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How to Read a Financial Report: Wringing Vital Signs Out of the Numbers 7th Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470405307
ISBN-10: 0470405309
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

JOHN A. TRACY is an award-winning Professor of Accounting, Emeritus, at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His other books include The Fast Forward MBA in Finance, Second Edition, Accounting For Dummies, Fourth Edition, and Accounting Workbook For Dummies, all published by Wiley.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 7 edition (May 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470405309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470405307
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.7 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is great for anyone ranging from beginner to intermediate knowledge of financial reports. I have taken accounting and finance classes in college. This book tells the same things that 600 page textbooks and hours and hours of lecture can tell you, but it does so in an easy to understand and concise manner.
Most important it explains the relationships clearly between the income statement, balance sheet, and cashflow statement. This book would be great for anyone starting an education in finance or for any investor trying to broaden their knowledge base. If you invest in stocks, you should learn how to read financial statements. This book will give you some much needed knowledge that you can use as you scour for companies to invest in.
This author takes pride in his writing. John A. Tracy is a professor of accounting, but his knack for concise explanations and the clear use of the English language is evident throughout.
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Format: Paperback
As a teacher of business management, I have found the one component of training that often frustrates most students is understanding and preparing a cash flow statement, profit and loss statement and a balance sheet. This book is written in a manner which certainly simplifies the understanding of the statements, but it would definitely be a plus if the reader had some prior knowledge of basic accounting principles.
Financial statements are, for some, a challenge and one they can easily master with an understanding of basic accounting. For others with no prior knowledge of accounting, financial statements can be a nightmare. While this book will HELP TO SIMPLIFY the matter, without some previous experience the book may be quite confusing. First of all, one should at least be familiar with general accounting terminology. If you are, it will simplify this book enormously and make the learning experience more enjoyable. However, be prepared to sit down and devote your utmost concentration to the book. The subject matter is not one that can be mastered by skimming through the book in an evening or two. For many individuals, understanding financial statements is a course that takes months to completely understand. Some learn the process easily, others never master the challenge no matter how long or hard they try. The degree of success usually depends, in part, on apptitude, commitment and previous knowledge and experience of the reader.
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Format: Paperback
I have used this book to teach people with absolutely no training in accounting to understand financial statements. It appeals to non-quantitative and quantitative audiences alike. Non-quantitative audiences appreciate the plain language in which the book is written. Quantitative audiences immediately see how financial statements are laid out from a modelling point of view and invariably start coding up spreadsheets. People who need to explain anything related to financial statements should thoroughly read this book to see how clearly this topic can be treated.
Another aspect of this book is the ratio of success-to-effort one gets out of reading this book. Professsor Tracy's experience and time spent thinking about this topic is clearly demonstrated by his ability to explain just enough to allow even the rank beginner to understand financial statements.
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Format: Hardcover
As an MBA student and a director of a small business, I doubt I have read a more useful book. Together with his 'Budgeting a la Carte', John Tracy cuts to the heart of company financials in a very clear and readable manner. I never thought I'd sit up and get excited about this subject, but these 2 books really shed light on the nuts and bolts of company finance without being long winded or dull. A 'must read' for anybody trying to get to grips with this subject and any small business owner not trained in accounting. Well done Mr Tracy!
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Format: Paperback
Everyone is familiar with the "Dummies" book series, and, perhaps, we all have a dozen of them on our shelves. In many cases, we reach for the "Dummies" books, because they represent our first foray into a subject we know nothing about, like "Fishing for Dummies," and we feel like we need to get a "handle" on it. In other words, we are non-experts, we'd like to learn from the experts, but we don't want to become an expert. We just want to "understand" the subject, so that we don't look stupid at work or during cocktail party conversations.

The big "letdown" with most "Dummies" books I've read is that they're too wordy, too thin on substance, and you feel like you're wanting more. THIS IS NOT THE CASE WITH "HOW TO READ A FINANCIAL REPORT" BY JOHN TRACY.

Instead, Tracy's book is that rare book for "non-majors" that is written clearly, does not require prior knowledge of the subject, and may be all that a "non-financial" manager, such as a salesperson, marketing manager, office manager -- or maybe even an individual investor -- might need to understand how to read balance sheet.

Tracy's book is far from wordy, and, clocking in at around 100 pages, it is pithy. More importantly, the book is extremely well-illustrated in such a way that the reader is not treated to financial concepts, but is actually taught the "skill" of reading an income statement, a balance sheet or a cash flow report, something which "Fishing for Dummies" has yet to do for me.

With Tracy's book, I will never have to read a 400-page tome on accounting or finance. If I am in trouble, I'll simply need to read this book, never confusing "net" and "gross" again.
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