This year it has been tough to find great finance books. Many of 2010’s finest have examined the recent Wall Street collapses so thoroughly that it seems every conspiracy theory that ever existed in a casual conversation has become a bestseller. So in trying to round up great finance books, I sat back and thought about what books really educated me on financial concerns. Here are a few good ones–some that I read long ago, but still turn to when I need a refresher or added perspective.
Financial Intelligence: A Manager’s Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean
by Karen Bergen and Joe Knight with John Case
This book is perfect for those who are not finance savvy and haven’t taken that accounting course. The processes behind common accounting terms are explained so that you can understand why some things are adjustable and why some terms, such as “one-time charge,” should send a cautionary message.
Weiss’s advice covers the concepts of managing clients and addressing typical challenges consultants face. Any consultant will find his segments on pricing particularly helpful. He prefers a flat fee rather than hourly rates because rates focus clients on the activity, not the value of the service.
Venture Capital Investing: The Complete Handbook for Investing in Small Private Businesses for Outstanding Profits
by David Gladstone and Laura Gladstone
This book is now 20 years old, but is still the most painstakingly thorough book out there to help you anticipate a venture capitalist’s concerns when considering an investment. Sixty of the 300-plus pages are questions to ask about a considered venture. If you are starting a business, read this book and you’ll be ahead of the curve in deciding how investors will react to your business plan, pitch and road show.
The Financial Numbers Game: Detecting Creative Accounting Practices
by Charles W. Mulford and Eugene Comiskey
This book is not a new-fangled measurement of balance sheets. Instead, it covers how to keep the balance sheet old-fangled through recognizing how revenue recognition goes astray. This is especially valuable for software development firms, which typically run into challenges of matching revenue recognition to services provided. Both existing entrepreneurs and startups should really consider giving this near-textbook a go. The authors, both Georgia Tech MBA professors, are highly regarded, having discovered a number of accounting shenanigans that were later identified as the causes of the Enron scandal.