Accounting in a Nutshell

Accounting in a Nutshell

Accounting for the Non-specialist

3rd Edition - September 2, 2008

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  • Author: Janet Walker
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080943152
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780750687386

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Designed primarily for middle and junior management who deal with financial information without really understanding the content; students who are studying accounting as a non-specialist subject, for example on a business studies or engineering course. The book serves as a basic reference to be used throughout the course. It will also be particularly helpful in providing the basic grounding that is required before moving on to the more technical and in-depth study of the subject that may be required on some courses. Students who are embarking on a course of study to become a professional accountant will also find this book of major benefit. In addition to revisions through out, a new new chapter 'Making long-term investment decisions' covering capital investment decisions, extends and rounds out the final part of the book: using Financial Information to Manage a Business. The chapter deals with the investment appraisal process and covers the main investment appraisal techniques from the point of view of a non-specialist: payback periods, accounting rate of return and discounted cash flow methods are just some of the new topics covered. The focus will be on the level of understanding that a non-specialist requires in the work place as such, in keeping with the rest of the book, the chapter includes practical examples and exercises to enhance the reader's understanding.

Key Features

  • Jargon free and easy to understand - no prior knowledge of the subject necessary
  • Focuses on the principles and use of accounting information
  • Review questions to assess progress at each stage and many fully worked exercises and examples


Middle and Junior Managers who are new to accounting and/or do not have a financial background and who do not want to delve into the minutiae of IFRS / IAS accounting standards, but need a book which explains in easy language what accounts are all about, who uses them and why, what each of the vital elements (P&L, balance sheet, cashflow statement) of the annual report and accounts is needed for, and what information is contained therein, and what is not!For those with some financial background (may have studied Financial Reporting as part of an MBA module for example) this book takes you back to basics and so ensures that you fully understand the accounting function. Especially useful if you are moving from one specialised accounting function (eg credit analysis) but need to fully understand the wider "general principles" involved in understanding all of the finance department functions.

Table of Contents

  • Part 1: Introduction

    Part 2: Accounting Statements
    1. Who Needs Accounting Statements?
    2. The Profit and Loss Account (Income Statement)
    3. The Balance Sheet
    4. Cash Flow Reporting
    5. The Accounts of Not-for-profit Organisations
    6. Interpreting Financial Statements: Part 1
    7. Interpreting Financial Statements: Part 2

    Part 3 Using Financial Information to Manage a Business
    8. Management Accounting as an Aid to Management
    9. The Analysis of Cost
    10. Using Costs for Decision-making
    11. Budgetary Planning and Control
    12. Making long term investment decisions

Product details

  • No. of pages: 368
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © CIMA Publishing 2008
  • Published: September 2, 2008
  • Imprint: CIMA Publishing
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080943152
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780750687386

About the Author

Janet Walker

Janet Walker is a freelance lecturer and consultant, specialising in courses in Financial Awareness

Trained as a management accountant with Brooke Bond Oxo Limited, qualifying as a Chartered Management Accountant (FCMA) in 1981. After seven years in industry, joined Croydon College in 1982 as a Senior Lecturer in management accounting and financial management. Studied for MBA at City University Business School in 1987/88. Worked as a full-time author for BPP Publishing Limited for eighteen months from 1990, responsible for writing and technical editing of a range of accountancy and marketing texts and workbooks. Set up own business in 1991 as a freelance lecturer and consultant, specialising in presenting courses in Financial Awareness for a variety of clients, including the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), City University Business School, V & A Museum, Markel International, National Lottery Heritage Fund, ICL Systems Service, Norwich Union, Weetabix Limited and the General Dental Council. Also providing financial planning and marketing consultancy services to small businesses. Other books published are primarily through BPP Publishing as above, and a number of CIMA Study Systems through CIMA Publishing.

Affiliations and Expertise

Independent lecturer and consultant

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