This isn’t your typical “What are the best books for accountants to read?” post.
Sure, I’ll be sharing the obvious reads. I’ll also be suggesting books (and online publications) that likely have never appeared on a listicle like this before. Some titles may surprise you.
Check out these top-rated reads that accounting and finance professionals are finding the most useful and entertaining.
What are the best books for accountants to read?
For accounting beginners
Are you an accountant if you’re brand new to accounting? The answer is “yes,” since an accountant is defined as “a person whose job is to keep, inspect and analyze financial accounts.”
As these titles suggest, anyone who’s interested in strengthening their financial literacy will benefit from reading books about the basics. Whether you’re new to accounting or want to brush up on subjects you discussed during your freshman year, give these titles a gander.
Accounting Made Simple by Mike Piper
In this read—available via PDF on several websites—Mike Piper explains accounting in 100 pages (or less). Piper promises zero technical jargon as he covers:
- The Accounting Equation and why it matters
- The Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
- Preparing financial statements
- A lot more
The Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh From the Lemonade Stand by Darrell Mullis and Judith Orloff
Seeing this book cover brings me back. Not to my own childhood lemonade stand, but to “The Office” scene in which Oscar (the accountant) is explaining to Michael (the boss) the meaning of “surplus.”
And while the book doesn’t promise to explain it to the reader “like [they’re] five” (as Michael requests)—it does take an elementary approach.
“This book uses the world of a kid’s lemonade stand to teach the basics of financial language and records. You’ll run your own lemonade stand and make it grow…. As you run your stand, you’ll begin to understand and apply financial terms and concepts…” (goodreads.com)
Accounting for Dummies by John A. Tracy and Tage C. Tracy
The long-standing “dummies” franchise is at it again. Aimed at “the everyday person,” this book promises to teach:
- The ABCs of accounting
- How to read and understand financial statements
- Budget and forecast building
- Profitable business plan modeling
- And more!
The Joy of Accounting by Peter Frampton and Mark Robilliard
“The Joy of Accounting” takes a new approach to accounting. A book for anyone who wishes to become “accounting literate,” this read delves into an entirely revolutionary method of accounting—the Color Accounting BaSIS Framework™. It promises to teach anyone from high school students to sales agents to anyone who wishes “to communicate more powerfully about money matters” and financial literacy.
From the forward:
“Accounting is ubiquitous and so deeply embedded in our lives that we’ve lost sight of it. It’s become the water that fish will never discover. It’s everywhere in your life, enabling almost everything you do, from catching a bus to building or renting your house to supporting your preferred charity to shopping and saving.” The Joy of Accounting, 2020
For thought leader fans
Now onto the reads that aren’t available in hardcover or paperback—accounting thought leader publications.
Accounting thought leaders are folks who have been in the profession for decades. They’re professionals who have seen accounting transition from physical books and binders to, well, digital books and binders.
Prominent themes like “accounting event coverage” to “preparing for tax season” are at the forefront of their minds. But less-talked-about topics—like the little-known COVID-19 virus in January 2020—are also introduced.
- Thomson Reuters PPC Accounting and Auditing Update newsletter*
*The Thomson Reuters PPC Accounting and Auditing Update newsletter is available via paid subscription here.
For the security-savvy
Accounting isn’t the only subject that accountants are interested in—or should be interested in. So, when forming the “best books for accountants to read” list, we decided to include publications outside the accounting sphere.
Subjects like security, artificial intelligence (AI), investing and crypto are covered here.
To inform this list, we checked in with Roman Kepczyk (Director of Firm Technology Strategy). Here are some of his favorite sites, mixed in with a few of our own.
- ZDNet: Find your global tech news, advice, insights and research about the latest trends and innovations.
- Wired: From “Good Tea” to “Gear”—Wired has what you need, if what you need is a break from accounting-focused publications.
- Forbes: You know Forbes; you may even love Forbes. Count on financial, investing, product and (sometimes) pop-culture news from this iconic site.
- Threatpost: Deeming itself “the first stop for security news,” Threatpost articles don’t skimp on what’s scary. (We suggest keeping the lights on while you read.)
- Techcrunch: A home for anyone interested in “top-notch reporting on the business of the tech industry.”
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As we kick off into the throes of tax season, don’t forget to take frequent breaks to recharge…maybe even with one of those reads in tow.
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