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Finance Books

Small Business Financial Management by Ivan Houston

The full title of this book by Ivan Houston is

Small Business Financial Management: How to organise and manage the finances in your small business

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a 4 Stars rating. This means it is Good to Very Good.

Here is my book review.

Helpful but I’m not sure it has the right title

I’ve been looking for a good book on financial management to recommend to clients. My all-time favourite is called “The Genghis Khan Guide to Business” but it’s been out of print for a long time. Occasionally second hand copies pop up for sale on Amazon.

For my purposes, this starts at too low a level but I think anyone thinking about starting a business will find it very helpful.

Reading the book, it is very clear that the author works in the accounting profession rather than as a financial manager/ director in industry and commerce. There is a surprisingly big difference in perspective.

I split it into three roles
1) book-keeping – that is recording financial transactions
2) accounting – the reporting of financial transactions and hopefully forecasting future results.
3) financial management – which for me is being involved or even making the decisions that directly contribute to the financial health of the business.

There isn’t enough content in that third category.

I like the book but it isn’t what I was looking for or expecting based on the title. I recommend it for new business owners.

You can buy the book from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


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in 1 – Your KPI, Best Business Books

12 Steps to Improve your Cashflow by Helen Monaghan

The full title of this book by Helen Monaghan is

12 Steps to Improve your Cashflow: Helpful tips and advice on how to have a better relationship with your business finances so you can fulfil your purpose

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Three Stars. This means it is Worthwhile.

Here is my book review.

Mainly for therapists and coaches and more how to run your business

The book takes a broad view of what can be done by managing your business better.

I’ve mixed feelings about this although I hadn’t realised the target businesses were so tightly defined when I downloaded it under my kindle unlimited subscription. [continue reading…]

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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…]

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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…]

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In my review of the book

Fantastic Finance: Cost Volume Profit Analysis by Mohit Pandey

posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it 1 Star.

Here is my review.

Dreadful. Incomprehensible in Kindle format

One of the worst books I’ve ever seen.

Cost volume profit analysis or as it’s also known, break even analysis is such an important subject for business owners to understand. It needs a much better book than this one.

Sorry I came back and extended this review to explain why it was so bad but that part of the review has been lost. I find this sometimes happens with Amazon if I edit a review I’ve started.

From memory, it was very badly written so, if you’re tempted, make sure you try the Kindle sample first and you can see for yourself why I had such problems.




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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…]

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Scale Up by Colin Mills

The full title of the book by Colin Mills is

Scale Up: How to Take Your Business to the Next Level Without Losing Control and Running Out of Cash

In my review posted at Amazon.co.uk, I gave it 3 Stars.

Here is my review.

A long promotion for the role of part time finance director

It’s promoting the role of the part time finance director (FD) or chief financial officer (CFO) in general and the FD Centre / CFO Centre in particular. It’s so promotional in fact that I feel it’s cheeky to ask potential customers to pay for it.

Fast growing businesses face challenges in terms of 1) keeping control of what’s happening in the business as the founder/owner has to delegate and 2) managing the strain on cash flow that is caused by growth. [continue reading…]

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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…]

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Accounting For Throughput by David Dugdale and T Jones

In my review of the book

Accounting For Throughput

by David Dugdale and T Jones posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it Three Stars. This means Worthwhile.

Here is my review.

An early look at Accounting for Throughput consistent with the Theory of Constraints

This book is now 20 years old.

It was written at a time when there was plenty of criticism of traditional absorption based costing from

  • Theory Of Constraints (TOC) advocates,
  • from those who believed in Activity Based Costing and
  • those who believed that there was too much focus on financial performance when non-financial performance indicators would chart progress better.

This presents the TOC side of the argument where it is believed that the main purpose is to support actions that will increase throughput (at that time sales revenue minus direct material costs) rather than the old “cost world” which aimed to reduce costs and improve (false) efficiencies.

The fact that fixed and variable cost production overheads need to be included in stock and work in progress valuations for statutory accounts for Companies House and HMRC because that’s what the accounting standards say means that Throughput Accounts and Absorption Cost Accounts need to be reconciled. The first is used to guide internal decision making whilst the second is used to report progress to the outside world.

It does a good job of summarising the situation at that time including a detailed look at one company in the UK that had implemented Eli Goldratt’s product planning software, taken up his ToC ideas and found their traditional costing system a barrier to progress.

It presents a balanced case highlighting the void around department measures when the old costing reports were removed and works supervisors were no longer judged on efficiencies compared to standard costs.

Back when it first came out, I would have probably rated this as at least a 4 star book. However 20 years have past and ToC has developed as it has been implemented in more businesses. Accounting for ToC will have also moved forward so this book only tells the first half of the story, even if it has the main plot lines. That’s cost it a star when I rate it in but I still think it’s worth reading if you’re interested in introducing a style of Throughput Accounting.


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in Other 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