(720) 278-7838

20 Bookkeeping Books Every Entrepreneur Must Understand for Better Financial Management


Want help with your bookkeeping? We make it easy. Get startedSpeak w/ a Founder, or Schedule a Callback

Top view of several books on a table.

Not every entrepreneur reads bookkeeping books, but we think it’s a great idea! A basic understanding of how to keep your financial records straight is always good. But if you’re taking care of the books yourself, you need to get properly equipped.


Essential Bookkeeping Books for Entrepreneurs


1. Xero: A Comprehensive Guide for Accountants and Bookkeepers by Amanda Aguillard

This resource is designed to help accountants and bookkeepers learn the accounting software Xero. It focuses on the features and functionalities of this tool that are most relevant to US-based accounting professionals. 

The book dives into the practical applications of Xero, including best practices and core functionalities. It specifically targets Established subscription plan users.


2. Nonprofit Bookkeeping and Accounting For Dummies by Sharon Farris

This book was written to help people understand and manage the financial aspects of a nonprofit organization. It is based on the principle that you don’t need prior accounting experience to get things done right. The book covers general nonprofit accounting principles as well as fundamentals like debits, credits, and the general ledger.


3. Mastering QuickBooks by Crystalynn Shelton, CPA

This is actually a series of books, and it’s aimed at helping all kinds of QuickBooks users. It will help you navigate the popular accounting software, and a new edition publishes every year with all the software’s updates. 

The book helps QuickBooks users choose the right software plan. It also goes through customizing settings and managing customer, vendor, and product lists. It teaches how to handle sales and expense transactions, manage sales tax, reconcile bank statements, and more.


4. Bookkeeping Made Simple by David A. Flannery

This resource is a practical guide for beginners, particularly small business owners and students who have no prior accounting knowledge. It covers fundamental topics like double-entry bookkeeping and how to read and interpret balance sheets.


5. Bookkeeping for Nonprofits: A Step-by-Step Guide to Nonprofit Accounting by Murray Dropkin and James Halpin

This well-regarded book is designed specifically to guide users through the bookkeeping process of nonprofit organizations. It’s not as beginner-friendly as “Nonprofit Bookkeeping and Accounting For Dummies”, but it provides a more in-depth exploration of the subject. 

The book was originally published in 2005, so it does not address the latest technological advancements in bookkeeping software. However, the core principles of nonprofit accounting remain relevant.


Account Assets Audit Bank Bookkeeping Finance Concept


6. Master Intuit QuickBooks Online: From Setup to Tax Time by Alicia Katz Pollack

This guide specifically caters to users of QuickBooks Online, the cloud-based accounting software, unlike the broader “Mastering QuickBooks” series. It’s ideal for business owners who are new to QuickBooks Online or want to be able to use it to its full potential. 

The book offers step-by-step tutorials on how to use the various functionalities within QuickBooks Online. It also gives tips, quizzes, and exercises. We love the various how-tos, like managing accounts payable and accounts receivable, generating reports like profit and loss statements, and assessing your business’s financial health.


7. Xero for Dummies by Heather Smith

This comprehensive guide is designed to help users of all experience levels navigate Xero. It covers the basics of setting up your Xero account, including selecting a plan, importing data, and customizing settings. 

Heather Smith is a Xero Certified Advisor and Chartered Certified Accountant, so the book benefits from her accounting and Xero-specific knowledge. We love the clear and easy style of this material with all the explanations and illustrations to make learning Xero easier. 


8. Bookkeeping Essentials: How to Succeed as a Bookkeeper by Steven M. Bragg

This resource is a practical guide for both aspiring and current bookkeepers. It dives into bookkeeping fundamentals and best practices, equipping you for success in the field. 

This resource is not as beginner-friendly as similarly titled books. However, it provides a more detailed exploration of bookkeeping principles and their application in real-world scenarios.


9. 475 Tax Deductions for Businesses and Self-Employed Individuals by Bernard B. Kamoroff C.P.A.

This book aims to help business owners and self-employed individuals maximize their tax deductions and minimize their tax burden. The deductions are organized by category, making it easier to find relevant deductions for your specific situation. 

Each deduction likely comes with an explanation to understand what qualifies as deductible and what doesn’t. This can help you avoid common mistakes during tax filing.


10. DIY Small Business Bookkeeping the Easy Way by Simon Lawrence

This book is designed to help small business owners with no prior accounting experience to manage their finances. It establishes a foundation in core concepts, then dives into various financial statements crucial for small businesses. The book uses a step-by-step process to explain how to prepare financial statements.


11. Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less by Mike Piper, CPA

This concise and user-friendly introduction to the fundamentals of accounting is for small business owners and students who want a quick grasp of the core concepts. The material covers the foundational concepts and basic financial statements.

This book focuses on delivering the essentials in a clear and concise manner, making it suitable for those who want a quick overview. It serves as a springboard for further exploration of accounting or a stepping stone towards using accounting software.



12. Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz

This book specifically targets helping small business owners achieve profitability. It challenges traditional accounting methods and proposes a novel approach to managing business finances.

The book introduces the Profit First system, which flips the traditional accounting formula (Sales – Expenses = Profit) on its head. Instead, it advocates taking a percentage of your income as profit first, allocating the remaining funds for expenses. This shift in mindset, according to the author, compels businesses to become more efficient with their spending and fosters a culture of profitability.


13. Financial Statements: A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding and Creating Financial Reports by Thomas R. Ittelson

This bestselling book is designed to make financial reporting understandable, even for those without an accounting background. The book explains financial terms and concepts in a clear and straightforward manner, removing the intimidation factor. It then dives into how financial statements together provide a comprehensive picture of a company’s financial health.


14. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

This widely acclaimed book in the world of entrepreneurship proposes a different approach to launching startups. It emphasizes continuous innovation and rapid iteration based on customer feedback. The Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop revolves around:

  • Creating a minimum viable product (MVP),
  • Gathering customer feedback through testing and measurements, then
  • Learning from that feedback to iterate and improve your product.


15. Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

This business book challenges traditional business practices and offers a counterintuitive approach to success. It emphasizes the importance of keeping things simple and avoiding unnecessary complexity. 

The book highlights the importance of understanding your customers and building products or services that solve their problems. It encourages taking calculated risks  and focusing on quality. 

We love the emphasis on the value of fostering a positive and productive company culture that attracts and retains great talent. Specifically, the book notes the benefits of remote work arrangements, which can attract a wider and more satisfied talent pool.


16. Zero to One by Peter Thiel with Blake Masters

This thought-provoking book emphasizes the value of innovation and challenges conventional thinking about creating businesses. The book’s title refers to the concept of creating something entirely new instead of copying existing ideas. 

The book argues that successful businesses establish monopolies by creating unique products or services that lack direct competitors. It also advocates having an unwavering belief in the future of your business and its ability to achieve its ambitious goals. We love the emphasis on building a strong founding team with complementary skills and a shared vision. 


A man using a calculator.


17. Traction by Gino Wickman

This popular book aims to help entrepreneurs gain control and achieve significant business growth. It outlines a specific management framework known as the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).

This comprehensive system addresses six key components that are critical for business success. These components are Vision, People, Data, Issues, Process, and Traction. The book argues that focusing on these, businesses can overcome common challenges, gain traction, and achieve their full potential.


18. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

This is a well-known book targeted towards small business owners. It argues that many small businesses struggle because their owners get caught in technical aspects of work rather than working on the business itself. It teaches how replicable systems can guide the business to function smoothly even without the owner being directly involved in every task. 

Gerber argues against the idea that people with technical skills are naturally suited to run a successful business. He outlines three critical roles a business owner needs to embody: Technician, Manager, and Entrepreneur. 


19. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

This popular book helps aspiring entrepreneurs launch profitable businesses without significant financial investment. With a good idea, hustle, and focus on customer validation, you can build a successful business.

The “Mini-Munch” framework emphasizes validating your business idea in small, manageable ways. By limiting your initial investment to $100 or less, you will be more resourceful and creative before scaling up.


20. Company of One by Paul Jarvis

This book challenges the traditional notion of business growth, arguing a powerful alternative to the constant pursuit of scaling up. The author says you can build a successful and fulfilling business by staying small and focusing on intentionality.

This book encourages entrepreneurs and business owners to embrace the benefits of remaining lean. This way, you can achieve:

  • Greater freedom and flexibility.
  • More control over the quality of work and client relationships.
  • Reduced overhead costs and a simpler business structure.
  • The ability to focus on doing meaningful work and creating a positive impact.


Implementing Learning into Practice


Two smiling men using a laptop to learn bookkeeping books.


Build a Strong Foundation

Begin with an understanding of the core concepts of bookkeeping. Choose between cash-basis or accrual accounting, then select the right accounting tool for your needs.


Streamline Your Process

Keep business and personal finances separate. Classify all income and expenses into relevant categories. Where available, take advantage of software features like automatic bank feeds, recurring transactions, and bill payments.


Stay Current

Record transactions regularly for better accuracy. Develop a system for storing and categorizing receipts, too. This helps for future reference and tax purposes. 

Set aside time to review financial reports so you can use the data to create realistic budgets. Track variances and adjust spending as needed. Consider bookkeeping outsourcing if your business grows complex or you lack the time.


Frequently Asked Questions


How often should I update my bookkeeping knowledge with new books or resources?

In industries like finance or healthcare, you want to stay informed about updates to regulatory changes impacting bookkeeping practices. If your business is complex with diverse transactions or international operations, make time for more frequent knowledge updates.

If you’re the business owner managing basic books, you probably only need occasional updates. Bookkeepers dealing with complex accounts, though, might need to stay more current.

Check for tax law or accounting standard updates that might affect your bookkeeping practices at least once a year. Spend about an hour a month consuming bookkeeping content. If you face a particular accounting challenge, however, don’t wait to learn how to address it. 


Are digital bookkeeping resources as effective as traditional books?

Digital bookkeeping resources can be just as effective, if not better than books. They offer more updated information, and the content is searchable. Many online resources also offer interactive tutorials, simulations, and quizzes. Best of all, you can access digital resources from anywhere with an internet connection.


How can I assess the credibility of the bookkeeping advice in books?

Look at author and publisher credentials first. Authors should have professional certifications and experience working with businesses similar to yours in size and industry. Look for reputable financial or accounting publishers known for accuracy and editorial oversight.

Then, make sure that the book is a recent publication, because practices can evolve. Focus on books that emphasize the core principles of bookkeeping versus trendy or unproven techniques.

Try to find advice in other reliable sources to back up recommendations. Read reviews from other readers and recommendations from professional organizations or bookstores.


What Is AccountsBalance?


AccountsBalance is a monthly bookkeeping service specialized for agencies & SAAS companies.

We take monthly bookkeeping off your plate and deliver you your financial statements by the 15th or 20th of each month.

You’ll have your Profit and Loss Statement, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statement ready for analysis each month so you and your business partners can make better business decisions.

Interested in learning more? Schedule a call with our CEO, Nathan Hirsch.

And here’s some free resources:



In Summary

Overall, bookkeeping books are valuable tools for anyone involved in the financial management of an organization. Whether you have an accounting background or not, these resources can help you stand on your own two feet.

Want help with your bookkeeping? We make it easy. Get startedSpeak w/ a Founder, or Schedule a Callback

Recent Posts

Julia Valdez

Julia Valdez

Julia is a career freelancer and agency owner turned coach for those seeking abundance and victorious living. A professional teacher and decades-long lover of the art of words on paper and the stage, she loves sharing actionable advice on life-changing topics. When she’s not helping freelancers and other small business owners grow, you can find her sharing lots of laughs over little crazy things.

Want better bookkeeping?

Grab our 10 Step Entrepreneur Bookkeeping Checklist & get started on the right foot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Exclusive finance guide

Want better bookkeeping?

It's possible! Subscribe below & we'll send you our Bookkeeping Packet. A pack of resources to teach you about bookkeeping.

You’ll get our Entrepreneur Bookkeeping Guide, our Monthly Finance Meeting Agenda, & a few surprises!