A detailed guide to disentangling three key elements of business.
In his latest, business consultant Duryee (Lead To Succeed, 2005, etc.) describes a familiar triangle: business owners, who believe that if their revenue and profits are healthy, banks should be willing to lend them money; bankers, who worry that business owners “may not understand the difference between profits and cash flow, and therefore will overly rely on debt to support growth”; and luckless certified public accountants caught in the middle, trying to get both sides to speak the same “language.” In this book, Duryee promises to resolve this age-old problem, providing prospective business owners with clear and easy-to-follow explanations of financial statements and how to apply them to business models, how to understand cash flow (which isn’t the same as profits, he points out), and how to develop forecast models for financial statements. He writes with clarity and authority even when he’s deep in the weeds of financial arcana: “Always use straight-line depreciation on your internally produced financial statements because accelerated depreciation artificially lowers both the value of your assets and your profit.” He correctly notes that many entrepreneurs start their businesses with passion and vision but precious little financial acumen. Overall, this book takes key concepts—everything from liquidity to accounts receivable—and skillfully renders their essentials. Although he may overestimate how quickly novices will be able to master such information, he makes it all immensely relatable by linking his ideas to lessons he’s learned in his own career as a consultant. Along the way, he offers case studies, bullet-pointed lists, and graphs to make sure that nothing is left to chance. Newcomers to the business world will consider this book a godsend, but even old hands will likely learn something from it.
An engaging, nuts-and-bolts breakdown of the financial side of entrepreneurship.