Customer Reviews

204
4.6 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

551 of 553 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
A solid foundation is critical to understanding concepts. So you'd think most books would spend a lot of time ensuring and clarifying the basics, right? Wrong! Simply not true! Most of the accounting/finance books just don't get into clarifying the very basics - the confusing array of terms used, how they fit together, what they actually mean in a realworld setting, etc.

This book - a must on every managers shelf - adds value by providing clear and consise definitions and relates them visually. The chapter on connections ties a lot of information together with such ease. Above all the step by step examples go a long long way into clarfying any remaining confusion you'd have. Its very easy to read. You'd probably finish it over a weekend. So its tremendous bang for buck.

Clearly the first introductory book one should read. There are plenty of good books for the next level (IMHO).

**_Simply go get it - read it. Enjoy the clarity in your decision making. Highly recommended._**

Here is a list of books that might also help.
Introductory level:
1. Financial statements (Thomas Ittelson, this book)
2. How to use financial statements: A guide to understanding the numbers (James Bandler)
3. How to read a financial report: wringing vital signs out of numbers (John A. Tracy)

Next Level:
4. Financial Statement Analysis: the investors self study to interpretting & analyzing financial statements, revised edition (Charles J. Woelfel)
5. Analysis For Financial Management (Robert C. Higgins) - This is one excellent book.
6. Techniques Of Financial Analysis: A Modern Approach (Eric A. Helfert)
7. Finance & Accounting for Nonfinancial Managers (Steven A. Finkler)

MBA Level:
7. The Analysis And Use Of Financial Statements (Gerald White, Sondhi, et. al) - dense reading (plus the plain format of this version of the book is sure to make you fall asleep. Hats off to you if you can read this book cover to cover. :).)
8. Also Corporate Finance: theory and practice (Damodaran) has a very good advanced level introductory chapter. Pick it up at a library and ...

If you had to buy 1 book:
I'd recommend - #1 above.

If you could buy 2 books (over time):
I'd recommend - #1 and #5 above.

If you could buy 3 books (for an in depth managerial understanding):
I'd recommend - #1, #5 and #6 above.

#7 - has a decent cd of spreadsheets for ready use (proforma cash flows, ledgers, etc; very handy)

Good luck!
1414 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
150 of 154 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2004
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've been buying from Amazon.com for at least 5 years but this is my first review. I am 3/4 of the way through Ittelson's book and I want to write this review while my enthusiasm is still burning white hot.
Ittelson has a gift that few experts have. He anticipates all my newbie/beginner stupid questions. Here I am on page 169 wondering why paying payroll taxes doesn't show up on the Income Statement. Sure enough, right after I've wondered to myself why there is no transaction on the Income Statement, I see his note explaining that these payroll tax expenses were put on the Income Statement when the goods were shipped, "not when the actual payment is made."
As soon as the little voice in my head asks, "But why did they do it *this* way?" Ittelson gives me the answer.
I give Ittelson a lot of credit for this. After you've studied something for years, as he clearly has, it's often almost impossible to see the subject with the eyes of a beginner. Believe me, I'm a teacher, I know how difficult it can be.
The first part of the book examines the three basic statements line-by-line: Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement, and Balance Sheet.
The largest part of the book sounds incredibly dry and dull. Each even-numbered page displays all three financial statements: Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement, and Balance Sheet. The odd-numbered page explains a business transation: paying payroll taxes, for example. The transaction's impact on the three financial statements is displayed on the even-numbered page.
Believe it or not, Ittelson makes it interesting to read about these business transactions. He creates a narrative about starting a business and running it. Along the way, he offers a few humorous pearls of business wisdom. This is dry, technical stuff but he makes it entertaining without ever sacrificing explanatory precision.
This is a great book for anyone who feels they need to sharpen their skills with financial statements. I've read short descriptions of financial statements before but it never sank in. What's great about Ittelson's book is that first he gives very clear definitions of key terms and then he takes you step-by-step through each business transaction and how it is reflected on the financial statements.
I wish I had read this book more than 10 years ago when I first started in the business world. I assume that you learn this stuff if you have an MBA. But I didn't. This gives one a solid grounding in the brass tacks of the business world.
This book has been of enormous value to me. It is an essential reference for anyone who needs to understand what business finances are about.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Wow, what a great book! I am a technical professional enrolled in a graduate business degree program, and until now the plethora of financial and accounting terminology and rules has been bewildering for me. That is no longer true after buying this book. I have primarily used it as a reference book, and without fail any explanation I have needed has been easy to find, clear and concise.
I am no longer in the financially confused majority, largely thanks to this book. The author's education is in biochemistry (as is my undergraduate education), and because he originally came from the hard sciences where clarity and accuracy are valued above all else he was better able to be clear and easy to understand in comparison to many business school authors who seem to thrive on jargon and platitudes.
This is a great book to have on the reference shelf. If you are involved with business finance or investment analysis it is simply the best book available on the subject and should be considered indispensable!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
95 of 103 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2009
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I got this book to read on my kindle. And while it's a great book and is filled with tons of sound business advice, I do not recommend you buy it for the kindle, and here's why:

Almost 60% of this book is formatted in a way that relies on you having two opposing pages. The idea is that on the right page you read a description of a transaction that a company makes, while on the opposing left page you see how that same transaction is tabulated in the relevant financial statements.

The problem with the kindle is that you only have one page. So you first see how an entry is made on the Balance Sheet/Cash Flow Statement/Income Statement , then, after skipping the page, you read about the transaction the company made to affect those changes. So in a way it's like your friends telling you what they think of a movie before you actually watch the movie to know what they're talking about.

In other words, do buy this book, but not on a kindle..
55 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
As I have had the occassion to prepare financial statements and reports on spreadsheet, I frequently found that when I had a basic (i.e., elementary) question about how to prepare the accounting entries, the chances were good that I would find the answer in this book. The last time I had such an accounting question, I promised myself that if this book would have the answer that I would write a review on Amazon. Sure enough it did!

While the book gets only skin deep on accounting concepts, it does an excellent job in deconstructing how the Income Statement, Statement of Cash Flows, and Balance Sheet are changed. It literally shows the statements before the change, the individual line item changes, and the statements after the change. It does this case by case for about thirty or so, commonly occuring accounting entries during the regular business cycle.

Very few accounting related books make explicit what happens the way this book does. While the book skips a lot of details, it has proven very useful and is well worth the price. I highly recommend it.

Incidently, another book which covers practical presents techniques that can be used in accounting and financial related spreadsheets is "Excel Best Practices for Business".
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
I took an accounting class...and I had difficulty interpreting the financial statements. So I gambled to buy this book with a hope to unravel the mystery on financial statements. It really worked!!! I read half of the book in less than a day. The information was methodically presented in a concise and clear manner. There are hands-on examples that systematically connect financial statements to business transactions. Overall, the knowledge gained exceeds multiple folds of the time and money invested on this book!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
When trying to start or run a buisness, knowing how to handle one's accounts and finances can become a very important issue for the small buisness owner. As I read this book, the complex ways of keeping a buisness's records became much clearer to me, so much that I was able to fully comprehend the meanings and motives behind the ways that the book was written. I reccomend this book, mainly because I believe it is of great use to anyone who wishes to learn a great deal about finacial statements.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
After having read many financial textbooks, I think this book is amazing. The author did an excellent and remarkable work. To begin with, he took in very serious consideration his audience, which is people with poor knowledge in finance. Thus, his book is very easy-to-read and its content very explicit. Every single financial term is clarified with a layman's language. Moreover, for every single term, there is a very understandable example. Likewise, in every page there is a sheet explaining all the transactions. I strongly believe that this book is a masterpiece for non financial managers.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Of five books on the subject I reviewed, this one was the clearest, most comprehensive, introduction to the subject of understanding financial statements.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
In my job, I have to review other company's financial statements, I do not draft them myself. While this book is a very useful introduction to financial statements, it focuses more on internal accounting and not higher level issues that someone reviewing financial statements would need. I would definitely recommend it as a good primer on financial statements, but it does not get into the anaylsis of financial statements that certain people (like myself) might find useful.
55 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed


 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.