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About Thomas R. Ittelson
Thomas R. Ittelson is an expert at translating complicated financial topics in an accessible way for non-financial audiences. He is a natural scientist by training (Harvard University in biochemistry) and an entrepreneur. His successes and challenges in for-profit business helped him develop his own accounting acumen and style. He shared that knowledge with others in a book for non-financial managers that has sold over 200,000 copies (Financial Statements: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Creating Financial Reports, Second Edition, Career Press).
Tom’s recent work with nonprofits led him to recognize that non-financial nonprofit board members, managers and staff all require a simple working knowledge of accounting and financial statements to do their job.
With his new book, Nonprofit Accounting & Financial Statements: An Overview for Board, Management, and Staff, Tom’s audacious nonprofit “mission” is to significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of U.S. public charities by improving financial literacy within those organizations.
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Over 200,000 copies sold!
Thomas R. Ittelson’s master work for entrepreneurs, non-financial managers, business students, lawyers, lenders, and investors—the bestselling book of its kind, with over 200,000 copies in print—has gotten even better with this 20th anniversary edition.
Ittelson is an expert at translating complicated financial topics in an accessible way for non-financial audiences. In this book, he empowers readers by clearly and simply demonstrating how the three major accounting statements interact to offer a snapshot of a company's financial health.
This book teaches readers how to use specialized accounting vocabulary and makes accessible the structure and purpose of the three major numeric statements that describe a company’s financial condition. Each statement paints a different and essential picture—the “three-legged stool” of company reporting:
- The income statement shows the manufacturing (or service offerings) and selling actions of the company that result in profit or loss during a period. It gives a very important perspective on the company’s performance, its profitability.
- The cash flow statement details cash into and out of the company for a period. You need money to make money. Running out of cash is bad. Duh.
- The balance sheet records at the end of a period, an instant in time, what the company owns and what it owes, including the owners’ stake, called shareholders’ equity.
With two new major topic sections (nonprofit organization accounting and pricing theory for profitability) and spot color reformatting to improve comprehension, this third edition of Financial Statements is simply the clearest and most comprehensive introduction to financial reporting available. No accounting background is required.
A company’s financial statements simply document the movement of cash and goods and services into and out of the enterprise. That is all financial statements are about. It is no more complicated. Everything else is details. Don’t sweat the details. This 48-page, full color picture book provides an overview with no gobbledygook and confusing jargon. All necessary numeric structure is explained and all essential vocabulary is defined. No prior accounting knowledge required.
Understanding financial reporting does not have to be difficult. You have learned all the math required to master financial statements by the end of the fourth grade—mostly addition and subtraction. However, you will need to learn and use specialized accounting vocabulary, which can be confusing. You will also need to understand the structure and appreciate the purpose of the three major numeric statements that describe a company’s financial condition. Each paints a different, essential picture—the “three-legged stool” of company reporting.
The Income Statement shows the manufacturing (or service offerings) and selling actions of the company that result in profit or loss during a period of time (called the “period”). The Income Statement gives a very important perspective on the company’s performance — its profitability.
The Cash Flow Statement details the movements of cash into and out of the company for the period. You need money to make money. Running out of cash is bad. Duh.
The Balance Sheet records at the end of a period, what the company owns and what it owes, including the owners’ stake called shareholders’ equity.
Financial statements are simply summaries and structured presentations of the various events (business transactions) that affect a company’s financial performance. Business transactions are anything that transfers money to or from the company, or transfers goods and services. Transactions can also record future financial obligations that the company may assume, or also rights that the company is granted from others.
If you can follow a recipe or apply for a loan, you can learn accounting. The basics are not difficult, and they are not rocket science. Just as a CPR class teaches you how to perform cardiac pulmonary resuscitation, this short book will explain how to read financial statements. It will not train you to be an accountant (just as a CPR course will not make you a cardiac doctor), but it should give you the confidence to be able to look at a set of financial statements and make sense of them.
Buy this book!
A simple, yet complete (and very readable) guide to nonprofit accounting and financial statement reporting. Teaches how money enters the organization as donations and grants and then exits the organization as expenses or capital purchases. Shows how nonprofit financial transactions are recorded and how summaries are prepared and presented to stakeholders. No prior accounting knowledge is required. Immensely helpful information made accessible in an informal and witty way. An accounting book that is actually as enjoyable as it is useful! See the author's 60-page FULL COLOR companion book, "A Picture Book of Nonprofit Accounting Statements," also available on Amazon.