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VINE VOICEon 16 October 2009
I own a couple of businesses but had always left the accounting stuff to my accountants. That's OK up to a point but when you begin to understand the importance of the "numbers" in your business, you cannot, with good conscience, leave it entirely in the hands of others. Whether you like it or not (and I don't), accounts are vital to showing a business what is going wrong, what is going well - and what to do next. No sane business person can ignore this.

Years of "learned helplessness", disinterest and apathy meant I always believed accounting was just something that was beyond me. I tried several books (all of which were very dry) but they all tended to start off simply but become more complex. This book is different and it was this book that finally helped me understand accounting. Whilst it won't make you an accountant (and maybe that's not a bad thing!) it will teach you all you need to know as a business owner or someone working in the accounts department of a small business. I can now talk confidently and more intelligibly about my business figures with my accountant and bank manager but also run my businesses more effectively.

In particular, I liked how the author would often say, "Think of it as X" or "Basically, all it really is, is Y" - that really helped clear up a lot of the concepts and put accounting in "human terms" that were much easier to grasp.

I highly recommend it to any business owner or anyone who has to deal with the day-to-day running of any small-medium business. It will put you in a much better driving position and help you steer your business far more effectively.
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on 30 January 2010
I would recommend this book to anyone undertaking Technician level AAT Accountancy.

You will find many of the graphical examples and explanations very helpful.

A very well written book with good examples for those who already understand the fundamentals of accountancy.
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on 6 February 2008
As an accounting dunce, I've tried to read a lot of books about basic accounting to help improve the skills I need in my business. In my experience, most of these books seem to use a lot of unexplained jargon or fail to put the information into a practical context. This book scores highly on both counts - everything is clearly explained and the examples have been very easy to relate to my own experience.

Highly Recommended.
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on 29 October 2015
I lost my 6th edition so was pleased to see an updated 7th edition had been released. I'm a massive fan of this book already but the 7th edition has very useful updates: a very clear section on how to set up and use accounting software; and two new chapters on public company accounts - what they are and how to interpret them (exceptionally useful given how complex listed company accounts seem to have become).
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on 14 April 2013
I think it would have been good for this book to indicate for whom it was written.

I'm a sole trader working in photography and wanted help to understand book keeping. This year will be the first where I would record all expenses and sales in a simple book keeping software, rather than send everything off only at the end of the year to my accountant.

This book was not written for people in my circumstances, and I don't recommend it for anybody in a similar circumstance. It covers very little on book keeping.

I think this book is best for students perhaps in high school considering accounting as a future career and wanting to know more before taking the plunge, or for an investor who wants to buy shares in a company and wants to understand the basics of an annual report, or also maybe for medium-sized business owners who have been putting off understanding accounting and now want to learn about it, or for someone in a company who wants to understand what the accounting department are doing.
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on 27 September 2010
A fantastic book, so easy to read and the explanations are very clear. I read this book as a complete novice to accounting before I started a college course. It helped me feel like I knew something before I started and actually gave me most of the basic information I need for the course!
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on 11 November 2011
Finally! A book that actually does what it says on the cover. It REALLY does demystify accounts. Profit and loss I always understood but balance sheets I could never understand but now finally I do! Highly recommend !!
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on 15 September 2010
This is a really excellent book. I bought two books from Amazon at the same time - 'The Definitive Guide to Busines Finance' and this one. I only got as far as page 21 before I had completely lost interest in The Definitive Guide - what a load of waffle. By comparison I could hardly put Accounts De Mystified down. By day two I had a set of company accounts analysed and set out on in Excel on my PC. I then went on to analyse and trend key areas of the business over the last 5 years.

I have done some accounts training in the past but there were areas that I never totally understood. P&L's I can do in my sleep but I struggled with Balance Sheets. De Mystified makes it all so simple with lots of visual explanations and simple worked examples. The style is more like a patient friend taking you slowly through the basics and then on to more complicated full business accounts but always checking that you're keeping up.

Buy this book, you wont be disappointed and may even be surprised. I hope, like me, you find it's all a lot simpler than you thought.
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on 24 April 2010
Logical, concise and well written.
Just a great book that explains the fundamentals in a refreshingly digestible way. This has been more help than the £40 textbook for my Accounting course.
Highly recommend.
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on 5 July 2010
A very good and simple guide to accounting.

I have read other books on accounting and each time I get to the point when I realise that I will never understand what it's all about. Reading this book I suddenly realised that it's not accounting that's the deep and impenetrable mystery, it's the way that accounting is explained that causes the confusion.

If, like me, you are confused by the jargon and the peculiar way things seem to work back-to-front then this book will dispel all mystery.

My only gripe is common to all books on accounting that I have read, it tells you how to read other people's accounts but is light on how to go about producing your own.
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