Fields Edwards - The essentials of finance and accounting for nonfinancial managers

Author : Fields Edwards
Title : The essentials of finance and accounting for nonfinancial managers
Year : 2002

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Introduction. Background. This is a book for businesspeople. All decisions in a business organization are made in accordance with how they will affect the organization’s financial performance and future financial health. Whether your background is marketing, manufacturing, distribution, research and development, or the current technologies, you need financial knowledge and skills if you are to really understand your company’s decision-making, financial, and overall management processes. The budget is essentially a financial process of prioritizing the benefits resulting from business opportunities and the investments required to implement those opportunities. An improved knowledge of these financial processes and the financial executives who are responsible for them will improve your ability to be an intelligent and effective participant. This book is special for a number of reasons: 1. It teaches what accountants do; it does not teach how to do accounting. Businesspeople do not need to learn, nor are they interested in learning, how to do debits and credits. They do need to understand what accountants do and why, so that they can intelligently use the resulting information— the financial statements. 2. It is written by a businessperson for other businesspeople. Throughout a lifetime of business, consulting, and training experience, I have provided my audiences with down-to-earth, practical, useful information. I am not an accountant, but I do have the knowledge of an intelligent user of financial statements. I understand your problems, and I seek to share my knowledge with you. 3. It emphasizes the business issues. Many financial books focus on the mathematics. This book employs mathematical information only when it is needed for the business decision-making process. 4. It includes a chapter on how to read an annual report that helps you use the information that is available there to better understand your own company. This chapter also identifies a number of other sources of information in the public domain about your competition that may be very strategically valuable. 5. It includes information on how the finance department contributes to the profitability and performance of the company. The financial staff should be part of the business profitability team. This book describes what you should expect from them. 6. It contains many practical examples of how the information can be used, based upon extensive, practical experience. It also provides several exercises, including a practice case study, as appendices. The book is in four parts: Part 1, Understanding Financial Information, Chapters 1 through 5. In Part 1, the reader is given both an overview and detailed information about each of the financial statements and its components. A complete understanding of this information and how it is developed is essential for intelligent use of the financial statements. Part 2, Analysis of Financial Statements, Chapters 6 through 8. Part 2 describes the many valuable analyses that can be performed, using the information that was learned in Part 1. Business management activities can essentially be divided into two basic categories : Measuring performance Making decisions Part 2 describes how to measure and evaluate the performance of the company, its strategic business units, and even its individual products. Part 3, Decision Making for Improved Profitability, Chapters 9 and 10. This part describes the key financial analysis techniques that managers can use to make decisions about every aspect of their business. Financial analysis provides valuable tools for decision making. However, managers must still make the decisions. Part 4, Additional Financial Information, Chapters 11 through 13 and appendices. Part 4 provides further information about elements of the financial process that can serve as tools for the business manager. These include the budget and methods of obtaining the financing to support the business. Part 4 also includes a glossary and quite a few practice exercises. ...

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