The Best Accounting Textbooks of 2019

By July 30, 2019 October 16th, 2019 Textbook Reviews
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Are you a teacher looking for the perfect Accounting book for your course?  Imagine finding an accounting textbook that not only provided all of the information your students needed but provided examples and verbiage that made the topic more enjoyable for students to follow.  Accounting is more than just crunching numbers; therefore, you need a book that can give you more than just the math but supply insight into real-life examples like budgeting, financial statements as well as providing a way for students to understand the fundamentals quickly.  Luckily, you are in the right place.  This list will give you some of the best accounting textbooks from beginner to intermediate as well as runner ups that could have made the list.  These books also vary in the price range to accommodate any budget or price point.  Keep reading to see the best and most popular accounting books in the accounting world.

Our Favorites for Best Accounting Textbooks

Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less by Mike Piper

As you may have guessed Accounting can be a hard subject to grasp.  Even the most basic of accounting still means that you are familiar with expenses, creating income statements and also creating balance sheets.   If you are an accounting professional, student or only someone looking to learn about accounting,  Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less is highly recommended and highly rated from a variety of students and professionals. Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less is excellent for beginners looking for an introduction into accounting or if you are looking to brush up on past accounting knowledge.

What makes Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less so top rated and recommended?  It has been described as one of the best accounting books for beginners. Its conversational tone makes it easy to follow, and it provides examples throughout the book for readers to follow.  Many reviewers rave about the content and how much is crammed into the 100 pages.  One reader using this book shared, “I purchased both this and the Accounting for Dummies and much preferred this version. It was an easy read supplemented with great examples that made the concepts digestible and comprehensible,”.

However, not only is this a great book, but the author also provides online resources through his website, obliviousinvestor.com, to keep the learning going through his free newsletter as well as other financial information and calculators.  If you’re looking for a book which gets straight to the point, oversimplifies concepts for ease of understanding and avoids unnecessary jargon. This is the perfect book for you.

What makes it unique:

  • It comes in at only 100 pages boasting a plethora of information broken down into two sections: financial statements and generally accepted accounting principles.
  • Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less is a highly affordable option which can be completed in a matter of hours.

Why choose this book:

  • Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less is concise and gets straight to the point with no added fluff or jargon.
  • It is affordable for all budgets.
  • Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less is perfect for an introduction to accounting or simply grasping the basics.
  • There are also online resources available through the author.


Accounting Principles, 12th Edition by Jerry J. Weygandt

Accounting principles is another favorite.  Teaching accounting can be hard, but it helps when you have the right materials.  Accounting Principles is widely used in college campuses across the country as well as being highly recommended for its full and rich content.  Many students using the book have said that this book was more significant help than actual in-class lectures.  Accounting Principles are used in Principles of Accounting 1 and 2 and are not just one of the most popular accounting books but one of the most helpful.   It can be purchased with or without the Wiley PLUS access code which will allow for access to the online learning environment which is most commonly used in colleges.

Accounting Principles does a great job of explaining concepts as well as providing the big picture.  It even includes examples of balance sheets and various helpful images. Individuals who have purchased this book shared that Accounting Principles helped them more in the first few pages than their time in an actual accounting course.

What makes it unique:

  • The chapters are full of examples, and the material starts at a beginner level but goes all the way into concepts of managerial accounting.
  • Accounting Principles also includes a student companion site which allows users to browse by chapter and see resources like Excel templates, tests, quizzes and so much more.

Why choose this book:

  • Accounting Principles is an excellent book for readers of all expertise levels.
  • Readers have the option to use Wiley PLUS for added practice with accounting.
  • It provides detailed information and numerous practice exercise.


Intermediate Accounting by Donald E. Kieso

Another one of our favorite accounting books to read includes Intermediate Accounting. Intermediate Accounting is for the more advanced reader.  Although it is on the pricier end of the spectrum, it is highly recommended. Many people who have used Intermediate Accounting agree that it is for more than just the individual looking to pass a class but for the reader who is looking to obtain a deeper understanding of accounting concepts. They also agree that the book assumes that the reader has prior knowledge of more beginner level accounting concepts. Intermediate Accounting is full of examples and practice questions.   This book also comes in a variety of styles and with or without the Wiley online companion.

Intermediate Accounting is a standard for Intermediate accounting.  The authors are known for supplying quality information that is accurate, comprehensive and accessible.  The latest edition, 15th edition, offers the most up to date information available on the IFRS and US GAAP.

What makes it unique:

  • Intermediate Accounting provides more than just the answers to examples; it gives the thought process of how the information is achieved.
  • It doesn’t just glaze the surface but instead provides a plethora of examples, practice problems, and information on concepts.

Why Choose this book:

  • It is a requirement for some intermediate accounting courses.
  • It places emphasis on not just solving problems but accurately explaining what it takes to get to the answer.


Runner Ups for Best Accounting Books

Financial Accounting, 9th Edition by Jerry J. Weygandt, Paul D. Kimmel, Donald E. Kieso

The Financial Accounting textbook makes the runner up list for accounting books to read. Like many accounting textbooks, it can be a bit pricey, and it may not be a book bag friendly as you would like, but it is full of information. It is also available in binder sheets because it allows you to carry with you only the needed information for the night or the class. Financial Accounting is used in numerous college courses and can even be used as a reference for other accounting classes. The chapters are longer than average but incredibly detailed and thorough.   You will find numerous exercises not only at the end but in the middle of chapters for review purposes.  Many students often use Financial Accounting as a reference for a variety of accounting courses.

What makes it unique:

  • Financial Accounting uses several charts and graphs to make information easy to understand
  • The examples listed in the booking flow throughout each chapter often using the companies to tie concepts together.

Why choose this book:

  • It provides excellent examples, images, and charts to help you fully grasp the material.
  • Financial Accounting is perfect for someone with prior accounting knowledge as it uses a lot of accounting and financial jargon.


Managerial Accounting by Ray H Garrison, Eric Noreen

Managerial Accounting is typically used by students taking the managerial accounting course. Although it is heavy, it is also dense in the information it offers to students. Many students who have used Managerial Accounting recommend it as a reference to utilize for the accounting principles course.  It can also come equipped with a Wiley online subscription, if needed.

Also included with the wealth of knowledge it offers are several examples and details to follow.  This is said to be one of the best accounting books because varying levels of expertise can use it.  It is easy enough for a beginner to understand but includes enough information for a more advanced accounting professional to use to prepare for their CPA exam. To some users, Managerial Accounting even has a way of making managerial accounting exciting and intriguing to study in comparison to publications of the same subject matter.  Many exclaimed that the authors are highly knowledgeable accounting professionals and it shows in the book’s structure.

Contrary to widespread belief, you do not need an accounting degree or prior accounting knowledge to be able to understand and use Managerial Accounting.  Each chapter supplies a clear goal and uses real-world examples as illustrations for how the concepts function in the real world.  Each chapter also concludes with a series of questions which can be used to reinforce the material from the chapter.  Managerial Accounting also comes equipped with McGraw Hill Connect online.  This service allows users to connect online to gain supplemental materials like chapter reviews, flashcards, and tutorials.  Test and quizzes can also be found on the online portal.  It also gives users sample quizzes for further accounting practice.

What makes it unique:

  • The chapters are long, detailed and easy to understand.
  • It supplies supplemental help through Wiley and McGraw Hill online.

Why choose this book:

  • Managerial Accounting is excellent for understanding the difference between managerial accounting and finance accounting.
  • The information is easy to follow and thoroughly written.


Value Picks for Best Accounting Books

Accounting for Dummies by John A. Tracy

Accounting for Dummies comes in as a value pick for its affordable pricing and ease of use. It is for the reader who is merely looking to grasp a better understanding of their real-life financials. These include things like balancing checkbooks, budgeting and bookkeeping. Although not a traditional textbook Accounting for Dummies is educational and doesn’t require a course. It is a high-level overview of a variety of accounting related topics.

If you are looking to continue receiving accounting overviews, there are other books in the For Dummies series which focus on accounting.  These include:

  • Bookkeeping and Accounting All-In-One for Dummies
  • Financial Accounting for Dummies
  • Accounting all in one for Dummies
  • Corporate Finance for Dummies
  • Nonprofit Bookkeeping & Accounting for Dummies
  • Understanding Business Accounting for Dummies

This is an easy read with good insight.  If you are looking for something more detailed full of practical exercises and examples this is not the book for you.

What makes it unique:

  • Accounting for Dummies allows readers to gain a basic understanding of accounting.
  • It is more so tailored to business managers who are looking to understand their primary financial documents.

Why choose this book:

  • Accounting for Dummies is a great introductory book for readers looking to gain an overview of accounting for personal gain or in preparation for an upcoming accounting course.
  • Accounting for Dummies aids in understanding and updating financial and income statements, as well as, reading financial statements.


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

The Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh from the Lemonade Stand is not a traditional textbook and is therefore not set up as such; however, it is an excellent essential accounting book for beginners.  The book presents things in a way that even a child can understand offering line by line instructions for specific problems. Many current readers found that although The Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh from the Lemonade Stand may look like a children’s book, that is part of the appeal.

Although it keeps the business aspect simple, running a lemonade stand, it doesn’t skimp on the information it supports business owners.  It is a perfect book for new business owners who don’t have the time to sit through accounting courses.  It gives user knowledge of business terms and allows them to follow charts and graphs.

What makes it unique:

  • The Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh from the Lemonade Stand uses a lemonade stand to illustrate and solve complex financial problems in a way that the average user can understand.
  • It boasts a unique design that makes it more engaging and fun to read.

Why choose this book:

  • If you are a new business owner who is unfamiliar with what goes into business finance, this is the perfect starting place.
  • It is fun and easy to read.
  • It builds on simple concepts and works its way to more complex competencies.


Summary of the Best Accounting Textbooks

To sum up, here are the textbooks we looked at today:

ProductList PriceNumber Of Pages
Accounting Made Simple $14.99 114
Accounting Principles - Standalone book N/A 1296
Intermediate Accounting $299.99 1552
Financial Accounting, 9th Edition N/A 864
Managerial Accounting N/A 816
Accounting For Dummies $24.99 416
The Accounting Game $19.95 179

Accounting can be an overly complicated subject with many different areas, specialties, and rules.  It is crucial that there are options for a variety of experience levels and learning styles.  The books mentioned in this have expertise which ranges from a beginning accountant student to someone on a more advanced scale.  Whether you are trying to ace your principles of accounting class or merely looking to manage your finances better, regardless of your intent, this list has a book for you. Accounting for Dummies is for the not so financially savvy reader that may not steer you in the direction of a CPA but can get you on the road to becoming a more financially sound individual.  If you are looking for a book to get your feet wet with entrepreneurial accounting or running a business, The Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh from the Lemonade Stand can provide you with real-world examples to not just get you started but keep you going. If you are looking to delve head first into the wonderful world of accounting Intermediate Accounting is one of the best accounting textbooks to read.

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