Starting a business takes a lot of time and effort, and it’s possible that, in the beginning, you’ll be playing most of the roles needed to set yourself up. This includes figuring out your accounting, since accountants can be quite expensive to hire. Luckily, a combination of using the internet and visiting your local library provides you the necessary resources needed to learn the basic accounting fundamentals that will set you up for success. The internet is arguably easier to navigate in terms of finding good and useful advice, so here are some books about accounting that will best teach you the basic skills you need moving forward.


Financial Statements: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Creating Financial Reports, by Thomas R. Ittelson


Though published in 1998, Thomas R. Ittelson’s Financial Statements guide remains a best-seller for a reason. It’s a fantastic introduction to accounting for non-financial managers, stock-market investors, undergraduate and MBA students, and much more. Financial Statements does particularly well because Ittelson takes care not to dumb down the concepts he covers in his books, choosing instead to walk his readers through the three types of financial statements and clearly explain each of them. This book was written for small businesses and non-accountants specifically, making it a must-read for those looking to improve their financial literacy.


Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh from the Lemonade Stand, by Darrell Mullis and Judith Orloff


Everyone is familiar with the concept of children running a lemonade stand—it’s possible that some of you ran one yourself when you were a kid. Darrell Mullis and Judith Orloff have taken this familiar concept and shifted it in a way that lets them explain financial concepts to their readers using a lemonade stand. In fact, their readers “run” their own lemonade stand throughout the book, using it to connect to financial jargon, basics, and documents as they read. Accounting Games is designed for people with absolutely no background in accounting. It builds its explanations of financial statements for these readers in a way that leaves them knowledgable by the end of the book. 


Accounting All-in-One For Dummies, by Joy Kraynak


Everyone is familiar with the For Dummies books. This series of books explains the fundamentals of a wide variety of topics for people who don’t know much about a subject, if anything at all. It’s no surprise, then, that a book on accounting is part of this series, just as it’s no surprise that it’s a well-done one. The book’s author, Joy Kraynak, breaks down several accounting concepts ranging from setting up an accounting system to preparing income statements and balance sheets. The sheer amount of what the book covers might seem like a lot, but Accounting All-in-One is great for learning basic accounting concepts or, for more experienced readers, refreshing yourself on the basics.