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Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs: What You Really Need to Know About the Numbers Paperback – September 9, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1422119150 ISBN-10: 1422119157 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Press (September 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422119157
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422119150
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“the best, clearest guides to the numbers that I know of.” – Inc. Magazine

About the Author

Karen Berman and Joe Knight founded the Business Literacy Institute. They train managers at some of America's biggest and best-known companies. John Case has written or collaborated on several successful books. He has also written for Inc., Harvard Business Review, and other business publications.

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Customer Reviews

This book is very well written.
BookLover68
This book is really great in helping an individual develop a solid foundation for understanding and applying the financial knowledge within this book.
BT
At Southern Business Consultants we highly recommend this book for owner/operators. www.
J.C. Snowden

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By BookLover68 on January 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is very well written. The authors' style of writing makes this topic easy to absorb. The authors show you how to get insight from the numbers on financial statements and how that insight might affect your decisions. They also discuss some other financial calculations like ROI which was very helpful. Not just for business owners, this information would be helpful for anyone that wants to examine and understand financial statements. Probably the equivalent to a 200 course, this book is very useful by itself. It would also be a great foundation to build your knowledge on.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
Several years ago, I read and reviewed Finance for Managers, one of the volumes in the Harvard Business Essentials series. The material provided in it is drawn from a variety of sources which include William J. Bruns, Jr., Michael J. Roberts, and Robert S. Kaplan as well as Harvard Business School Publishing and Harvard ManageMentor®, an online service. Samuel L. Hayes served as subject advisor to Richard Luecke, author of this and other books in the Harvard Business School Essentials Series as well as more than 30 other books in the series as well as several dozen articles. What we have in Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs, co-authored by Karen Berman and Joe Knight with John Case (also author of Open-Book Management and The Open-Book Experience), are information and advice that respond directly to the needs of those who are planning to launch a new company or have only recently done so. I think the material will also be of substantial benefit to decision-makers in companies that seek to become more entrepreneurial.

At a GE annual meeting, then CEO Jack Welch explained why he thought so highly of "small, sleek" business operations: "For one, they communicate better. Without the din and prattle of bureaucracy, people listen as well as talk; and since there are fewer of them they generally know and understand each other. Second, small companies move faster. They know the penalties for hesitation in the marketplace. Third, in small companies, with fewer layers and less camouflage, the leaders show up very clearly on the screen. Their performance and its impact are clear to everyone. And, finally, smaller companies waste less. They spend less time in endless reviews and approvals and politics and paper drills. They have fewer people; therefore they can only do the important things.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Kirchner on July 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
For those who are investing in a company or their own business, this is a must read book. This book makes analyzing the numbers on the financial statements clearer for those who may need more of an understanding in that area. It has helped me to better evaluate companies that I am interesting in investing in.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dave Kinnear on April 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
In this iteration of their book, Berman and Knight focus on understanding finances for the Entrepreneurs. I have read many books on the financial statements, ratios and indices that apply to businesses, and this book is among the best. In one place there is a clear explanation of the various reports, how the numbers are derived, what they mean and how to organize your company to positively affect the indicators you need and want to change.

The authors also make learning a useful, hands-on and enjoyable experience with worksheets in the appendices using the information for a fictitious company. Of course, the readers are invited to also use their own company's financial data to develop their understanding of the finances. Despite making things easy to understand, the art of accounting is not obscured or ignored. Berman and Knight make it clear that many of the key numbers we use to "dashboard" our businesses are really not much more than estimates. Informed estimates to be sure, yet still, the numbers are subjective rather than fact. The goal of the accounting team is to get the numbers as close to reality as they can. The goal of the financially intelligent leader is to understand where the art ends and the reality begins.

The book starts with five critical questions:

* Do you know whether you will have enough cash to make payroll next month? How about the month after that?
* If you're running a start-up, do you know your burn rate - that is, how fast you are going through your cash?
* Do you know how profitable your company's products or services really are: do you know that you can be running a profitable business and still run out of cash?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jon Thornham on June 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just read two finance books back to back. It has been a while since I studied finance and needed some refreshing. I will say that this is an excellent book but if you are new to finance I highly recommend reading "Financial Statements: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Creating Financial Reports" first and then following up with this book to solidify the concepts. Most books make finance seem like it is an exact science and in reality it is not. This book goes explains in detail how finance is just as much an art.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Brody on November 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
As a classic small business owner who wears every hat, including CFO but not being very good at it, this book is an invaluable resource for me. I am one of those people who picked up Berman and Knight's original Financial Intelligence and said, "Hey, I need this information for myself and my business." The book takes you through the basics of P&Ls and balance sheets and cash flow and all of the financial mumbo jumbo that you aren't taught unless you go to business school, and turns it into tangible, easy to digest concepts that even someone with no financial acumen or education can understand. The most enlightening part of the book is the premise that finances are an art as well as a science. I always believed that numbers are numbers and they don't lie. Berman and Knight set me straight and set me free, teaching me that even as a non-financial expert, I can understand, manage and interpret my own bottom line.
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