Top 10 Business Finance Books

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There is nothing as exciting as starting your own small business. Besides being your own boss, you are literally chasing after your dream and controlling your own destiny. But the path to successful entrepreneurship is not only the thrill of creating a business and financial independence. It also includes the not-so-appealing aspects of trial and error as you evolve towards a successful entrepreneur. Business finance books help you gain valuable insights and accelerate your learning curve when it comes to business and finance.

This reading list includes some of the best finance books to help those in business have a broad understanding of topics like the importance of vision and mission, finance, investment, and a myriad of other issues. No matter what stage you are in your entrepreneur journey, you can always use the advice from the best book of finance.

So, take a look at our top 10 best books on finance and put your entrepreneurial journey on overdrive.

Ten Best Business Books on Finance

1. Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine

by Mike Michalowicz

Profit First provides a fresh perspective on what it takes to operate a small business. The book will help you understand the path to change your business from a cash eating enterprise into a money-making enterprise. Cleverly disguised as an accounting hack it uses a conversational tone and common sense thinking balanced with storytelling analogies and behavioral psychology. The author helps you understand how your business makes you money and how to control that process as well.

Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine doesn’t just contain ideas, it’s a system for running a business that delivers profits consistently. You’ll transform your business and your life with the simple principles found in this book. This might seem obvious, but with millions of businesses failing after less than five years, the tips shared here by the author are necessary.

2. Found Money: Simple Strategies for Uncovering the Hidden Profit and Cash Flow in Your Business

by Steve Wilkinghoff

Considered a required reading for small businesses, the book is replete with concepts and ideas that will help drive positive financial results. It also offers tools and approaches that business owners can immediately begin using in their business to create healthier, profitable and predictable financial results. It offers some sage advice on how to identify, improve, and track your business process honing in what actually makes you money.

Are you spending all your time and money fishing for new customers and still not making money? Most small business people have very little understanding of the math behind their businesses. Found Money: Simple Strategies for Uncovering the Hidden Profit and Cash Flow in Your Business by Steve Wilkinghoff will open your eyes when it comes to the financial side of creating your offer. Instead of letting your business tell you how much money you’re going to make, you decide how much money you want to make. You can then build offers that guarantee revenues, profits and ultimately peace of mind.

3. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy

by Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko

By basing research on America’s millionaires, the book gives interesting anecdotes from distinguished Under Accumulators of Wealth (UAWs) and Prodigious Accumulators of Wealth (PAWs). According to the authors, UAWs have a low net worth relative to income, and the opposite works for PAWs. PAWs are described as wealthy but live well below their means.

Stanley and Danko advise readers on three main points: spend less than you earn, avoid an excess lifestyle; invest your money in endeavors that yield good returns.

Every small business owner strives to become a millionaire. The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko explains how to reach that goal even if your business doesn’t generate millions. With hundreds of interviews and data, Stanley pulls together research that will blow your mind and eliminate any preconceived notions about who millionaires are and what they value. If you haven’t read this classic, now is the time. You’ll see that your dream of making millions isn’t controlled by the number of customers who give you money, but what you do with the money that you have.

4. The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel

by Benjamin Graham, Jason Zweig with Warren Buffett as Collaborator

Considered as one of the greatest investment advisors of the 20th century, Benjamin Graham taught and inspired people worldwide. He is widely known as the father of investing in value and had written two of the founding texts in neoclassical investing: Security Analysis (1934) with David Dodd, and The Intelligent Investor. The principles of the book refer to a buy-and-hold strategy. The author advises buying undervalued stocks of strong companies and holding them over a long period of time. This helps investors gain richer rewards as the company’s value increases over time.

The book’s premise is simple. By focusing on pricing, investors should only buy stocks when the price is below its intrinsic value. The intrinsic value is how you value the company based on your own fundamental analysis and not the whims of Wall Street pundits. It has three fundamental steps: do your research, diversify your portfolio, and look for safe and steady returns.

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel has been the stock market bible ever since it was first published in 1949. The investment principles in this book have stood the test of time, but it is updated for today’s markets. Not exactly a beginner’s book, but worth reading if you’re interested in stock markets, investing and recognizing the value in companies on Wall Street or main street. This is a great book for anyone who is interested in introducing themselves to the world of investing or wants to hone their skills and better themselves.

5. Accounting for the Numberphobic: A Survival Guide for Small Business Owners

by Dawn Fotopulos

Accounting is considered the language of business. A basic understanding of accounting is important for all business professionals. This book helps readers breakdown financial statements, ledgers, profits and the overall health of a business. The book expels the fear associated with financial management for those uninitiated into the workings of finance. By providing context behind the numbers, it will help you start your journey into financial literacy. The greatness of this book is it teaches you how to actually make better business decisions. 

Most small business owners ignore accounting and bookkeeping. Yet, this is what gives you the heartbeat of your business. Accounting for the Numberphobic: A Survival Guide for Small Business Owners explains in plain English how each measurement reflects the overall health of your business–and impacts your decisions. Fotopulos recognizes small business owners are “driving” their business toward a goal or destination. So, she uses the apt analogy of creating a business dashboard that resembles the dashboard on your car; speedometer, gas gauge, etc. The principles are simple and easy to understand so that you can adjust your business decisions and reach your destination without going broke.

6. J.K. Lasser's Small Business Taxes 2020: Your Complete Guide to a Better BottonLine 1st Edition

by Barbara Weltman

Barbara Weltman is an attorney and a recognized expert in taxation for small businesses. She has also authored top-selling books on taxes and finance. Weltman’s book comes with detailed coverage of the latest tax laws, IRS rulings and planning strategies to help you decipher your tax processes. Among the tools on offer include strategies on how to use deductions and tax credits effectively and maximize aspects of small business taxes. This is a reliable resource offering a complete overview of small business tax planning with the information needed to inform your tax decisions.

Think of J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes 2020: Your Complete Guide to a Better Bottom Line 1st Edition as your business tax bible. Each year’s edition has a complete list of business tax deductions as well as an explanation of the major tax law updates in terms you can understand. As tax laws change (and become more complicated), this finance book will help you stay on top of changes in tax law and help you save money on taxes.

7. Financial Intelligence, Revised Edition: A Manager's Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean

by Karen Berman, Joe Knight, John Case

As one of the most recommended finance books by experts, it provides solid insights into understanding numbers on both personal finance and financial markets. It gives readers practical strategies for improving their company’s performance, manage balance sheets, and most importantly strip the conversation of confusing financial jargon. It also comes with entertaining anecdotes of real companies and their experiences, giving non-financial managers rare insights into the world of finance.

Accounting and finance are not the easiest subjects for small business owners. Financial Intelligence, Revised Edition: A Manager’s Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean is one of the ideal finance books for managers and small business owners who want a layperson’s guide through the numbers. It is recommended by both financial experts and non-financial business owners for how well it explains the quantitative side of running a business.

8. How Finance Works: The HBR Guide to Thinking Smart About the Numbers

by Mihir Desai

By providing real-world visuals this book helps translate seemingly complicated financial topics. It gives us valuable insights that go beyond commercial management into the financial ecosystem. This is a great book for people who are perplexed by finance and numbers. The textbook-style approach provides a good walk through the world of finance without the distractions of jargon loaded references, making it easy to grasp the concepts contained in it.

Michael Lewis said it best in regards to financial literacy when he said: “We aren’t natural statisticians. What we are is natural storytelling machines. And so what we do after we have facts in hand is build a story to explain the facts.”

If it’s published by Harvard Business Review, it has to be good.  If you’re intimidated by all things finance and accounting, How Finance Works: The HBR Guide to Thinking Smart About the Numbers will give you the confidence you’ve been lacking. This financial book strikes a balance between academics and practical business principles. Ideal for business owners who want to dig into their numbers and manage their finances.

9. Visual Finance: The One Page Visual Model to Understand Financial Statements and Make Better Business Decisions

by Georgi Tsvetanov

Business owners, managers, finance students – pretty much anyone in business can benefit from a solid understanding of how to read financial reports and how accounting works. This book dispels the myth that accounting isn’t necessarily tedious, complicated, and too theoretical.  Georgi Tsvetanov has facilitated more than 600 experiential learning sessions in more than 15 countries including the U.S., Mexico, Singapore, Spain, and Dubai.

Attention all visual business owners and managers — Visual Finance: The One Page Visual Model to Understand Financial Statements and Make Better Business Decisions is the finance book for you.  The author not only simplifies most financial concepts, but he also includes hand-drawn charts and shows you how to think about basic business finances. If looking at financial statements makes your head swim, you’ll love this graphic and visual representation of all the standard reports. This is the best book in terms of explaining concepts visually, which is how many people learn best.

10. ColorAccounting: The New Graphical System That Makes Understanding Accounting Easy and Quick

by Peter Frampton, Mark Robilliard

This must-have book introduces financial analysis and is valuable for both beginners and intermediates alike. Peter Frampton and Mark Robilliard are the inventors of Color Accounting. It is a revolutionary way of learning accounting, finance and business. Through this easy and intuitive training many corporations, agencies, law firms and universities have taught their people how to use financial reports.

If you’d rather get a root canal than learn about accounting, ColorAccounting: The new graphical system that makes understanding accounting easy and quick by Peter Frampton, Mark Robilliard is your book. The authors take a creative (and more right-brained) approach to this very left-brained function. With dozens of positive reviews from accounting-hating business owners.  Suddenly, your understanding of running the financial side of your business will make sense. Financial statements will come to life and you’ll feel more confident about every decision you make.

More Finance Information for Entrepreneurs

The topic of finance can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be if you have the right resources. Whether it is the best book for finance from a Wall Street tycoon, a Harvard Business School grad, your local community college, or a trusted website, there are many resources.

The key is to use each resource, whether it is an author or website, one at a time until you fully understand the concept they are teaching. If you do your research and you find the right resource what you learn from them can give you the best business fundamentals as you start your entrepreneurial journey. Our financial management section covers your journey from the first business plan to retirement. Take a look at all the free information on the financial management section.

Finance Fundamentals

Understanding the fundamentals of finance early will serve you well in the long term. This is true in your personal and business life. From revenues and expenses to how to handle cash, inventory, payroll, or venture capital, they are all key for a good foundation. Read small business finance basics and small business finance tips on how to control your finances.

Financial Statements

As a small business owner or an entrepreneur in general, you have to learn how to use your financial statement to manage your enterprise. When you know what each statement and number means, you will know how to run your business with confidence. You can find why it is important to understand your financial statements and follow up on how to create a financial business plan.

Accounting Software

Managing your accounts manually is inefficient all around. It will cost you more time and money, resources you could put to better use. With the right accounting software, you can manage your invoices and payroll simply and efficiently. You can find the best free accounting software and if you are looking to purchase one, the top paid best accounting software for small business.

The Bottom Line

The best finance book is worth its weight in gold. It can change your life, it can pay for itself a thousand times over as it helps you avoid mistakes and take you to a path of profitability. It offers advice and anecdotal evidence that explains the success of captains of industries.

These business finance books provide much-needed insights by offering context around different business decisions and actions. In turn, the books will help open up your mind into the world of business to break down concepts that previously might be foreign to you. It is important to note there is no one way or one book or author who will cover everything. The best finance books are those that explain concepts clearly so you can understand and apply them.


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Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."