Friday, March 16, 2012

Reading Financial Reports For Dummies By Lita Epstein

Reading Financial Reports For Dummies

Reading Financial Reports For Dummies By Lita Epstein

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Product Description

The second edition includes over 25 percent new and updated information including:

  • New information on the separate accounting and financial reporting standards for private/small businesses versus public/large businesses
  • Updated information that reflects the 2007 law on international financial reporting standards
  • New content to match SEC and other governmental regulatory changes over the past three years
  • New information about how the analyst-corporate connection has actually changed the playing field
  • The impact of corporate communications and new technologies
  • New examples that reflect the current trends
  • Updated websites and resources
Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #13506 in Books
  • Published on: 2009-01-09
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: .83" h x 7.44" w x 9.20" l, 1.27 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 384 pages
Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The ins and outs of financial reports, explained in plain English

Want to make sense of financial reports? This easy-to-follow guide gives you a set of tools to understand these complicated statements, helping you read between the lines to determine a company's true financial health. You'll make informed decisions about investing, spot possible problems, and use these reports to manage your own department or company for success.

  • Get down to reporting basics — recognize different business types and how their structure affects the books, and grasp the accounting method underlying it all

  • Analyze the annual report — make sense of the balance sheet, income and cash flow statements, and the notes while spotting red flags

  • Know your numbers — keep an eye on whether a company is making a profit or suffering a loss

  • Understand how companies optimize operations — use reports to measure how efficiently management is using its resources

  • Meet the financial watchdogs — from auditors to analysts, see who certifies report accuracy and how recent scandals have changed the rules

  • Practice makes perfect — put your skills to the test by dissecting the annual reports of two similar companies throughout the book

  • Open the book and find:

  • The accounting basics necessary to understand financial reports

  • New information on reporting standards for private/small versus public/large businesses

  • Updates surrounding the 2007 law on international financial reporting standards

  • The impact of corporate communications and new technologies

  • New real-world examples that reflect current trends

  • Updated Web sites and resources

  • Tips for spotting the fluff in financial reports

About the Author
Lita Epstein, MBA, is a seasoned financial writer who focuses on helping people understand the complex worlds of money and finance. She was a financial manager for a medical clinic and content director for a financial services Web site, She also writes for AOL's Blogging Stocks and WalletPop.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

88 of 92 people found the following review helpful.
5Excellent value ... just buy it!
By J. Sims
I recently had to take a week long seminar about financial statements and didn't want to go in cold turkey and possibly embarass myself ... so I bought three books thru Amazon to help me learn about financial statements, this one being the most comprehensive.

I'll make this short and sweet ... this was an excellent book by any standard ... the other two books were brief and excellent overviews, but I'd have to judge Lita's (author) book as superb.

It was as if I learned detail from a text book (factual substance), but then had her sitting beside me saying ... ok, you know such and such, now this is how it really works, or this is how you apply it, or this is what it means, or this is what you need to do next, or these are the tricks of the trade only insiders know, etc. Plus her 10 real world discussions of what went wrong with certain corporations ... Enron, WorldCom/MCI, Tyco, etc., are very interesting reads.

For instance, she tells you how to go about listening to a call between analysts and corporate executives, which honestly I did not know you could do. It's this added perspective of an experienced insider's knowledge of the business that puts her above the rest ... and this being a 362 page book, which I read cover to cover, there are plenty of these types of examples.

For anyone who is not well versed in this subject matter, but WANTS to learn about it, quit pondering the purchase and just buy the book. It is money well spent ... I guarantee it.

Oh, and by the way, Lita dedicates the book to her father, who was an auditor and savings and loan examiner ... so you know she was taught plenty by ole Dad ... this stuff was in her blood from the get go, and she communicates her extensive knowledge very well.

I sincerely congratulate her on such a fine work. I enjoyed it immensely! Thank you Lita ... Jim

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful.
5Even Better Than I Had Hoped...
By D. Portney
I've never taken the time to leave feedback about any books I buy, but this book I really got a lot out of, and highly recommend.

Although the description of the book seems to mostly focus on reading financial reports in order to evaluate companies you might want to invest in by buying stock, I bought the book because I wanted to be much more comfortable with reading - moreover analyzing and understanding - financial statements for business management purposes.

Boy, I was NOT disappointed! By reading the book and constantly referring to the financial statements of 2 companies (Mattel and Hasbro), and interpreting, analyzing and comparing the numbers, I have really learned quite a lot about how to manage by the numbers. Now, when I look at financial statements, I know what every line means, I know what I'm looking for, how to interpret the numbers and changes in the numbers and/or ratios over time - I'm truly just as pleased as punch! This book is worth every penny you pay for it.

And, because the author also tosses in a lot of revealing and useful information about analyzing financial statements to evaluate a company and the worth of its stock, I received quite an education there as well. Very eye opening.

Whether you're a business owner, manager, accountant or stock investor, if you're even considering getting this book to enhance your knowledge, get it. It's a very, very good book. I kept a highlighter and some post it notes at my side, you may want to do the same. In any event, after reading this book (which, by the way is NOT a 'dry' read) you will have deep knowledge of financial statements - balance sheet, profit and loss (income statement) and cash flow statement.

I highly recommend this book.

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful.
5If you had to read only one investment book, this one should be it!
By Houman Tamaddon
This is the single best book for beginner and intermediate-skilled investors. I believe most non-professional investors will find this an absolute gem. The writing is clear and actually fun to read. You will learn the basics of how to evaluate companies, but Epstein includes nuances that even more advanced investors will find useful.

The book is valuable because of its appropriate coverage of 4 separate areas:
1) Teaches the reader basic accounting. For example, what do different items on a cash flow statement really mean and how are they related to the balance sheet or the income statement?
2) Once you understand basic accounting, it teaches you how to manipulate some of these numbers to get a better understanding of how well the company is doing. For example, what is the significance of inventory turnover?
3) Points you to other sources for more information and greater understanding ie: different websites and how to get bond ratings on particular companies.
4) Discusses pitfalls of analyzing financial reports. She discusses how companies manipulate numbers and how you can improve your chances of catching the culprits. She discusses 10 guilty companies.

There are many great books investors should read, but if you were only allowed one then this should be the one. Bravo Lita!
P.S. I am not a generous Amazon reviewer as you can see for yourself by reading my other reviews.


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