As a business owner, you need to know how to understand your business finances. This means you need to know how to prepare your bookkeeping and tax returns. You need to understand balance sheets and income sheets and the cash flow statement.
But when you are first starting out in your business, you don’t always have the extra funds to hire an accountant and bookkeeper to help you out.
So what’s the next best step?
Find some books that can explain the process and statements to you.
Books are much cheaper than an accountant or bookkeeper, at least for right now.
They aren’t cheaper when you make mistakes with your business finances and need to find someone to help you fix it. (But we’ll save that story for another day.)
But the topics that are taught in these books are things you should know as a business owner, whether you hire someone else, or whether you hate bookkeeping and accounting, or you do it all yourself.
The Best Books for Small Business Owners Who Hate Bookkeeping and Accounting
There are lots of books out there that you can buy to possibly help you learn how to do your bookkeeping and accounting.
But just any ole book won’t do. You need a book that explains to you how to handle everything in a way that you can understand.
Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits by Greg Crabtree
When you haven’t spent years learning accounting, you want the facts that you need to know explained to you in a simple, easy-to-follow, but get to the point fashion.
In this book, that is exactly what Greg Crabtree does. He explains what you need to know in this simple guide, he does his best to eliminate the accounting jargon that you don’t need to know.
Many of the things that Greg Crabtree talks about in this book are topics that you as a business owner absolutely need to know, but unless you are an accountant (or have an accountant you are working with), you won’t know to do.
Save yourself the time and hassle and learn from Greg if you really aren’t ready to invest in hiring an accountant.
Simple Numbers can guide you to increased business profitability! Take the mystery out of small business finance with this no-frills guide to understanding the numbers that will guide your business out of any financial black hole.
Accounting for the Numberphobic: A Survival Guide for Small Business Owners
When it comes to the accounting stuff in your business, it’s all Greek. Right?
In this book, Dawn Fotopulos breaks down the most important stuff that you need to know about financial statements, profit and loss reports, ledgers, etc.
Even if you have an accountant on your team helping you, you need to understand this information so that you can actually end up making more money in your business.
Dawn uses plain English to break down and explain these topics to you so that you can stop treating your business accounting like it’s junk mail or telemarketers.
Why do so many business owners dread looking at the numbers? Financial statements, ledgers, profit and loss reports--many avoid these and treat them like junk mail and phone solicitors. But as a small business owner, having an intimate knowledge of all these crucial numbers yourself is the most important tool you can equip yourself with in order to survive the constantly changing and highly competitive marketplace of the twenty-first century.
JK Lasser’s Small Business Taxes 2020: Your Complete Guide to a Better Bottom Line
Every year, there are changes in the tax law. Every year, JK Lasser updates his tax book so that you have the most up-to-date version of the tax law to apply to your business.
If you have questions about what you can deduct in your business, you will for sure be able to find it in this guide.
As an accountant, I love checking in with this guide every year to make sure that nothing significant that affects my business, or my clients’ businesses, hasn’t changed.
Time is always an issue as a business owner and this guide helps you eliminate the time aspect of looking deeply into your business deductions, but still allows you to make sure you get the most deductions that you can get.
Taxes for Small Business: Simple and Effective Methods of Tax Process for Small Businesses
This in depth guide will help you understand how to prepare your taxes for your business. If money is really tight and hiring an accountant is completely out of the question, this guide could be something that helps you out.
This guide is also updated each year. When it comes to your taxes for your business, you want to make sure that you find a guide that is updated every year, especially if you can’t meet with an accountant.
You’ll also learn some complex tax planning from this guide. Yes, I understand, tax planning makes you want to run for the hills, but you may end up paying less in taxes when you do actual tax planning in your business.
For most small business owners, one major concern is how to deal with federal, state, and every other form of tax that resonates with their business. A more complicated issue is the complex nature of tax forms that are used for this tax filing process.
The Tax and Legal Playbook: Game-Changing Solutions to Your Small-Business Questions
The biggest change to the tax law happened in 2017 with the passing of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017.
With these changes, they most likely affect your business. This guide will help you understand what you need to know for your business and even take advantage of some tax deductions that are very often underutilized.
This book will also help you select the right business entity for your business, pick the right employee benefits programs, and avoid common mistakes.
In this revised edition of The Tax and Legal Playbook, Kohler reveals clear-cut truths about tax and legal planning and delivers a practical, play-by-play guide that helps you build wealth, save on taxes, and protect your assets. Using real-world case studies, tax-savvy tips, game plans, and discussion points, Kohler coaches you through the complexities of the tax game of the small-business owner.
Small Time Operator: How to Start Your Own Business, Keep Your Books, Pay Your Taxes and Stay out of Trouble
This book aims to help small business owners in the global information economy (i.e. business owners who sell primarily information).
As a self-employed business owner, there are many accounting and bookkeeping things that you need to know that are covered in this book.
This book provides the instructions that you need to follow the laws and be able to deal with the IRS (or avoid dealing with them) in an easy to understand manner.
In this new edition, the book will feature a section on surviving the Global Information Grid or GIG economy. The on-demand economy, also known as the sharing economy or the gig economy, is a new and greatly expanding business model that is basically nothing more than a mobile app that connects people who need some type of service—a ride, a delivery, a plumber, a house cleaner—with individuals who provide that service. There are hundreds of thousands of newly self-employed individuals.
How to Read a Financial Report: Wringing Vital Signs Out of the Numbers
The balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flow are a foreign language to you. You have no idea what they are or how to read them, right?!
These three statements are ones that all business owners should be looking at on a monthly basis.
If you don’t know how to read these statements, then you are on the path to failing in your business. This book will help you understand these statements, and in turn, understand how to use this information to help you grow your business even more.
Financial reports provide vital information to investors, lenders, and managers. Yet, the financial statements in a financial report seem to be written in a foreign language that only accountants can understand.
Financial Statements: A Step-by-step Guide to Understanding and Creating Financial Reports
This book has been updated multiple times to help you understand your business’ financial statements. It is very important that you understand these statements for your business, whether you have an accountant or not.
In this book, you’ll learn the importance of these statements and how they can really help you build your business and help you actually earn more money, too.
Ittelson is an expert at translating complicated financial topics in an accessible way for non-financial audiences. In this book, he empowers readers by clearly and simply demonstrating how the three major accounting statements interact to offer a snapshot of a company's financial health.
Best Books for Small Business Owners to Learn Accounting
While you can learn a lot of what you need to know for your business accounting and bookkeeping, you really should have an accountant and/or bookkeeper on your team.
You can use a spreadsheet to track your income and expenses, or you can invest in software to track the numbers. Either way, you need to make sure you track the numbers.
You’ll want to work with an accountant and bookkeeper to help you make sure that you are doing everything that you should be with your money.
An accountant can also help you see where you could be saving more money, or even making more money. Regular conversations with your accountant are a must.
But if you really aren’t in a position to work with an accountant yet and want to stay on your shoe-string budget, then you’ll want to check out the books that are mentioned above. They will definitely help you learn the important things that you need to learn. I regularly read the information in these books to see where I can learn some new things to help my own business and my clients.
Accounting and bookkeeping aren’t just a topic that you can learn overnight. You need to know this information though, as a business owner.