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Finance Basics (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series)

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Intimidated by corporate finance? The numbers (and the jargon) can feel overwhelming—but you have to understand them to manage effectively. Finance Basics explains the fundamentals simply and quickly, introducing you to key terms and concepts such as: • How to navigate financial statements • How to weigh costs and benefits • What’s involved in budgeting and forecasting • H Intimidated by corporate finance? The numbers (and the jargon) can feel overwhelming—but you have to understand them to manage effectively. Finance Basics explains the fundamentals simply and quickly, introducing you to key terms and concepts such as: • How to navigate financial statements • How to weigh costs and benefits • What’s involved in budgeting and forecasting • How to gauge a company’s financial health Don't have much time? Get up to speed fast on the most essential business skills with HBR's 20-Minute Manager series. Whether you need a crash course or a brief refresher, each book in the series is a concise, practical primer that will help you brush up on a key management topic. Advice you can quickly read and apply, for ambitious professionals and aspiring executives—from the most trusted source in business. Also available as an ebook.


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Intimidated by corporate finance? The numbers (and the jargon) can feel overwhelming—but you have to understand them to manage effectively. Finance Basics explains the fundamentals simply and quickly, introducing you to key terms and concepts such as: • How to navigate financial statements • How to weigh costs and benefits • What’s involved in budgeting and forecasting • H Intimidated by corporate finance? The numbers (and the jargon) can feel overwhelming—but you have to understand them to manage effectively. Finance Basics explains the fundamentals simply and quickly, introducing you to key terms and concepts such as: • How to navigate financial statements • How to weigh costs and benefits • What’s involved in budgeting and forecasting • How to gauge a company’s financial health Don't have much time? Get up to speed fast on the most essential business skills with HBR's 20-Minute Manager series. Whether you need a crash course or a brief refresher, each book in the series is a concise, practical primer that will help you brush up on a key management topic. Advice you can quickly read and apply, for ambitious professionals and aspiring executives—from the most trusted source in business. Also available as an ebook.

30 review for Finance Basics (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kumar Anshul

    "Finance Basics" is a part of the "20 Minute Manager" series by HBR (Harvard Business Review). The book, on its coverpage, claims to :- 1) Decode the jargon 2) Navigate key statements and 3) Gauge Performance As expected, the book starts with the three major financial statements and the author further digs into each term, explaining it with profound examples. The next chapter is on defining & explaining all the financial jargons. While the author has explained some terms such as Break Even Analys "Finance Basics" is a part of the "20 Minute Manager" series by HBR (Harvard Business Review). The book, on its coverpage, claims to :- 1) Decode the jargon 2) Navigate key statements and 3) Gauge Performance As expected, the book starts with the three major financial statements and the author further digs into each term, explaining it with profound examples. The next chapter is on defining & explaining all the financial jargons. While the author has explained some terms such as Break Even Analysis and Return on Investment very nicely, I felt that many other terms need more detailed explanation. The book continues with a chapter on "Preparing the budget". In this chapter, the author hasn't only explained how a budget of a company is formulated but has also discussed various considerations that need to be take care of before & after the budget is declared. There are short chapters on calculating ROI & Tracking performance, that I found hugely inadequate. The book ends with a "Test Yourself" questionnaire with only 10 questions and their detailed explanations and a glossary of all the financial terms used in the book. The book is of small size with only 100-something pages and you can guess that it is not at all suitable to even teach the 'basic' of finance. A major disappointment from the renowned HBR!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Really good for what it is: a very brief look at the basics of finance. The brevity is great as it gets right to the point. The downside is due to the brevity, it's a little difficult to really feel the terminology has sunk in. Really good for what it is: a very brief look at the basics of finance. The brevity is great as it gets right to the point. The downside is due to the brevity, it's a little difficult to really feel the terminology has sunk in.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Niraj Shah

    Very handy for someone has limited or zero knowledge on corporate finance. A quick and easy to follow read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Archit

    An over-simplistic version of the key metrics used by finance professionals. This book is not worth your time. Instead, one should consider reading the following books: Key points: • The best managers don’t just watch the budget—they look for the right combination of controlling costs, improving sales, and utilizing assets more effectively. They understand where revenue comes from, how the money is spent, and how much profi t the company is making. They know how good a job the company is doing at tu An over-simplistic version of the key metrics used by finance professionals. This book is not worth your time. Instead, one should consider reading the following books: Key points: • The best managers don’t just watch the budget—they look for the right combination of controlling costs, improving sales, and utilizing assets more effectively. They understand where revenue comes from, how the money is spent, and how much profi t the company is making. They know how good a job the company is doing at turning profi t into cash. • The income statement shows the bottom line. Using the rules of accounting, it indicates how much profi t or loss a company generated over a period of time—a month, a quarter, or a year. • The balance sheet shows whether a company is solvent. It provides a snapshot of the company’s assets, liabilities, and equity on a given day. • The cash flow statement shows how much cash a company is generating. It also tracks, in broad terms, where that cash came from and what it is being used for. Ratios are the tools used to perform analysis of the financial statements: • Profitability ratios o Return on sales = PAT/ Sales o Return on assets = PAT/ Total assets o Return on equity = PAT/ total equity o Gross Profit margin = GP/ Sales o EBIT Margin = EBIT/ Revenue • Efficiency ratios o Asset turnover o DSO o DPO o DIO • Liquidity ratios o Current ratio o Quick ratio • Leverage ratios o Interest coverage o Debt to equity • Tools other than ratios used to monitor the financial performance is Economic Value Added (EVA) (Trademark of Consulting firm Stern, Stewart) o EPS o P/E Ratio o Growth indicators – increase in earnings, revenue o EVA o Productivity measure (sales per employee, net income per employee) • Budgeting – top-down v/s bottom up o In top-down budgeting, senior management sets specifi c goals for such items as net income, profi t margins, and expenses. Each department may be told, for example, to limit expense increases to 6% above the previous year’s levels. As you prepare your budget, observe such parameters and look at the company’s overall plans for sales and marketing and for costs and expenses. Those objectives provide the framework within which you must operate. For instance, many companies strive to improve profi tability every year by reducing expenses as a percentage of revenue. o In bottom-up budgeting, managers aren’t given specifi c targets. Instead, they put together budgets that they feel will meet the strategic needs and goals of their respective departments. These budgets are “rolled up” into an overall company budget. The company budget is then adjusted, with requests for changes sent back down to individual departments.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nazmus Sakib

    Basic concepts with definition and explanation is given in the book.By reading this book you will get knowledge about basic financial terms and will able to understand them. Which are very essential to run and budgeting a company's resources. Basic concepts with definition and explanation is given in the book.By reading this book you will get knowledge about basic financial terms and will able to understand them. Which are very essential to run and budgeting a company's resources.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andy Auger

    3.5, good quick guide

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dave Corun

    A good short read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark Stapel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Audible Book - see notes

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amit

    Good Book to understand fundamentals simply and quickly.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ashwin Nadar

    Good introductory material making Finance jargon palatable for beginners and providing a basic landscape of the challenges.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Almira Bastari

    A concise and helpful reading.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Quy Dang

    Short and basic

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dhruv Sharma

    Good book to understand the fundamentals of finance and the current lexicon used by finance experts.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Thịnh Đào Đức Thịnh

    A brief overview about finance basics. The book gives you helpful informations to acquaint yourself with finance. But, if you have already had a well understanding about finance, this is not a good option for you.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle Phou

    Overall, a good book to understand the basics of finance for beginners.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Randy

    informative and written so that even an engineering major can understand. great read for a flight.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Daron Yondem

    I'm not sure if a 20 minute read is enough for such a wide topic coverage. Good summary tough. I'm not sure if a 20 minute read is enough for such a wide topic coverage. Good summary tough.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shashank

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ingrid Yu

  20. 5 out of 5

    Simon

  21. 4 out of 5

    sajil

  22. 5 out of 5

    Leon Lahoud

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pat

  24. 5 out of 5

    Abhinav Singh

  25. 4 out of 5

    Aman Charak

  26. 5 out of 5

    Keith

  27. 5 out of 5

    Suresh Vijendran

  28. 4 out of 5

    Adam Nowaczyk

  29. 5 out of 5

    MADHUKAR DAYAL

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rhett Kenny

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