Zahoor Bargir, a qualified accountant and consultant, offers an excellent guide to business finance for newcomers with his book, Unpuzzling Finance.
Bargir, a United Kingdom-based finance trainer, has a knack for breaking complicated subjects down to the basics. The book’s goals are modest: to help readers gain an understanding of the cash flow statement, profit and loss account, and balance sheet, plus offer an introduction to fixed and variable costs, invoicing and accruals, and budgeting. But even these basics can be overwhelming to novices, and Unpuzzling Finance demystifies the workings and meanings of these documents by providing plenty of simple, realistic situations. In an ongoing example, a fictional cupcake business gets started with loans, incurs costs, and eventually, produces income; Bargir takes each event and shows how it would be recorded, and why.
Each chapter contains plenty of charts to show, not just tell, and offers review questions at the end of each chapter to help reinforce what’s been discussed. Also present throughout the book, although less effective, are several one-panel cartoons, which break things up visually, but don’t add much in terms of comprehension or humor. A glossary at the end of the book is a useful addition for easy reference.
There are many finance books on the market, but Bargir’s contribution has clear value. His tone and delivery is perfect for engaging people who might fear any mention of numbers or finance, and he makes clear the reasons why anyone managing a business should be familiar with the subjects in this book, but doesn’t overcomplicate the matter. There are a number of examples of “British English” throughout the book, but this has little effect on the information being delivered: Unpuzzling Finance should prove just as effective in the United States as it would in the United Kingdom.
When it comes to teaching the basics of finance, Unpuzzling Finance is all business. Short, sweet, and direct, it will prove a valuable resource for readers.
Also available as an ebook.