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

ENTREPRENUMBERS

THE SURPRISINGLY SIMPLE PATH TO FINANCIAL CLARITY

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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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“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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