Accounting and Finance for Your Small Business, 2nd Edition


"Once again, Bragg has turned his discerning eye and formidable talents on a topic and the results are outstanding. Both those new to the business and the long-established entrepreneur will benefit greatly when he joins forces with E. James Burton to produce this outstanding work."
—Mary S. Schaeffer, Editorial Director Accounts Payable Now & Tomorrow

"I use the tips and practices found in [this book] all through the year. They are clear, direct, and efficient–which, in turn, improves our company and our bottom line. I recommend [this book] to anyone wanting to improve their own bottom line."
—D. R. Drum, CIO, CSO Engineering/Accounting, Dragon Moon Productions

"Eminently accessible, this book is a must-read for the entrepreneur, both new and established alike. Organizationally, the work flows smoothly and logically in a way that is valuable for the start-up as well as the veteran needing a refresher on specific aspects of the small business accounting/financing picture. I found particularly useful the rich resourcefulness that Messrs Burton and Bragg brought to the table in compiling the essential checklists for every conceivable corner of the entrepreneur's financial realm from fraud prevention to financing options. As a small business owner myself, I was well pleased with the real-world guidance and instant 'useability' this book offers."
—David Struthers, JDFacilitator/Trial Lawyer

"This book is essential for any small business owner, manager, or accountant's business tool kit. This easy-to-read book distills complex subject matter into meaningful and understandable information and is a great refresher course for those deeply involved in the accounting and financial matters of a small business. The book contains many examples that can be used immediately in daily operations to improve the quality of information for better decision making. The book provides those involved in small business the framework to manage what they measure."
—Jim Bologa, CFODaticon, Inc.

Steven Bragg, CPA, CMA, CIA, CPIM, has been the chief financial officer or controller of four companies, as well as a consulting manager at Ernst & Young and auditor at Deloitte & Touche. He received a Master’s degree in finance from Bentley College, an MBA from Babson College, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Maine. He has been the two-time president of the Colorado Mountain Club, is an avid alpine skier and mountain biker, and is a certified master diver.
Subscribe to Steve’s free best practices newsletter at

E. James Burton, Ph.D., CPA, CFE, is dean of the College of Business and a full professor of accounting at Middle Tennessee State University. He has founded, owned, managed, and sold a number of businesses in a variety of areas from service to manufacturing. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from MacMurray College in economics/business, a Master of Business Administration degree from Murray State University in management, and a Ph.D. in accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to over 50 journal articles, he has written Total Business Planning: A Step-by-Step Guide with Forms that has continued through three editions and translation into Norwegian. He resides in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.


Section I: Preparing to Operate the Business.

Chapter 1: Budgeting for Operations.

Definition or Purpose of an Operating Budget.

Signs of Budget Ineffectiveness.

Improvements to the Budgeting System.

Responsibility Accounting.

Budget Tracking and Maintenance.

The System of Interlocking Budgets.

Need for Budget Updating.


Chapter 2: Investing in Long-Term Assets and Capital Budgeting.


Overview and Use of Capital Budgeting.

Life Cycles.

Capital Budgeting Sequence.

Producing Numbers to Get Dollars, the Use of Forms, and the Capital Budgeting Model.

Miscellaneous Considerations.

Product Discontinuance.



Appendix: Examples and Comparison of Calculations.

Chapter 3: Basic Control Systems.

The Need for Control Systems.

Types of Fraud.

Key Controls.

When to Eliminate Controls.


Section II: Operating the Business.

Chapter 4: Cash Flow Concerns.


What to Do with Excess Cash.

Cash Flows.

Introduction to Cash Flow Budgets.

Indications of Cash Flow Problems.

Managing Cash.

Preparation of the Cash Budget.


Net Cash Flow and Cash Balances.

Exceptions to Expected Cash Flows.


Appendix: Cash Flow Example.

Chapter 5: Financing.

New Businesses.

Zero Working Capital and Zero Fixed Assets.

Types of Financing.

Private Placement of Stock.

Swapping Stock for Expenses.

Stock Warrants.

Stock Subscriptions.

How to Obtain a Bank Loan.

Sources of Debt Financing.

Types of Loan Arrangements.

Restrictions on Loans.

Conditions That a Borrower Should Seek.


Section III: Evaluating the Operations of the Business.

Chapter 6: Performance Measurement Systems.

Financial Ratios.

Types of Financial Ratios.

Using Performance Measurements for Predictions.

Operating Ratios.

Other Ratios.

The Balanced Scorecard.


Chapter 7: Financial Analysis.

Risk Analysis.

Capacity Utilization.

Breakeven Analysis.


Chapter 8: Taxes and Risk Management.

Controlling Tax Liabilities.

Risk Management.


Types of Insurance Companies.

Claims Administration.


Chapter 9: Reporting.

Federal Government Requirements.

State Government Requirements.

Local Government Requirements.


Equity Holders.

Management Reports.