Radically Simple Accounting

June 11, 2012

Business analyst Madeline Bailey turns her intuitive eye to an issue faced by individuals and business owners alike: the problem of accounting. A complex topic for everyone from students to homeowners to entrepreneurs (although this audio book mainly focuses on small businesses), accounting is a field that most people never receive any kind of formal education in. Did you know there are people who don’t know how to balance a checkbook or a budget, much less manage the complicated finances that go along with running a business? In “Radically Simple Accounting: A Way out of the Dark and Into the Profit”, Bailey offers not only insight into this common problem, but also a means for the average Joe to improve his financial prowess and feel confident interacting with the many accounting professionals he may deal with in regards to his personal and/or business finances. And her methods are surprisingly straightforward.

This audio book starts with a simple statement: “You need to learn accounting – it is the language of business.” From there, Baily launches into a lengthy diatribe about personal responsibility. In truth, you can probably gloss over the first couple of sections (chapters 1 and 2), which basically cover why you should learn accounting for yourself instead of relying on others to handle it for you. Skip right to the heart of the matter with the third section, Managing Bookkeepers and Financial Advisors. From there you will uncover a wealth of information, much of it specific and aimed at helping you to determine the best way to go about approaching your finances (figuring out how accounting can help you at the personal or professional level based on your particular circumstances).

Bailey had the sense to start at the beginning with topics like how to choose the right financial advisor, and from there she begins your personal education into the wide world of accounting. Should you operate your accounts by the calendar year or the fiscal year? What is a balance sheet statement and how do you format your own? She even discusses defining and designing your business model so that you start off on the right foot financially. And of course, she goes over accounting practices for every facet of your business (as well as your life outside the office).

To say that this audio book is comprehensive is a gross underrepresentation. And yet, despite the in-depth knowledge provided, the content is surprisingly easy to swallow in Bailey’s capable hands. She provides listeners with the ability to communicate with those in the accounting world at the very least, including tax professionals, bookkeepers, and other types of accountants. But she takes it a step further, offering a skillset that will allow you to set up your own accounting charts, complete with categorizations, as a way to track everything yourself, generate your own financial reports, and ultimately use accounting practices to help yourself or your business earn a profit. While you may not learn anything quite as advanced as how to set up a virtual data rooms for M&A attorneys, for example, you will glean enough information to manage the accounting for your own household or small business like a pro.

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