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Financial Accounting For Dummies, 2nd Edition

Financial Accounting For Dummies, 2nd Edition PDF

Author: Maire Loughran

Publisher: For Dummies


Publish Date: December 11, 2020

ISBN-10: 1119758122

Pages: 384

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Accounting is known as the language of business because it communicates financial and economic facts about a business to all sorts of interested parties — both internal (employees of the company) and external (people not employed by the company in question). External users include investors, creditors, banks, and regulatory agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Zeroing in on the external users of accounting information, this book is about financial accounting. Financial accounting serves the needs of external users by providing them with understandable, materially correct financial statements. There are three financial statements: the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. This book is a step-by-step guide on how to prepare all three.
You also find out the purposes of the financial statements:

» To report on the financial position of the company — what types of assets the company owns and what types of liabilities it owes.
» To show how well the company performs over a period of time, which is referred to as an accounting period. You measure performance by seeing whether the company made or lost money during the accounting period.

A lot of first-time accounting students tell me that they are afraid they won’t do well in their financial accounting class because they haven’t done well in math classes they’ve taken in the past. Forgot about the math — that’s why you have a computer and a calculator! Financial accounting is less about adding and sub-tracting than using logic-based skills. Added to the mix is the importance of gain-ing a working understanding of the standards set in place by authoritative accounting bodies.
After years spent in the classroom as both a professor and student, I realize that many accounting textbooks are, well, boring. My purpose in writing this book is to breathe some life into the subject of financial accounting and make it more understandable.

About This Book

This book, like all For Dummies books, is written so that each chapter stands on its own. I always assume that whatever chapter you’re reading is the first one you’ve tackled in the book. Therefore, you can understand the concepts I explain in each chapter regardless of whether it’s your first chapter or your last.
However, certain terms and concepts pertain to more than one subject in this book. To avoid writing the same explanations over and over, whenever I reference a financial accounting term, method, or other type of fact that I fully explain in another chapter, I give you a brief overview and direct you to the spot where you can get more information. For example, I may suggest that you “see Chapter 11” (which, by the way, discusses the statement of cash flows).
Also, in this book I break financial accounting down to its lowest common denom-inator. I avoid using jargon that only accounting majors with several accounting classes already under their belts will understand. Please keep in mind that the list of financial accounting topics and methods I present in this book isn’t all- inclusive. I simply can’t cover every possible nuance and twist related to prepar-ing financial accounting data and statements. This book is meant to illuminate the rather dry presentation of topics given in all the financial accounting textbooks from which I’ve taught, providing a perfect companion to the financial accounting textbook your professor is using.
Furthermore, I briefly discuss the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) and the watchdog over the audits of publicly traded companies, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). If you have the time, I recommend reading Sarbanes-Oxley For Dummies by Jill Gilbert Welytok, JD, CPA (published by Wiley). This handbook walks you through the new and revised SOX laws.

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