Chapter 1

Accounting Spoken Here


Realizing how accounting is relevant to you

Grasping how all economic activity requires accounting

Watching an accounting department in action

Shaking hands with business financial statements

Mapping a career in accounting

I had a captive audience when I taught Accounting 101 because, then as well as now, all business school students have to take this course. In contrast, very few arts and science students elect the course, which is their loss. Accounting 101 teaches about business, including the nature of profit (which most people don’t fully understand) and the fundamentals of capitalism.

The course is a very good training ground for becoming financially literate. Accounting is the language of business, finance, investing, and taxes. To be financially literate, you need to know basic accounting. These days, there’s a big push to improve financial literacy, and a basic accounting course offers a useful framework for understanding and thinking about financial issues.

In one sense, this book is the accounting course you never took. For business grads, the book presents an opportune review of topics you’ve gotten rusty on. I dare say that even accounting majors can glean a lot of insights from this book. You don’t need a college education to gain from this book, however. Like all the For Dummies books, this book delivers useful information in a plain-talking manner, with a light touch to keep it interesting.

As you go through life, ...

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