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.