The Federation Press

Accounting for Non-Accountants

A Question and Answer Handbook

Overview

The focus of Deutsch and Chikarovski’s Accounting for Non-Accountants — A Question and Answer Handbook, is to promote an understanding of the fundamentals of accounting and financial statements. It is not a short cut to an in-depth knowledge of accounting. However the book will provide some useful insights to the language of accounting, the key principles involved and the sources and use of accounting information commonly encountered.

The book should therefore be useful for lawyers and other users of accounting information to guide their understanding of that information. You might for example be:

  • a barrister involved in a commercial matter requiring the review of the financial statements of a listed company
  • a family law solicitor looking at the accounts of family entities as part of a property settlement
  • an immigration lawyer presenting accounts as part of a visa application
  • a small business operator reviewing the accounts of your business
  • a so called ‘mum and dad’ investor reviewing the accounts of the listed company that you have acquired shares in recently or a student studying business, accounting or commerce

This book is intended to be a useful guide for all such readers and others.

Information in the book is presented in an easy to follow question and answer format. Each answer is supported by examples where relevant based on sample financial information included in an appendix. Key accounting terms are also highlighted in bold and explained in a Glossary section at the end of the book.

Table of Contents

Section 1 – Accounting Fundamentals
Overview
The Language of Accounting
Fundamental Concepts of Accounting
Fundamental Principles of Accounting

Section 2 – Main Sources of Accounting Information
The Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet)
The Statement of Financial Performance (Profit and Loss Statement)
Statement of Changes in Equity
Cash Flow Statement

Section 3 – Understanding Accounting information
Comparative Analysis
Financial Ratio Analysis
Financial Covenant Ratio Analysis

Section 4 – Applying Accounting Information to Assess the Financial Position of an Accounting Entity

Section 5 – Limitations of Accounting Information

Appendices
1 – Summary of Financial Ratios
2 – Sample Financial Information
3 – Illustration of how Financial Information in Financial Statements can be Manipulated
4 – Glossary
5 – Further Reading

Of interest...