What is different about this book?

The single most important difference about this book is that it starts with the balance sheet. The importance of this may not be obvious to you now, but once you understand accounting (which could be in the next two hours, if you’ve already got the book), you will see why all accounting books should start here.

Instead of tables full of numbers, the book also uses diagrams with bars and boxes to represent balance sheets. This makes it much easier to see how a balance sheet balances after each transaction a company makes and how the other accounting statements (eg Profit and loss account and cash flow) relate to the balance sheet.

I am not an accountant and used to have as much difficulty with accounting as pretty much any of you. I think I do understand what people find difficult about accounting and have tried to explain it in a way that will work for you.

Again, this won’t mean much to you now, but the book explains how, for the purposes of analysing companies’ performance, it is essential to distinguish between the underlying business of the company and the way the company has been funded.

The book is written as a conversation between a “teacher” and his “students”. As the author, I find this makes it easier to bring out or clarify points. A lot of readers seem to like it.

The book has a glossary. Quite a few other accounting books also have glossaries but a lot don’t. A glossary is such a useful thing when you just want to remind yourself what a term means that I suggest you don’t buy an accounting book that doesn’t have one.

Whether these points of difference make it the book for you, I don’t know but I do know they work for some people. You can see a few of their comments under Testimonials.


The book has, over the last ten years or so, been translated into ten other languages and distributed in the relevant countries. These languages are

  • Chinese
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Russian
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Czech
  • Malaysian