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Accounting For Dummies, 4th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-05235-8
408 pages
April 2011
Accounting For Dummies, 4th Edition (1118052358) cover image


Learn the basics of practical accounting easily and painlessly with Accounting For Dummies, 4th Edition, which features new information on accounting methods and standards to keep you up to date. With this guide, you can avoid accounting fraud, minimize confusion, maximize profits, and make sense of accounting basics with this plain-English guide to your accountant’s language. Understand how to manage inventory, report income and expenses for public or private companies, evaluate profit margins, analyze business strengths and weaknesses, and manage budgets for a better bottom line.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Opening the Books on Accounting 11

Chapter 1: Accounting: The Language of Business, Investing, Finance, and Taxes 13

Chapter 2: Financial Statements and Accounting Standards 31

Chapter 3: Bookkeeping and Accounting Systems 53

Part II: Figuring Out Financial Statements 75

Chapter 4: Reporting Revenue, Expenses, and the Bottom Line 77

Chapter 5: Reporting Assets, Liabilities, and Owners' Equity 97

Chapter 6: Reporting Cash Flows 119

Chapter 7: Choosing Accounting Methods: Different Strokes for Different Folks 137

Part III: Accounting in Managing a Business 159

Chapter 8: Deciding the Legal Structure for a Business 161

Chapter 9: Analyzing and Managing Profit 183

Chapter 10: Financial Planning, Budgeting, and Control 205

Chapter 11: Cost Concepts and Conundrums 223

Part IV: Preparing and Using Financial Reports 245

Chapter 12: Getting a Financial Report Ready for Release 247

Chapter 13: How Lenders and Investors Read a Financial Report 271

Chapter 14: How Business Managers Use a Financial Report 293

Chapter 15: Audits and Accounting Fraud 311

Part V: The Part of Tens 321

Chapter 16: Ten Accounting Tips for Managers 323

Chapter 17: Ten Tips for Reading a Financial Report 333

Glossary: Slashing Through the Accounting Jargon Jungle 343

Index 357

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Author Information

John A. Tracy (Boulder, Colorado) is Professor of Accounting, Emeritus, at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Before his 35-year tenure at Boulder, he was on the business faculty for four years at the University of California in Berkeley. Early in his career he was a staff accountant with Ernst & Young. John is the author of several books on accounting and finance, including The Fast Forward MBA in Finance, How To Read a Financial Report, and Small Business Financial Management Kit For Dummies with his son Tage Tracy. John received his BSC degree from Creighton University. He earned his MBA and PhD degrees at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He is a CPA (inactive) in Colorado.
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