The Best Finance Books for Non-Financial Managers

Last updated: 24 January 2021. I've gathered together the best finance books for non-financial managers available. Titles include a combination of UK and US books (As both as relevant in the UK corporate environment). 

What are finance books for non-financial managers?

'Finance for non-finance' is an odd-sounding book genre. What's next? The dog guide for cat owners? Retirement planning for students?

You know the answer already, otherwise you wouldn't have found this page. Finance for non-financial manager books recognise that business people working in a wide variety of departments are increasingly finding it essential to understand a core level of accounting and finance. 

Here is a sample of the many benefits of improving your finance knowledge as a non-financial manager:

  • Finance is the language of business. It's time to confidently talk finance without feeling out of your comfort zone
  • Increase your credibility in meetings with senior management, which may include the CFO or finance director.
  • Become a generalist, better able to work on projects across departments 
  • Highlight your career development potential by budgeting and forecasting with confidence 
  • Better plan for the financial impact of  your business decisions

Finance for non-financial manager books are perfect for: 

  • Operational managers who have responsibility for the profit or loss of their unit
  • Anyone who inputs into the budget-setting process
  • Analysts with an operational focus
  • Any aspiring or current Directors

Don't forget, most of these books can even be read for free with Amazon's Kindle Unlimited free trial.

Click on any title below to see the latest price from Amazon, you'll be shocked at how affordable the most popular titles are. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases which helps to support this site. This does not impact how I compile the list. Happy reading!

The best finance books for non-financial managers

A one-stop shop for an a financial accounting education

Quick reads - finance principles in under a week

A one-stop shop for an a financial accounting education

Straight-forward accounting for a casual reader

Accounting doesn't have to be dry or technical - these titles keep accounting intuitive

Book-keeping for beginners

Book-keeping is the most fundamental level of accounting - this is where to start.

Financial accounting for beginners

Advance beyond simple journal entries to understanding the financial statements, and accounting for more complex items.

Management accounting for beginners

Become an expert at the accounting behind monthly management accounts

Download all these finance books for non-finance managers for free with Kindle Unlimited

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If you're cost-savvy, you'll already be calculating the savings you could unlock and the knowledge you could gain by downloading 5 books over the next 30 days.


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My Top 5 Finance Books (for Non-Finance Managers) for 2021

Click covers to see latest reviews and prices

1. The Finance Book - Stuart Warner & Si Hussain



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"The Finance Book will help you think and manage like a financial strategist. Written specifically for non-finance professionals, it will give you all you need to know to manage your business more effectively and think more strategically. "

Who this book is for:

Praise for the Finance Book is easy to come by. 

You could look at over 150 5 star reviews posted on Amazon, which contribute to a 4.5 / 5.0 rating overall. 

If you're not convinced, why not consider why this title is currently the #1 bestselling Financial Accounting title on Amazon.co.uk.



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Make simple sense of complex financial information!
The high-profile accounting scandals of recent years have made one thing clear: You can't know too much about the company for which you work. What are the numbers? Where do you find them? How do they affect you and your staff?

This fully revised and updated third edition of The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Finance for Nonfinancial Managers provides a firm grasp on what all the numbers really mean. Designed to let you learn at your own pace"

Who this book is for:

You can expect to find the following in this book:

  • The essential concepts of finance, so you can ask intelligent questions and understand the answers
  • Vital statements and reports, with sections on pro forma financial statements and expensing of stock options
  • The auditing process--what is measured, how it's measured, and how you can help ensure accuracy and completeness

With chapter-ending quizzes and an online final exam, The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Finance for Nonfinancial Managers serves as a virtual professor, providing the curriculum you need to crunch the numbers like a pro!



3. Finance for Non-Financial Managers - George Shoffner et al



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Make simple sense of complex financial information!
The high-profile accounting scandals of recent years have made one thing clear: You can't know too much about the company for which you work. What are the numbers? Where do you find them? How do they affect you and your staff?

This fully revised and updated third edition of The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Finance for Nonfinancial Managers provides a firm grasp on what all the numbers really mean. Designed to let you learn at your own pace."

Who this book is for:

You can expect to find:

  • The essential concepts of finance, so you can ask intelligent questions and understand the answers
  • Vital statements and reports, with sections on pro forma financial statements and expensing of stock options
  • The auditing process--what is measured, how its measured, and how you can help ensure accuracy and completeness

With chapter-ending quizzes and an online final exam, The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course: Finance for Nonfinancial Managers serves as a virtual professor, providing the curriculum you need to crunch the numbers like a pro!



4. The Joy of Accounting - Peter Frampton & Mark Robilliard



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"The Joy of Accounting means that ANYONE can now see how accounting works.

In this book, you will find:
• A simple step-by-step sequence to follow
• Over 150 full-color diagrams
• Explanations of business concepts such as working capital, cash flow, liquidity, leverage, receivables and depreciation.
• Traditional terms explained, like ledgers, journals, debits and credits.
• US and International accounting standards
• Case studies

Benefits of this approach:
• Confidently read balance sheets and income statements
• Take control of your profitability, cash flow and growth
• Budget effectively
• Talk about financial matters powerfully
• Revisit previous accounting studies for deeper understanding"

Who this book is for:

The Joy of Accounting by Peter Frampton & Mark Robilliard is nothing short of a joy to behold. This entertaining value is what makes it perfect to those who aren't passionate about finance.

To see complex accounting concepts being framed in a fresh, unique and thrilling way has cemented this book's place at the top of our best accounting books list. 

The Joy of Accounting uses a revolutionary system of teaching that’s getting rave reviews at top universities, banks, law firms and business schools.

If this is your first accounting book, I envy the fact that you will be introduced to accounting through these methods.

This book will help build a sense of intuition which you will draw upon when moving onto more technical and challenging areas. 



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Financial Accounting For Dummies provides students who are studying finance, accounting and business with the basic concepts, terminology, and methods to interpret, analyse, prepare and evaluate financial statements. Covers concepts accountants and other business professionals use to prepare reports; mergers and acquisitions purchase and pooling; free cash flow; and financial statement analysis.

Whether you′re a student on your way to earning a degree, working towards your ACCA qualification, or a trainee just starting out in your accounts career, Financial Accounting For Dummies gives you a wealth of information to grasp the subject."

Who this book is for:

As always, I feel I should explain that the '..for Dummies' series does not take you for a Dummy. 

This is a well-researched and carefully planned text which will introduce you to financial accounting in an easily digestible manner. Perfect for those in non-finance roles, looking for a glimpse at the world of accounting. 

Just take a look at the Amazon reviews for yourself to see the proof in the pudding. 

Rated 4.6/5 by 139 customers. 

 

 



Selecting the best finance books for non-financial specialists


Best investing books for non-financial specialists
"Accounting is the language of business."
Warren Buffett

What makes a great finance book aimed at people who don't have a financial background? Let's take a look at the key features I believe every successful finance for non-finance experts book will have:

Accessibility

Ahead by a country mile is the level of accessibility. A finance book for a non-financial manager needs to be jargon free, and worded in a way that anyone can understand. 

Brevity

If finance isn't your main discipline, then it's fair to say that learning about finance won't be your number #1 priority for very long. 

That's why the best finance books sell themselves on their ability to upskill you without taking up half of your year. 

Two of the books I feature on the ranking or shortlists of the of best finance books for non-finance managers actually refer to timescales on their front cover. 

The McGraw hill title claims it can teach you in 36 hours (just under on working-week), whereas Roger Mason's Finance for Non-Finance Managers also advertises itself as being effective in 'under a week'.

For those with little patience, even a week may sound like a long time. After all, don't most books take less than a handful of hours to read?

The point to make here is that accounting isn't an 'insight' or an 'opinion'. It's a system, a framework, a language. Such a complicated system of thinking cannot be fully conveyed in two hours, and you'd be kidding yourself if you thought you could pick-up accounting in the time it takes to watch a film. 

If you're interested in learning more about accounting and finance after reading your first guide, consider looking at our guide to the best financial accounting and management accounting books