Accounting is a complex field, and mastering it might take years of specialized degrees and extensive learning. Fortunately, by reading a few books and using online resources, you can learn the basics and help your business tremendously. To make your research easier, we collected the top five accounting books in 2024—read on to see all of them below.
How We Selected The 5 Books Below
As renowned investor Warren Buffett once said, accounting is the language of business. Therefore, even if you aren't an accountant by trade, knowing the fundamentals is helpful if you own a business, work for one, or hold a leadership position in a not-for-profit organization.
Thankfully, there are several publications available to help. Based on our analysis and the opinions of other unbiased reviewers, we've compiled a list of the top seven here. To make it easier for you to select a book (or books) that will suit your specific needs, we have classified them by topic. We have also given each book a rating based on the quantity and quality of the information it provides.
1. The Best Accounting Book In General: Accounting All-in-One for Dummies
Accounting All-in-One for Dummies, a part of the popular Dummies series on every possible subject, has been a bestseller in its category since its second edition in 2018. A third version, released on August 30, 2022, hasn't received much attention but seems quite comparable.
The term "all-in-one" alludes to the fact that the book's 700+ pages are broken down into nine distinct "books" on various accounting topics, beginning with "Setting up Your Accounting System" and concluding with "Auditing and Detecting Financial Fraud."
The second edition's preface states that its target audience includes "an investor who needs to understand how to make sense of financial statements," as well as "an accountant, accountant-to-be, a businessperson who has to know about some part of company accounting." Because higher-level arithmetic is "the reason we have accounting software," the book also assumes that readers are somewhat comfortable with fundamental math.
2. The Best Accounting Book For Non-Accountants: Accounting for Non-Accountants
Accounting for Non-Accountants is a 210-page paperback that is simple to read and covers the fundamentals of accounting for companies of all sizes, though it will probably be most useful to smaller ones.
It is currently in its third version, published in 2013, and illustrates how to create a balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, and other standard documents using a hypothetical small business that manufactures, fixes, and sells bicycles.
It also demonstrates how to establish a master budget, general journal, and general ledger. Throughout the text, helpful glossaries of pertinent terminology may be found.
In addition to being a certified public accountant (CPA), the author, Wayne A. Label, also has a Ph.D. in accounting. Although Label says at the conclusion of the book that he is considering a fourth edition, the current version is this one. Contabilidad Financiera Para No Contadores, a Spanish-language edition of the book, is also available.
Read more about Accounting Conventions, And Why Do They Matter?
3. The Best Accounting Book For Small Business Owners: Accounting QuickStart Guide
The two publications mentioned above are only two of many books available today that may familiarize small company owners with the fundamentals of accounting.
The Accounting QuickStart Guide, on the other hand, stands out for its upbeat attitude, clarity, and comprehensiveness (all in just 213 pages), making it a wise pick for busy business owners with a lot on their minds.
The book includes a helpful chapter on tax issues in addition to an excellent introduction to the fundamentals of accounting and bookkeeping.
According to his biography, CPA Josh Bauerle specializes in assisting internet company entrepreneurs. The third version of this book, which was released in 2018, is the most recent revision.
4. The Best Accounting Book For Investors: Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements
Beginning with a quote from the renowned "Oracle of Omaha," Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements states in part:
"Unless you are ready to put in the effort to study accounting—how to read and analyze financial statements—you really shouldn't choose stocks yourself."
Numerous books have been created that intend to summarize Warren Buffett's investment advice, but this one has the benefit of being written by an actual Buffett: Mary Buffett, his former daughter-in-law, who co-authored it with David Clark, a lifelong "Buffettologist." (Yes, that is what they are referred to as.)
This book, published in 2011, focuses mostly on studying business financial records to identify companies with dependable long-term profit potential. The team has previously cooperated on a few dozen publications together.
5. The Best Accounting Book For Accounting Terminology: The Dictionary of Accounting.
Many accounting terminologies have definitions that are easily accessible online, including on Wafeq’s learning content base. However, the 480-page Dictionary of Accounting from Oxford University Press might be a good option for a quick desk reference.
It offers more than 3,800 definitions of terminology used in accounting not just in the United States but also in the United Kingdom, Australia, India, and Asia-Pacific. The fifth edition of this dictionary was released in 2016, making it the most recent edition.
Dictionary of Finance and Banking and Dictionary of Business and Management are two further business-related publications in the Oxford Quick Reference series, both of which are edited by Law.
Unfortunately, the field of accounting has a reputation for being challenging, if not downright boring.
Fortunately, certain books are easy to understand and may assist anybody who wants to learn the fundamentals of accounting that are pertinent to their own business (and perhaps nothing more than that).
Two of the many accounting-related books in the widely accessible Dummies series, including our best-of selection, Accounting All-in-One for Dummies, made our "best" list. However, readers might choose to start with a shorter introduction first, like Accounting for Non-Accountants, if the book's 752 pages are too frightening.
If you’d like to learn about accounting, but don’t have the time to read entire books, check out Wafeq’s comprehensive accounting knowledge base with countless articles about all areas of the field—see you there!
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