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

by: Karen Berman (0)

The book Inc. magazine calls one of "the best, clearest guides to the numbers" on the market.

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.

The Quotes

Profit is based on revenue. Revenue, remember, is recognized when a product or service is delivered, not when the bill is paid.

Remember that many numbers on the income statement reflect estimates and assumptions. Accountants have decided to include some transactions here and not there. They have decided to estimate one way and not another.

Amortization is the same basic idea as depreciation, but it applies to intangible assets.

The Reviews

This book was absolutely amazing!I took about a year of accounting courses in college, but never quite learned the intricacies of financial statement analysis. I wanted to learn not only about corporate finance, but also how to analyze financial statements. Thus, my search was on.After researching book stores and reading forums online, I learned about this book, which I looked up on I love books that get straight to the point, so when I saw that this book covered corporate financial management and financial statement analysis in under 300 pages, I was in!I purchased the book from Amazon and I read it in about two weeks. I literally could not put it down. The authors speak like human beings and actually make math and finance fun and interesting. In those two weeks alone, I not only gained a better understanding of accounting, but I learned how to evaluate investments and make management decisions based on company finances.The book covers income statement analysis, balance sheet analysis, cash flow statement analysis, performance ratios, a bit of inventory management (like a financial intro to lean), and advanced capital expenditure analysis through concepts like discounted cash flow analysis.This book took me from feeling like I'd never understand certain things, to being able to discuss finance like an executive manager.I'm not kidding either, the book dives straight in and explains everything in a no nonsense approach.Financial Intelligence acted like a learning springboard for me by providing a foundation for me to read deeper into finance.I 100% recommend this book to anyone looking for a place to begin their finance studies.

You would think a book on corporate finance would be just plain boring. But this book is refreshing. While it does cover financial concepts, it does so from a managers (or just anyone who works for a living) point of view. The authors constantly address the "why do I care" question.Perhaps the most interesting part of this is how honestly the book covers the art of finance. They go into details about the games that can be played (legal and illegal) to make the financial reports tell the story that "needs" to be told.This is a must-read for anyone who leads teams in corporations or invests in stocks.

Although I have an extensive background in Finance, I chose to read this book to brush up my basics to progress in my career. To be honest, this book is one of the best investments I've made. It is one of the most simplified versions of understanding the core of any business i.e. its financial statements. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to either learn the financial side of business or simply re-touch with the basics in their free time. Very well written and excellent examples throughout each chapter make it very interesting and relatable in the real world.

I do have a few years (decades) of experience in the field - and many moons ago I completed most of the coursework for Ph.d. in accounting before deciding academia was not where I wanted to be. I taught the subject at the University level for more than 5 years and now train on this subject internationally. My background also includes working as an auditor and many years wearing the corporate controllers hat. I say this because I want to make clear that this book is not just for beginners, or people without a background in the field. I recommend this book to everyone. Accounting and finance are not easy subjects especially if you jump in and start with the technical aspects of it. Put simply the better you understand the numbers - the better your business decisions will be. I view this book as providing an excellent foundation - the more you build your core knowledge of the subject the better. Remember the key in business is making better business decisions - don't be overly impressed by people who can spout GAAP at you with in terms you don't understand. The real experts can, and should, be able to translate the rules in a fashion that aids in understanding (1) why the rule is there in the first place, and (2) how it impacts you business and the decisions it makes.This book is written in a fashion that will not put even non-accountants to sleep and it paints enough pictures with examples of accounting misdeeds to keep it interesting - and to really drive home how seemingly innocuous (in some cases) changes to how transactions are recorded and paint a very different picture of the health of an organization.If you are in business / work - do yourself, your future and your business a favor by increasing your understanding of the numbers. This book is a great place to start....

Had to purchase this for a financial class I’m taking but was blown away by how EASY everything was to read and how well and SIMPLY it was explained. They left out the complicated financial jargon and explained concepts in the simplest way with great examples. I finally understand things that I haven’t been able to after like 3 accounting courses!!! Lol

Very good book! If you have no financial experience in your company and want to get there, this will help tremendously. I listen while I drive and then read in the rare slow moments of life. The way they lay it out helps non-financial management get a much clearer picture of what a business should and shouldn't be doing with their numbers.

This was exactly what I was looking for! The best financial book I've ever read for non-financial managers. It really helped my understanding of corporate finance. I think very helpful for a small business owner as well to understand their business and starting thinking like a big business when making important financial decisions. It's important to note that this is not an accounting book (as the authors stated) and details of charts of accounts are left out. That said, it was clearly stated what the purpose was and it nailed it. I've purchased the book for my son who is in college studying business and was confused by his professors - I think it will help him clear things up. I plan on buying more for my colleagues. As crazy as it sounds, it was hard to put down - I just kept wanting to read more as it explained all the voodoo finance so well. Every business owner, sales rep, manager or anyone wishing to understand how finance is used for decision making should buy this book.

Great book to introduce you to the key concepts of finance, as they apply to every person in a company. If you're working in finance, you likely already know this information, but if you're in any other department, it is the perfect book. Easy to read, easy to understand, and I have been able to apply the ideas right away. I wish this was the introductory text in MBA programs - great place to start, as finance is, more than anything, a language. I am in sales and found the ideas a great reminder of how to position the financial value of by products. I encourage anyone who wants to get ahead in their job to read this, and then think about your company and how to apply the ideas. In this day and age, financial intelligence is critical to getting ahead!

This book is great. Makes accounting for non accountants easy to understand. Having my managers read it too

As a non-accountant with some basic financial knowledge, this book was just what I needed to boost my knowledge a bit further. Thank you.

I'll start with what this book is NOT. It's not for anyone who intends to assume an accounting or finance function. And it's not for anyone looking to become an expert one myriad of rules that govern decisions made by accountants and finance team leads.This book is for the manager or executive who needs just enough financial decision making chops to know where to look for the bodies, and which questions to ask. Magically the book manages not to be dry; a herculean feat for a book on this topic. Ultimately, It teaches how an individual skilled in the art of finance approaches problem solving. Which is exactly what you should be seeking to understand as a cross-functional leader in a modern organization.I'm recommending it to everyone on my team as a must-read.

Financial Intelligence, Revised Edition: A Manager's Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean
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kindle: $22.10
hardcover: $9.28
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