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

Book Description

Inc. magazine calls it one of “the best, clearest guides to the numbers” on the market. Readers agree, saying it’s exactly “what I need to know” and calling it a “must-read” for decision makers without expertise in finance.

Since its release in 2006, Financial Intelligence has become a favorite among managers who need a guided tour through the numbers—helping them to understand not only what the numbers really mean, but also why they matter.

This new, completely updated edition brings the numbers up to date and continues to teach the basics of finance to managers who need to use financial data to drive their business. It also addresses issues that have become even more important in recent years—including questions around the financial crisis and those around broader financial and accounting literacy.

Accessible, jargon-free, and filled with entertaining stories of real companies, Financial Intelligence gives nonfinancial managers the confidence to understand the nuance beyond the numbers—to help bring everyday work to a new level.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Preface: What Is Financial Intelligence?
  7. Part One. The Art of Finance (and Why It Matters)
    1. 1. You Can’t Always Trust the Numbers
    2. 2. Spotting Assumptions, Estimates, and Biases
    3. 3. Why Increase Your Financial Intelligence?
    4. 4. The Rules Accountants Follow—and Why You Don’t Always Have To
    5. Part One Toolbox:
      1. Getting What You Want
      2. The Players and What They Do
      3. Reporting Obligations of Public Companies
  8. Part Two. The (Many) Peculiarities of the Income Statement
    1. 5. Profit Is an Estimate
    2. 6. Cracking the Code of the Income Statement
    3. 7. Revenue: The Issue Is Recognition
    4. 8. Costs and Expenses: No Hard-and-Fast Rules
    5. 9. The Many Forms of Profit
    6. Part Two Toolbox:
      1. Understanding Variance
      2. Profit at Nonprofits
      3. A Quick Review: “Percent of” and “Percent Change”
  9. Part Three. The Balance Sheet Reveals the Most
    1. 10. Understanding Balance Sheet Basics
    2. 11. Assets: More Estimates and Assumptions (Except for Cash)
    3. 12. On the Other Side: Liabilities and Equity
    4. 13. Why the Balance Sheet Balances
    5. 14. The Income Statement Affects the Balance Sheet
    6. Part Three Toolbox:
      1. Expense? Or Capital Expenditure?
      2. The Impact of Mark-to-Market Accounting
  10. Part Four. Cash Is King
    1. 15. Cash Is a Reality Check
    2. 16. Profit ≠ Cash (and You Need Both)
    3. 17. The Language of Cash Flow
    4. 18. How Cash Connects with Everything Else
    5. 19. Why Cash Matters
    6. Part Four Toolbox:
      1. Free Cash Flow
      2. Even the Big Guys Can Run Out of Cash
  11. Part Five. Ratios: Learning What the Numbers Are Really Telling You
    1. 20. The Power of Ratios
    2. 21. Profitability Ratios: The Higher the Better (Mostly)
    3. 22. Leverage Ratios: The Balancing Act
    4. 23. Liquidity Ratios: Can We Pay Our Bills?
    5. 24. Efficiency Ratios: Making the Most of Your Assets
    6. 25. The Investor’s Perspective: The “Big Five” Numbers and Shareholder Value
    7. Part Five Toolbox:
      1. Which Ratios Are Most Important to Your Business?
      2. The Power of Percent of Sales
      3. Ratio Relationships
      4. Different Companies, Different Calculations
  12. Part Six. How to Calculate (and Really Understand) Return on Investment
    1. 26. The Building Blocks of ROI
    2. 27. Figuring ROI: The Nitty-Gritty
    3. Part Six Toolbox:
      1. A Step-by-Step Guide to Analyzing Capital Expenditures
      2. Calculating the Cost of Capital;
      3. Economic Value Added and Economic Profit—Putting It All Together
  13. Part Seven. Applied Financial Intelligence: Working Capital Management
    1. 28. The Magic of Managing the Balance Sheet
    2. 29. Your Balance Sheet Levers
    3. 30. Homing In on Cash Conversion
    4. Part Seven Toolbox:
      1. Accounts Receivable Aging
  14. Part Eight. Creating a Financially Intelligent Company
    1. 31. Financial Literacy and Corporate Performance
    2. 32. Financial Literacy Strategies
    3. 33. Financial Transparency: Our Ultimate Goal
    4. Part Eight Toolbox:
      1. Understanding Sarbanes-Oxley
  15. Appendix: Sample Financials
  16. Notes
  17. Acknowledgments
  18. Index
  19. About the Authors