Top business finance books every owner should read

As a small business leader, finance is one of your top priorities. But it can be hard to wrap your head around all the jargon and principles. You likely don’t want to memorize terms, but you want to simplify your process and grow your business through sound financial understanding.

Top Business Finance Books Every Owner Should Read

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The good news is that this information exists. You can learn business finances in a language you understand, with real practical value. By reading great books, you get access to the equivalent of thousands of years’ experience; books written by mentors you may never meet.

Below is a list compiled by our team at Profit Frog. These books are great resources to increase your understanding of finances and win at business. Read it today or add it to your library for reference. All of them uniquely tackle finances, becoming an essential toolkit for you.

The Accounting Game

1. The Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh From the Lemonade Stand by Darrell Mullis

This is a great book to teach you the fundamentals of accounting. It’s very important to know how your financials translate to statements and on paper—this book explains it in Layman’s terms.

One review on Amazon states, “Finally, a book that explains serious accounting in a fun and easy way. I had been searching high and low for a book like this.” Add this book to your library for a great read.

Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits

2. Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits by Greg Crabtree

“Take the mystery out of small business finance with this no-frills guide to understanding the numbers that will guide your business out of any financial black hole.” This book demystifies finances so that anyone can understand.

Let’s face it, we’re focused on growth and improving the overall company, and dealing with finances can get difficult. This book helps us simplify the process.

The Lean Startup

3. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

This classic book changed the game. Advocating the model of Build>>Measure>>Learn (and repeat), teaches us to operate a business responsibly, placing funds only where it matters most.

If you’re looking for a big vision for your small business finances, this is a great place to start.

Visual Finance

4. Visual Finance: The One Page Visual Model to Understand Financial Statements and Make Better Business Decisions by Georgi Tsvetanov

Most of us are visionaries. We had an idea or dream for the business and we carried it through. We value simplicity and clarity.

This book does that for us. Through a one-page visual model, you can put your business finances in perspective. “Stop avoiding financial topics during team meetings. Save your company from making costly mistakes and start maximizing all your valuable opportunities.”

Found Money

5. Found Money: Simple Strategies for Uncovering the Hidden Profit and Cash Flow in Your Business by Steve Wilkinghoff

Found Money presents a new and powerful approach to small-business success. It helps you figure out, instantly, whether your business is on-track or flying off the rails (and how to correct it if it is flying off the rails).”

This is another great book to read to cover the basics of your business. Identify key cash flow principles and use the strategies learned in this book to grow and solve issues within your business.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

6. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki

You’ve probably heard or read this book before. Either way, it’s a great book to start thinking of finances differently. Robert shakes up the idea of the financial statement and teaches us to pursue assets and wealth-building strategies instead of just income.

While this can be used for personal finance, it is also a good resource to start thinking outside of the box for your business.

Financial Intelligence

7. Financial Intelligence, Revised Edition: A Manager’s Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean by Karen Berman, Joe Knight, John Case

“Inc. magazine calls it one of ‘the best, clearest guides to the numbers’ on the market. Readers agree, saying it’s exactly ‘what I need to know’ and calling it a ‘must-read’ for decision makers without expertise in finance.”

If you want to dive into business finances and understand them on a deeper level, this book could be the choice for you. It covers a wide range of relevant topics within finances and makes it easy to apply them to your business.

Zero to Sold

8. Zero to Sold: How to Start, Run, and Sell a Bootstrapped Business by Arvid Kahl

Arvid does a powerful job of telling his story about FeedbackPanda, a survey company for the teaching industry. He built it with limited funds and successfully sold the business.

Unlike other books, Arvid doesn’t broadly cover a range of big concepts. He walks you through his process, describing how he invested in his company, to what tools he used—creating a priceless toolkit for business owners. His philosophy of  “bootstrapping” makes sure every dollar counts.

Accounting for the Numberphobic

9. Accounting for the Numberphobic: A Survival Guide for Small Business Owners by Dawn Fotopulos

Hate numbers? This might be the book for you. Understand fundamental accounting principles communicated for people who just don’t click when it comes to numbers.

This is a great book to read and have on your shelf to reference whenever you need it. Learn the best tactics to running a successful small business with a healthy bottom line.

How Finance Works

10. How Finance Works: The HBR Guide to Thinking Smart About the Numbers by Mihir Desai

This book is based on a popular course taught by a professor at Harvard Business School. If you want a solid foundation in finance principles, this is a great choice for you. Learn the traditional foundation and apply it to your business.

Zero to One

11. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

Considered part of the “PayPal Mafia” that transformed Silicon Value and changed several industries forever, Peter Thiel spills his secrets in his classic book.

Startups are brutal, fast-paced, racing their way to becoming profitable. Thiel has invested in startups that have become massively successful and have directly changed our day-to-day lives. Learn his strategies and how he uses his cash flow and investment funds to their fullest.

Guide to Self-Employment

12. J.K. Lasser’s Guide to Self-Employment: Taxes, Strategies, and Money-Saving Tips for Schedule C Filers

by Barbara Weltman

If you’re the type of person that wants to know the details and understand finances at a deeper, more technical level, this is a great choice.

Barbara dives into all the messy facts of self-employment. While these principles can be applied to your business, they are also beneficial to your own life as you earn your income from the company.

How to Read a Financial Report

13. How to Read a Financial Report: Wringing Vital Signs Out of the Numbers by John A. Tracy

“Designed specifically for non-specialists, this reader-friendly resource covers the fundamentals of financial reporting in jargon-free English.”

Learn the essentials like costs of goods sold, sales revenue, non-cash expenses, different financial statements, and more! This book has it all in one convenient place. It’s great to use as a reference.

14. Blockchain Bubble or Revolution: The Future of Bitcoin, Blockchains, and Cryptocurrencies by Neel Mehta

Bitcoin? Is that even real money? What does that have to do with me? If we’ve learned one thing, it’s that technology for businesses moves fast! Cryptocurrency has been growing tremendously, especially after the pandemic when people lost trust in centralized systems.

This rapid growth has moved major banks and credit card processors to allow cryptocurrencies as payment for merchants. If not now, soon, you may be able to accept it. Whether or not you choose to, customers will ask. This book keeps you in-the-know and positions you for any future shifts as the economy evolves.

The E Myth Revisited

15. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber

Another classic, Gerber dives into the world of entrepreneurship. At Profit Frog, we 100% believe in his principle of working ON your business, not IN it. This book shows you how.

The E-Myth is a great resource to understand business as a whole and how you can scale it the way you want to. Learn how to use your resources to create the company you want.

The Richest Man in Babylon

16. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Last but not least is a classic that’s been read millions of times. This little short book is written as a parable for business owners, sales professionals, and any person interested in wealth building.

It’s used for personal finances and business finances. The principles are simple but profound. It’s no wonder why so many people read it yearly. It’s a short read and worth every minute.

These are 16 top books for business finances! We encourage you to pick the one you’re most interested in. Tell us about the book and your experience, we would love to hear from you!

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