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Understanding Business Accounting For Dummies, 3rd Edition (UK Edition)


Balance your budget, boost your profit margin and enhance your career profile

Whether you're a small business owner or a corporate manager with budgeting responsibilities, a solid grasp of business accounting is indispensable. This updated 3rd edition of the UK's top-selling introduction to business accounting is the quickest, easiest way to get up to speed on all the essentials. In plain English, authors Tracy and Barrow tell you what you need to know to evaluate profit margins, work up budgets, monitor cash flow, write financial reports and use accounting information to make smarter financial decisions.

  • Make sense of financial statements – learn all about the Profit and Loss Statement, the Balance Sheet and the Cash Flow Statement

  • Manage by numbers – discover planning and control techniques to help you manage more effectively, including building a profit model, budgeting, calculating the cost of stock and fixed assets, alternative accounting methods and much more

  • Read between the lines – look at accounting reporting from an investor's and loan officer's point-of-view, including tips on how to read and analyse financial statements

  • Survive an audit – understand the role auditors play, including clear explanations of the scope of the annual audit, what to look for in an auditor's report and how to use the information to improve your accounting systems

  • Get the biggest bang for your technology buck – get the lowdown on the latest business accounting tech, with tips on choosing the best software for your needs

Open the book and find:

  • Quick tips on reading financial reports

  • How to evaluate profit margins –and how to boost them

  • Easy-to-follow methods for working up budgets

  • Advice on controlling profit and cash flow

  • Guidance on stemming losses

  • Simple steps to manage inventory

  • Tips on surviving an audit

  • The latest business accounting software explained

Learn to:

  • Get a grip on financial statements

  • Find your way around the balance sheet and profit and loss account

  • Choose the right accounting method

  • Budget with confidence

John A. Tracy is a former staff accountant at Ernst & Young.

Colin Barrow was the Head of the Enterprise Group at Cranfield School of Management and is the author of more than 30 books including Starting a Business For Dummies, Business Plans For Dummies and Business Plans Kit For Dummies.

Introduction 1

Part I: Accounting Basics 9

Chapter 1: Introducing Accounting to Non-Accountants 11

Chapter 2: Bookkeeping 101: From Shoe Boxes to Computers 33

Chapter 3: Taxes, Taxes and More Taxes 51

Chapter 4: Accounting and Your Personal Finances 67

Part II: Getting a Grip on Financial Statements 85

Chapter 5: Profit Mechanics 87

Chapter 6: The Balance Sheet from the Profit and Loss Account Viewpoint 109

Chapter 7: Cash Flows and the Cash Flow Statement 131

Chapter 8: Getting a Financial Report Ready for Prime Time 153

Part III: Accounting in Managing a Business 173

Chapter 9: Managing Profit Performance 175

Chapter 10: Business Budgeting 197

Chapter 11: Choosing the Right Ownership Structure 219

Chapter 12: Cost Conundrums 241

Chapter 13: Choosing Accounting Methods 261

Part IV: Financial Reports in the Outside World 285

Chapter 14: How Investors Read a Financial Report 287

Chapter 15: Professional Auditors and Advisers 313

Part V: The Part of Tens 329

Chapter 16: Ten Ways Savvy Business Managers Use Accounting 331

Chapter 17: Ten Places a Business Gets Money From 345

Chapter 18: Ten (Plus One) Questions Investors Should Ask When Reading a Financial Report 355

Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Get a Better Handle on the Financial Future 367

Part VI: Appendixes 377

Appendix A: Glossary: Slashing through the Accounting Jargon Jungle 379

Appendix B: Accounting Software and Other Ways to Get the Books in Good Order 395

Index 399