According to the New York Times small business columnist Jay Goltz, one of the top reasons that small businesses fail is poor accounting. As he states it, "You cannot be in control of a business if you don't know what is going on." So what is the non-math major, small business owner to do? One idea is to check out the book "Finance for Non-financial Managers." This book is written as a business course and is meant to be read front to back, not skimmed. Although many people dread tests, there is even a final exam at the end of the book to see if you have mastered the financial skills necessary to run a business. With that said, this book uses real life case studies directed at situations that a small business owner might encounter. After completing this "course," small business owners will know the essential concepts of finance, enabling the owner to ask intelligent questions to accountants and understand the answers. Also, the book goes into detail about the audit process: what is measured, how it's measured, and how you can help ensure accuracy and completeness. So, if words such as capitalized, prepaid, deferred and depreciation sound like words you should understand, but don't really understand, this book is for you!
Recommended by Laura Metzler