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Best Finance Books

Even before I qualified as a chartered accountant, I was surprised (shocked) by how little understanding some business owners had of their accounts and, even worse, how little financial acumen they had.

My Quest To Improve Financial Acumen

It seems that the thought of a lot of numbers and jargon like balance sheet, profit and loss account, equity, gearing etc shut down their brains, even though many knew it was important to understand.

When I moved into industry, I found a similar problem.

People didn’t understand the information I was providing and I could see their eyes glaze over as I tried to explain their bit of the much bigger business system. I realised that part of the problem was that they didn’t see or understand the big picture.

I organised finance for non-financial managers training and later, when I became self employed I provided it as a service to businesses and training organisations. It was a lot of fun and well received but I never saw if it did any long term good.

It’s Even A Problem With Qualified Accountants

This financial acumen is even a problem with qualified accountants as I learned when I went into larger companies. There are two types basically:

– accountants who are good at processing transactions that have already happened and reporting on them in 101 different ways. These are the record keepers.

– the finance managers who were more concerned with learning from what’s recently happened and wanted to use the information to influence decisions to improve future financial well-being. These are the change makers.

This second category of finance specialists also seems to be much happier with cash flow and the way cash ripples in waves through a business.

Too Little Support For Business Owners From Their Professional Accountants

I think it’s getting better gradually but I believe there is too little support for small businesses from their professional accountants they use to produce accounts for the tax authorities and the tax returns.

The Part Time Finance Director

I’ve been a big believer over the years in the concept of a “part time Finance Director” and I did it for a few companies. This helps to bridge the gap between a business struggling on its own or with limited support and having to hire a full time qualified accountant as an employee at significant cost.

The idea is that you can get 80% of the benefit for 20% of the cost.

It’s not suitable for many small businesses but as they increase in size (sales turnover or employees) or complexity (products, locations, customers) it becomes increasingly important.

The Best Books About Business Finance

You will only see the books I’ve rated at Four Stars (meaning good and well worth reading) and Five Stars (excellent and very highly recommended). Reviews of lower rated books appear on Amazon.co.uk but I haven’t brought the reviews across to my own website.

If you read my reviews, you’ll see I try to explain why I like them but also to identify any weaknesses. My job as a reviewer is to help you to find the most appropriate books rather than to help sell more books.

On that note, if you do decide to buy, I’d appreciate it if you could click through to Amazon on my links as (hopefully) I’ll earn a small referral commission.

Some of these books can be very expensive so, if you’re happy with a hard back or paperback book, take a look at the second hand options on Amazon. Personally I only buy if the condition is described as “As New” or “Very Good” unless I’m really keen and forced to drop down to “Good”.

Five Star Books About Business Finance

Financial Foreplay: Whip Your Business Into Shape – Take Home More Cash by Rhondalynn Korolak

A nice way of using stories to teach financial understanding.

Loan Sharp: Get the business finance you deserve by Rob Warlow

The author is an ex manager and even managing director of a bank in Africa and shares his tips on how you can make your case to get the money you need.

Genghis Khan Guide to Business by Brian Charles John Warnes

This is my all-time favourite finance book. It’s old but excellent.

Four Star Books About Business Finance

Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff

Finance for the Perplexed Executive by Ray Proctor

Managing Cash When You Haven’t Got Any by Lori Schafer

Finance on a Beermat by Mike Southan, Chris West, Stephen King and Jeff Macklin

The Secret to Increasing Your Profits by Vincent Turner

The Bottom Line by Alan Warner – this is a novel with business finance lessons

Other Categories Of Business Books That May Interest You

Business PlanningBusiness Start-UpBusiness StrategyBusiness TurnaroundGetting UnstuckKPI & Performance MeasurementLeading Your TeamMarketingPricingProfit ImprovementProject ManagementRecessionRetail BusinessTheory Of Constraints

Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck, get unstuck. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free Business SOS consultation with me to help you get unstuck.

PACE …Complete Cash Flow Clarity by Jesse Mecham

The full title of this book by Jesse Mecham is

PACE: A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Complete Cash Flow Clarity

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Four Stars. This means it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Interesting way to think through cash flow management.

A young CPA (accountant) with a software business selling budgeting software has developed a way of managing his cash flow.

As he tells his story about his uncertainties regarding cash flow, he seems remarkably absent minded ideas like a short term cash flow forecast let alone a longer term one. Yes you have to make assumptions and they can be wrong but it’s the way people normally work in bigger organisations as well as startups requiring funding. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

Managing Cash When You Haven’t Got Any by Lori Schafer

The full title of this book by Lori Schafer is

Managing Cash When You Haven’t Got Any: Volume 1: Dealing with Vendors: Practical Cash Flow Strategies for Small Business“.

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I rated the book at the Four Stars level. This means I consider it to be good or very good.

Here is my review.

Very practical guide to managing payments to suppliers

Juggling cash flow by chasing customers for payment whilst fending off suppliers who want their money is very stressful.

Vendors is the American term for suppliers. This is a good, practical book that looks at the psychology involved. This includes identifying what suppliers want to hear compared with what they don’t like and can cause more trouble. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

The Secret to Increasing Your Profits by Vincent Turner

The full title of this book by Vincent Turner is

The Secret to Increasing Your Profits – An Introduction to Breakeven Analysis“.

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I rated the book at the Four Stars level. This means I consider it to be good or very good.

Here is my review.

Short and simple explanation of break even analysis

Business owners need to have financial acumen and the two fundamentals I want them to understand are

1 Break even analysis or as it is sometimes called cost volume profit analysis.

2 The cash flow cycle in a business as a business buys stock, pays for it, makes a sale and collects the cash.

This book looks at the first issue. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff

The full title of this book by Oren Klaff is

Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal“.

In my review at Amazon.co.uk, I gave it a rating of Four Stars. This means I think it is good.

Here is my book review.

A fascinating approach to making a pitch about your business

A psychologist turned marketer recommended this book to me because of the way it links marketing back to the way our brains work and I read it with interest.

The author raises finance from investors and institutions by pitching a business idea. The suggestion is that the method can be transferred over to B2B and B2C sales with great success but I’m not convinced. That may be because I have a built-in bias against pitch selling, preferring a much more consultative sales approach to trying to understand what the customer needs. Some of the ideas can be incorporated into a sales presentation with good effect and without being obviously manipulative. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

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. [continue reading…]

in 1 – Your KPI, Best Business Books

Finance for the Perplexed Executive by Ray Proctor

In my review posted to Amazon.co.uk, I rated this book by Ray Proctor

Finance for the Perplexed Executive

at the Four Stars level. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

A comprehensive look at finance written from a slightly different perspective than normal

If you don’t understand finance, then no matter how much of a wheeler and dealer you are, no matter how strong your trader’s instinct, you are likely to hit a finance problem. While finance and accounting has the image of being dull and boring, a business needs to be designed to generate profit and cash.

Unfortunately, sometimes, what increases profit reduces cash and what increases cash can reduce profit. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

The Bottom Line by Alan Warner

The full title of this business novel by Alan Warner is

The Bottom Line: Practical Financial Management in Business“.

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I rated this book as Four Stars. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

Finance lessons built into a love story

This is a remarkable book in that it dresses up finance for non-financial manager style training into a romantic novel.

Yes, that’s right. Love over the management accounts. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

In my review of

Finance on a Beermat by Mike Southan, Chris West, Stephen King and Jeff Macklin

on Amazon.co.uk, I rated the book at the Four Stars level. This means I think it is Good and Well Worth Reading.

Here is my book review.

For those who want to understand more about finance and even have a finance cornerstone

The Beermat series of books provide simple and clear explanations of how to build and grow a successful entrepreneurial business. Finance On A Beermat continues with the traditional and regular authors Mike Southon and Chris West receive help from Stephen King and Jeff Macklin, two of the main people behind a franchise for part time finance directors. [continue reading…]

in Best Business Books

Financial Foreplay by Rhondalynn Korolak – 5 Stars

Financial Foreplay: Whip Your Business
Into Shape – Take Home More Cash
by Rhondalynn Korolak

Book Review Rating – 5 Stars

Can you make finance and accounting sexy?

Author Rhondalynn Korolak does an excellent job in her book.

This is not your average, very dry and boring finance for non-financial managers book.

As the title suggests, there is a frisson to the way she educates you on the need for more effective financial control in your business.

The Approach Used In The Book

The training is delivered in a charming and easy to read way. [continue reading…]

in 1 – Your KPI, Best Business Books

Loan Sharp by Rob Warlow – 5 Stars

The full title of this book by Rob Warlow is

Loan Sharp: Get the business finance you deserve“.

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Five Stars. This means it is Excellent and Very Highly Recommended.

Here is my book review.

The key to your banker’s mind

Loan Sharp is an excellent book from Rob Warlow packed with practical tips on how you can get the business finance you need.

What makes the book so special is that the author takes you into the world of the small business banker so you can see how and why they make the decisions they do. [continue reading…]

in 1 – Your KPI, Best Business Books, Business Start-Ups