Omaha,” Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements states in part: “Unless you are willing to put in the effort to learn accounting—how to read and interpret financial statements—you really shouldn’t select stocks yourself.”

Many books have been written that purport to summarize Warren Buffett’s investment advice, but this one has the advantage of being written by an actual Buffett: Mary Buffett, his former daughter-in-law, who coauthored it with David Clark, a longtime “Buffettologist.” (Yes, that is what they are referred to as.) The two have written a few dozen books together up to this point, but this one, published in 2011, focuses primarily on how to analyze corporate financial statements to find stocks with the best returns.

QuickBooks 2022 All-in-One for Dummies

Many business owners now use QuickBooks as their primary accounting program. The most recent rankings of the top small business software on Investopedia gave QuickBooks Online the top spot overall and QuickBooks Self-Employed the top spot for independent contractors.

The comprehensive manual QuickBooks 2022 All-in-One for Dummies by CPA Stephen L. Nelson is written for both novice and seasoned QuickBooks users. The “All-in-One” in the title refers to the division of the 640 pages into eight distinct books, each of which deals with a different subject. Nelson takes readers step-by-step through all of the features that QuickBooks offers, including creating invoices, paying bills, managing bank accounts, tracking inventory, coordinating payroll, and creating budgets and financial statements. Additional “books” cover standard business analysis techniques like ratio analysis, profit-volume-cost analysis, and economic value added analysis. A helpful “crash course” in Excel is included in the final chapter.

This book is likely to address any QuickBooks-related queries the reader may have.

A Dictionary of Accounting

Many accounting terms have definitions that are easily accessible online, including on this page of Investopedia. However, the 480-page A Dictionary of Accounting from Oxford University Press would be a good option for a handy desk reference. The book, which was edited by Jonathan Law, offers more than 3,800 definitions of terms used in accounting not only in the United States but also in the United Kingdom, Australia, India, and the Asia-Pacific region. The fifth edition of this dictionary was released in 2016, making it the most recent edition.

A Dictionary of Finance and Banking and A Dictionary of Business and Management are two additional business-related books in the Oxford Quick Reference series, both of which were edited by Jonathan Law.

Conclusion

Unluckily, the field of accounting has a reputation for being challenging, if not downright boring. Fortunately, there are some books that are easy to understand that can assist anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of accounting that are pertinent to their own work (and perhaps nothing more than that). Two of the many accounting-related books in the widely available Dummies series, including our best-of pick, Accounting All-in-One for Dummies, made our “best” list. However, readers may want to start with a more concise introduction first, like Accounting for Non-Accountants or Accounting QuickStart Guide, if the book’s 752 pages are too intimidating.

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