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Accounting For Dummies, 6th Edition

Book Description

Open the books on accounting with this friendly guide

Want to make sense of accounting basics but don't know where to begin? This new edition of Accounting For Dummies helps you speak your accountant's language with ease—minimizing confusion as you maximize profits. Written in plain English, it quickly gets you up to speed on how to manage inventory, report income and expenses for private or public companies, evaluate profit margins, analyze business strengths and weaknesses, manage budgets for a better bottom line, and so much more.

Whether you're a small business owner, a manager with budget responsibilities, or just want to understand your 401(k) statements, this friendly guide helps you get a handle on all those columns of numbers—without losing your cool. From tips for getting the most out of reading a financial report to ways to analyze and manage profit—and everything in between—it gives you the jargon-free introduction to accounting you need to make sense of those numbers.

  • Get the scoop on accounting basics and standards
  • Read and understand financial statements with ease
  • Report income and expenses for public or private sectors
  • Create great financials and boost your bottom line

If the thought of accounting gives you anxiety, you're in luck! Accounting For Dummies is your no-nonsense ticket to success!

Table of Contents

    1. Cover
    2. Introduction
      1. About This Book
      2. Foolish Assumptions
      3. Icons Used in This Book
      4. Beyond the Book
      5. Where to Go from Here
    3. Part 1: Opening the Books on Accounting
      1. Chapter 1: Accounting Spoken Here
        1. Checking Your Preconceptions about Accounting
        2. Providing Vital Financial Information
        3. Taking a Peek behind the Scenes
        4. Focusing on Transactions
        5. Taking the Financial Pulse of a Business
        6. Mapping Accounting Careers
      2. Chapter 2: Introducing Financial Statements
        1. Setting the Stage for Financial Statements
        2. Income Statement
        3. Balance Sheet
        4. Statement of Cash Flows
        5. A Note about the Statement of Changes in Shareowners’ Equity
        6. Gleaning Important Information from Financial Statements
        7. Keeping in Compliance with Accounting and Financial Reporting Standards
      3. Chapter 3: Keeping the Books and Guarding the Family Jewels
        1. Separating the Duties of Bookkeepers and Accountants
        2. Pedaling through the Bookkeeping Cycle
        3. Managing Accounting Systems
        4. Enforce Strong Internal Controls
        5. Double-Entry Accounting
        6. Juggling the Books to Conceal Embezzlement and Fraud
        7. Using Accounting Software in the Cloud and on the Ground
      4. Chapter 4: Knowing the Accounting Entity
        1. Being Aware of the Legal Roots of Business Entities
        2. Securing Capital from Owners
        3. Incorporating a Business
        4. Differentiating Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies
        5. Going It Alone: Sole Proprietorships
        6. Choosing the Right Legal Structure for Income Tax
    4. Part 2: Exploring Financial Statements
      1. Chapter 5: Reporting Profit or Loss in the Income Statement
        1. Presenting Typical Income Statements
        2. Taking Care of Housekeeping Details
        3. Being an Active Reader
        4. Deconstructing Profit
        5. Pinpointing the Assets and Liabilities Used to Record Revenue and Expenses
        6. Reporting Unusual Gains and Losses
        7. Watching for Misconceptions and Misleading Reports
      2. Chapter 6: Reporting Financial Condition in the Balance Sheet
        1. Expanding the Accounting Equation
        2. Presenting a Proper Balance Sheet
        3. Judging Liquidity and Solvency
        4. Understanding That Transactions Drive the Balance Sheet
        5. Sizing Up Assets and Liabilities
        6. Financing a Business: Sources of Cash and Capital
        7. Recognizing the Hodgepodge of Values Reported in a Balance Sheet
      3. Chapter 7: Reporting Cash Sources and Uses in the Statement of Cash Flows
        1. Meeting the Statement of Cash Flows
        2. Explaining the Variance between Cash Flow and Net Income
        3. Sailing through the Rest of the Statement of Cash Flows
        4. Pinning Down “Free Cash Flow”
        5. Limitations of the Statement of Cash Flows
      4. Chapter 8: Financial Accounting Issues
        1. Reporting Changes in Owners’ Equity
        2. Recognizing Reasons for Accounting Differences
        3. Looking at a More Conservative Version of the Company’s Income Statement
        4. Explaining the Differences
        5. Calculating Cost of Goods Sold Expense and Inventory Cost
        6. Recording Depreciation Expense
        7. Scanning the Revenue and Expense Radar Screen
    5. Part 3: Reading Financial Reports
      1. Chapter 9: Getting a Financial Report Ready for Release
        1. Quickly Reviewing the Theory of Financial Reporting
        2. Recognizing Top Management’s Role
        3. Keeping Current with Financial Accounting and Reporting Standards
        4. Making Sure Disclosure Is Adequate
        5. Putting a Spin on the Numbers (Short of Cooking the Books)
        6. Comparing Public and Private Companies
        7. Dealing with Information Overload
      2. Chapter 10: Reading a Financial Report
        1. Knowing the Rules of the Game
        2. Making Investment Choices
        3. Contrasting Reading Financial Reports of Private Versus Public Businesses
        4. Using Ratios to Digest Financial Statements
        5. Frolicking through the Footnotes
        6. Checking Out the Auditor’s Report
      3. Chapter 11: Inside Information for Managers Only
        1. Building on the Foundation of the External Financial Statements
        2. Gathering Financial Condition Information
        3. Culling Profit Information
    6. Part 4: Accounting in Managing a Business
      1. Chapter 12: Analyzing Profit
        1. Helping Managers: The Fourth Pillar of Accounting
        2. Internal Profit Reporting
        3. Looking at Strategic Profit Analysis
        4. Taking a Closer Look at the Lines in the Profit Template
        5. Using the Profit Template for Decision-Making Analysis
        6. Tucking Away Some Valuable Lessons
        7. Closing with a Boozy Example
      2. Chapter 13: Accounting for Costs
        1. Looking down the Road to the Destination of Costs
        2. Are Costs Really That Important?
        3. Becoming More Familiar with Costs
        4. Assembling the Product Cost of Manufacturers
        5. Puffing Profit by Excessive Production
      3. Chapter 14: Budgeting
        1. Putting Budgeting in Its Place
        2. Exploring Budgeting
        3. Looking at Profit Budgeting in Action
        4. Additional Benefits of Budgeting
        5. Is Budgeting Worth the Cost?
        6. Realizing Not Every Business Budgets
        7. Budgeting Cash Flow
        8. Considering Capital Expenditures and Other Cash Needs
    7. Part 5: The Part of Tens
      1. Chapter 15: Ten Tips for Managers
        1. Reach Breakeven and Then Rake in Profit
        2. Set Sales Prices Right
        3. Don’t Confuse Profit and Cash Flow
        4. Call the Shots on Accounting Policies
        5. Budget Well and Wisely
        6. Demand the Accounting Information You Want
        7. Tap into Your CPA’s Expertise
        8. Critically Review Your Controls over Employee Dishonesty and Fraud
        9. Lend a Hand in Preparing Your Financial Reports
        10. Speak about Your Financial Statements as a Pro
      2. Chapter 16: Ten Tips for Reading a Financial Report
        1. Get in the Right Frame of Mind
        2. Decide What to Read
        3. Improve Your Accounting Savvy
        4. Judge Profit Performance
        5. Test Earnings Per Share (EPS) against Change in Bottom Line
        6. Tackle Unusual Gains and Losses
        7. Check Cash Flow From Profit
        8. Look for Signs of Financial Distress
        9. Recognize the Possibility of Restatement and Fraud
        10. Remember the Limits of Financial Reports
    8. Appendix: Glossary: Slashing through the Accounting Jargon Jungle
    9. About the Author
    10. Advertisement Page
    11. Connect with Dummies
    12. End User License Agreement