A highly readable mystery-dispelling introduction for entrepreneurs to the world of accounting.



An accountant proposes a new vision of his profession for the 21st century.

“Imagine how much better your business would be if you understood with perfect clarity all of the stories buried inside your financial statements and you could make decisions based on sound financial data, not just a hunch,” writes Sheinin in his nonfiction debut. “Also imagine if you could do that intuitively and quickly, without having to dig into the details of your financial statements.” Sheinin, drawing on his 20 years as a CPA and as founder of Shift Financial Insights, seeks in these pages to declutter and streamline the conversation between accountants and entrepreneurs, maintaining that his profession has largely failed entrepreneurs. “We have been handing them financial statements in our language, the language we went to school for several years to learn, expecting them to know what to do with it,” he writes. “They don’t, and they never will.” Sheinin lays out the accounting basics for the entrepreneurial reader, explaining the rudiments of how to read accounting charts and graphs and how to follow accounting processes (he also periodically addresses advice directly to other accountants). Some of his advice is fairly commonplace, involving basic tips like “don’t lose sight of the big picture.” But most of the book consists of clearly expressed explanations that could be invaluable to any reader who lacks an accounting background or who has one but could use a refresher course (or is wondering how to explain vital concepts to accounting clients). Sheinin is an able, enthusiastic guide to his financial craft, slowly increasing the complexity of the material he covers as he layers the information from simple to advanced, giving entrepreneurs parallel paths depending on their circumstances. Entrepreneurs, bookkeepers, and business owners of all kinds will get a good deal of use out of Sheinin’s insights.

A highly readable mystery-dispelling introduction for entrepreneurs to the world of accounting.

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5445-0418-6

Page Count: 260

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.


“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.


Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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