Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs: What You Really Need to Know About the Numbers Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

ISBN-13: 978-1422119150
ISBN-10: 1422119157
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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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4221 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (October 7, 2008)
  • Publication Date: October 7, 2008
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005DI8XV2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,598 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback
Berman and Knight have done the impossible - make finance clear, interesting, even fun! Finance is not one of my favorite topics. I typically nod off when engaged in finance-related conversations or sitting in yet another, interminable budget meeting. But I actually found myself looking forward to picking up this book, whenever I had time to read, for yet another discussion of balance sheets, profitability ratios, and yes, my personal favorite, EBITs.

I wish I had this book years ago. Their explanations are clear, their ripped-from-the-headlines examples are relevant and compelling, and their writing style is lively. Their frequent playful and humorous asides help to humanize the material.

There are many helpful features in this book. Among my favorites are the embedded glossary (definitions that appear on the page where the expressions are first used rather than at the end, requiring the reader to flip back and forth) and the toolbox at the end of each Part that gives the reader a hands on opportunity to try out the concepts they have just learned. I also appreciated their emphasis on finance as art not science, subject to assumptions, biases, even manipulation and fraud. I guess I knew that, but I didn't realize just how subjective it can be. Another discussion that I also found very helpful was the difference between cash and profit, and the relationship between the two. I thought that their description of this critical topic was especially lucid, lifting the fog that usually accompanies my attempts to understand, and most important, apply this concept.

This book is a must read for any human resource professional. No longer will we be sloughed off to the side when money, not people, is the main topic at hand. Armed with this book, we can participate fully in these conversations and even influence the outcomes by demonstrating how human resources - the people and the function - can help the organization make more money.
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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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