The 5 Best Financial & Management Accounting Books

Last updated: 18 November 2020. Welcome to the web's most concise collection of accounting, audit & finance book shortlists. If you're looking for the best value, most comprehensive or most effective books to build your understanding of accounting, you've come to the right place. 

These books are perfect for:

  • A student looking to revise,
  • A practising accountant looking for a reference guide,
  • An investor keen on improving their financial statements knowledge

Whatever your objective, there's a shortlist of accounting, audit & finance books on this page which I believe will meet and exceed your requirements!

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!

Books about high profile accounting frauds

Salacious tales and shocking exposés of some of the largest financial crimes of this century


Book-keeping for beginners

Your first step on the road. Book-keeping is the first essential layer of accounting knowledge

Financial accounting for beginners

Moving beyond simple transactions to advanced double-entry and financial statements. 

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You DON'T even need a Kindle device to download books

Here's a useful tip that will save you £100+ on accounting books. Sign-up to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited free trial, which offers access to all titles for free for 30 days.

  • There's no obligation to continue with a paid subscription.
  • You don't even need a Kindle to enjoy - any device will do.

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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Management accounting for beginners

Learning the role and techniques of a management accountant

Accounting & finance text books for self study

A one-stop shop for an a financial accounting education

Financial Expert tip: The hardcover versions of these textbooks are in high demand! They can recoup up to 80% of their cover price when sold in good used condition.

Therefore if you plan to eventually sell back a title, your net cost could be as low as 20% of the cover price.

Click on the covers below to look at the used prices of these titles on Amazon to understand what cash back you could expect. 

Expert IFRS Interpretations

Let the experts guide you through the worlds most demanding financial reporting standards

Simple  accounting for a casual reader

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

Download all these investing books for free with Kindle Unlimited

You DON'T even need a Kindle device to download books

Here's a useful tip that will save you £100+ on accounting books. Sign-up to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited free trial, which offers access to all titles for free for 30 days.

  • There's no obligation to continue with a paid subscription.
  • You don't even need a Kindle to enjoy - any device will do.

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.


Get free access

My Top 5 Accounting Books for 2020

Click covers to see latest reviews and prices

1. 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. 

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:

"For over thirty years, Colin Drury has been at the forefront of helping students learn the key concepts and processes in management and cost accounting through his textbooks.

Now in its ninth edition, Cost and Management Accounting continues to provide an accessible and thorough introduction to the subject. It blends theory and practice in language that is clear and easy to understand and provides students with a thorough introduction to cost and management accounting whether they are studying an accountancy or business undergraduate course, or a post-experience course.

The new edition has been completely updated to reflect recent developments in the field, and now includes additional emphasis on value creation, and links strategic performance management more closely to divisional financial performance measurement."

Who this book is for:

Cost and Management Accounting by Colin Drury is the go-to resource for students and professionals in the management accounting field. 

Being the reference textbook for countless undergraduate courses both in the UK and globally, it's the obvious place to start for anyone looking to learn about:

  • Costing and the Value Chain
  • Cost-Volume-Profit Analysis
  • Incremental Analysis
  • Transfer Pricing
  • Operational Budgeting
  • Rewarding Business Performance
  • Capital Budgeting

 

 



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"International GAAP 2020 is a comprehensive guide to interpreting and implementing International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), setting IFRS in a relevant business context, and providing insights into how complex practical issues should be resolved in the real world of global financial reporting. This book is an essential tool for anyone applying, auditing, interpreting, regulating, studying, or teaching IFRS.

Written by financial reporting professionals from around the world, this guide to reporting under IFRS provides a global perspective, clearly explaining complex technical accounting issues and setting IFRS in a practical context.

Numerous worked examples and hundreds of illustrations from the published financial reports of major listed companies from around the world are included. The 2020 edition has been fully revised and updated with information on the latest IFRS changes and current issues."

Who this book is for:

To grasp the principles of accounting, buy a short guide. To practice their application, buy a text book.

But if you're a practising accountant then there's only one authoritative resource you need: the IFRS Standards, alongside expert implementation guidance in the shape of EY International GAAP 2020

This colossal set of volumes includes helpful guidance and worked examples of practically every requirement, rule or calculation contained in the International Financial Reporting Standards

The 2020 edition is bang-up-to-date with the latest interpretations of IFRS 15, IFRS 9 and IFRS 16. 

It's like having a professional adviser at the end of your desk, ideal when you have a difficult technical question!



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"The 19th edition of this market-leading text provides a comprehensive overview of financial accounting and reporting, with the aim of ensuring you are able to prepare and also critically discuss IFRS compliant financial statements.

With balanced coverage of theoretical principles and up-to-date practical application of current international standards, the authors provide essential knowledge for advancing your studies and career."

Who this book is for:

The only book on this list which will walk you through the key principles of IFRS in an educational way. 

Financial Accounting & Reporting by Barry Elliott and Jamie Elliott is found in university bookshops across the world. 

It's often the recommended accompaniment to second and second year undergraduate courses in accounting & finance. 

An essential text anyone can use to learn how IFRS works before they're faced with the raw accounting standards themselves. 



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-research and carefully planned text which will introduce you to financial accounting in an easily digestible manner.

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 accounting books for beginners


Best investing books for beginners UK
"Destiny gave me only two things: a few accounting books and the gift of dreaming."
Fernando Pessoa

This curated book guide is home to the best accounting books for beginners in the UK. 

But how do you choose the best UK accounting books for your own private collection? I recommend:

  • Pick a title which excites you
  • Look for easy-to-read language which keeps the topic very accessible if you're a beginner
  • Choose books with more breadth and less depth

Accounting is a massive subject, just take a look at the number of specialist areas you could pick up a book about:

  • Book-keeping
  • Financial accounting
  • Management accounting
  • Financial reporting
  • Compliance

Which of these is right for you?

Well, if you currently work, or aim to work, within the junior level of an accounting function, then management accounting will deliver the baseline knowledge that you will need in your role. 

Book-keeping is the process of recording transactions in a consistent and organised way that allows for a set of accounts to be produced. If you're a small business owner, you may need to learn how to keep the books yourself until you can hire someone else to help. 

Management accounting relates to all things internal to an organisations finances - such as management accounts which help management track the performance of a business, and preparing budgets which hold the business performance to account. 

People working within accounting firms, such as the Big Four or other practices will tend to study financial accounting. 

Financial accounting uses the same underlying principles, but adds the external factor. Financial accounting & reporting will focus on accounting standards (usually the International GAAP) which provide strict guidelines on how revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities should be measured and reported in financial statements. This includes additional disclosures which management are required to provide.