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Genghis Khan Guide to Business by Brian Charles John Warnes

This is a review of “Genghis Khan Guide to Business” by Brian Charles John Warnes.

Who Should Read This Book

  1. Every qualified accountant without extensive business experience at finance director/controller/chief financial officer level.
  2. Every business owner and entrepreneur.
  3. Every managing director or chief executive who is responsible for the profit and cash performance of a business and who doesn’t have complete confidence in his or her finance director or CFO.

How I Was Introduced To The Book

After I passed the final exams to be a chartered accountant, I was given this book to read by one of the partners in my accountancy firm who had returned to the profession after working in industry for many years. I was told that I’d learn how finance really worked in the real world, away from all the fancy theories I’d learnt to for the exams.

The partner was absolutely right. This book is fantastic but sadly, the follow-up Genghis Khan Business Handbook is not nearly so good.

The Focus Of The Book

Its main emphasis is on cash flow and break even point analysis with a relatively simple but heavily stylised financial tracking system that will get a business on the straight and narrow financially and keep it there.

The author uses the example of the barrow boy to show you that common-sense ideas about financial management can teach you how to run every type of business, even a complicated manufacturing business.

I believe an understanding of how profit and cash flow are generated is essential if you’re going to make the best decisions for managing a business.

Concerns

  • It was written a long time ago.
  • It is likely to be hard to get and may well be extremely expensive.
  • It suggests a monitoring form that is heavily stylised and belongs to the days before spreadsheets and graphical presentations.

Overall Conclusions

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I read a lot of business books and this is always in my top five while others come and go.

I can’t imagine a better book about the nitty-gritty workings of finance in a business.

Alternatives

I don’t know of another book like this and the problem with many “finance for non-financial manager” style books that I’ve read is that they are dull.

It’s a much gentler read but I was very impressed with Financial Foreplay by Rhondalynn Korolak.

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