Most helpful critical review
on 21 February 2013
I bought this book as a mandatory text book for my MBA and, although it doesn't deserve a bad review, it is difficult to give it a very good one either.
Firstly, it has to be said it's probably difficult to write an interesting book about accounting - the subject matter is, by definition, quite dry. But I don't feel the authors really make much of an effort to make it more interesting or upbeat.
Saying that, the material covered is wide and goes into some depth, on both financial and management accouting, with roughly half the book dedicated to each. On a few occasions, I really found myself struggling to keep up with the examples. It wasn't just the content, but they often seem to make some jumps from one figure to another without explaining why they are actually doing it, I found myself often flipping between two or three pages to follow what they had said. When I finally gave up and referred to my tutor, the thing that had kept me banging my head against the desk was very simple, and it turned out it was just badly explained. They also have a very annoying habit of referring to a "car" as a "motor car" and this just kind of adds to an "old school" feel for the book.
Often, I found myself reading the introductions to the concepts but then getting alternative explanations from the internet. The concepts are not that hard once you get a feel for them, and I think overall the book could make more of an effort to connect with the reader, and I again get an impression of a stuffy school teacher stuck in the 60s.
But once you get past the niggles, which I appreciate are just subjective - the book covers a wide range of topics, with many many questions at the end of each chapter to test your knowledge. I am glad to be through with the book, but it is a very useful core text, just don't read it on its own - I found the FT Prentice Hall series of Key Ratios a very natural, although unintended, companion to this one.
Saying that, I can't imagine anyone would read this book other than if it were prescribed as a core text so sometimes you just gotta get through it ...