10 accountancy books for your Christmas stocking

aat comment

Use the December break to catch up on some great reading. Our round up of classics, new titles and thought-provoking paperbacks will keep your brain stimulated as you tuck into the turkey and mince pies.

1. Financial Accounting for Decision Makers by Peter Atrill and Eddie McLaney

Understanding the pressures and motivations behind making strategic decisions is essential for any accountant advising a business customer or looking to add consultancy to their portfolio of services.  The 10th edition of this well-regarded book focuses on the ways in which financial statements and information improve the quality of decision-making. The book has been updated to include real-world examples, showing the pressure on industries resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. It analyses real company reports to explore how accounting practices are used in making business decisions.

Buy the book

2. Business Model Navigator, The Strategies Behind The Most Successful Companies by Oliver Gassmann, Karolin Frankenberger, Michaela Choudury  and Michaela Csik

This book shows the different ways a business can be designed, how business models work, and analyses how innovation is essential to future-proof a company. It suggests how out of date business models may impact the profitability and longevity of a firm. This book is essential reading for any accountant who wants to be able to talk to corporate clients with a good understanding of what makes businesses work in the medium to long term.

Buy the book

3. The Essentials of Economics by John Sloman and Dean Garratt

Updated for 2023, this primer provides a clear and concise introduction to economics. A new edition of a classic textbook, the book includes updated analysis and insights into real global problems, such as the climate emergency, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the cost-of-living crisis. There is also a discussion of the problems facing governments regarding economic policies, geopolitical tensions and what measures could be taken to tackle these issues. An important book for understanding the global context in which finance and business operate.

Buy the book

4. Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism by Yanis Varoufakis

Controversial Greek economist and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis argues that capitalism is dead and a new economic era has begun. Whether or not you agree with his doomsday scenario, his arguments are certainly thought-provoking. In his book he describes how the world is facing an entirely new concentration of financial and economic power, and that we are all complicit in it. He uses the story of the minotaur to argue that we are facing a huge threat to the global financial system. Whether or not you agree with him, his outspoken polemic is worth reading.

Buy the book

5. The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains: An Introduction to Cryptocurrencies and the Technology that Powers Them (Cryptography, Derivatives Investments, Futures Trading, Digital Assets, NFT) by Antony Lewis

Increasingly, clients may hold cryptocurrency investments, some industries are now heavily using blockchain, and individuals may want to pay for goods and services with bitcoin. While cryptocurrency is not yet widely used as a method of payment, it is important to understand the technology and practices which lie behind it. The book looks at the history of Bitcoin, how payments are made, how digital tokens work and how blockchain is affecting the digital economy.

Buy the book

6. Audit and Accountancy Pitfalls: A Casebook for Practising Accountants, Lawyers and Insurers by Emile Woolf and Moira Hindson

Whether you are an accountancy student, a forensic accountant or working in general practice, this book details many of the challenges and mistakes that a technician might make in their work. It analyses how and where errors in audit and accounting that might go undetected and looks at the different aspects of fraud and how it manifests in organisations. A technical book for those who want to deep dive into the details of audit.

Buy the book

7. Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Still one of the classic tomes on wealth creation, Napoleon Hill’s 1937 book explains how to change your mindset on money and life, become more optimistic and stop procrastinating. His philosophy espouses incremental improvements, using imagination and the subconscious mind to propel yourself towards your objectives, and having a clearly-defined goal and purpose in life. He recommends persistence and decisiveness and a positive mental attitude. Throughout the book, Hill analyses the habits and behaviours of successful individuals, including Andrew Carnegie. This is much more than a book about money – it is about how to life your life effectively.

Buy the book

8. Success secrets for Motivation

If you are feeling ground down by the trials of lockdown and the pressures of the current economic climate, boost your personal motivation and that of your team by reading theperspectives of eleven successful entrepreneurs from around the world. They discuss their own personal experience of motivation, where it has helped them and their clients achieve more, and how to create motivation, especially in difficult environments.  

The contributing authors are Alison Shadrack, Christopher Sigmond, Clive Digby-Jones, Gareth Martindale, Jane Thomas, John Lunn, Keith Holdt, Melanie Attwater, Nick Griffith, Owen O’Malley and Robin Winnett. They are business leaders and experts in many different fields including marketing, property, wellness, strategy, design, finance and philosophy.  

Buy the book

9. The Answer is a Question, by Dominic and Laura Ashley-Timms

Two top executive coaches explain how much of the executive burnout and stress that managers and teams experience can be alleviated by changing the way you communicate. The Answer Is A Question reveals how leaders can ditch the command-and-control leadership model and adopt an enquiry-led approach that cultivates a new wave of engaged, problem-solving employees. To do this, managers need to start using questions in a more purposeful way. Learning to communicate effectively can help you when you want to inspire teams, encourage collaboration, initiate difficult conversations and strengthen working relationships. A valuable book to read no matter where you are in the structure of an organisation because improving your communication skills with colleagues and clients can pay dividends.

Buy the book

10. Tech for Good: Solving the World’s Greatest Challenges by Marga Hoek

Of the world’s 100 largest economies by revenue, 69 are companies, not countries. It is business that has the influence and power to pave the way for a sustainable future. Marga Hoek examines how we can harness technology to solve global challenges and create solutions at scale. The book features 75 inspiring, real-world case studies of businesses leveraging tech to deliver UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It reveals how eight key advanced technologies – including AI, robotics, Spacetech and Extended Realities – are being used to accomplish everything from eradicating hunger to achieving gender equality. A thought-provoking read on what the future might hold for all companies, no matter what their size or global reach.

Buy the book

Marianne Curphey is an award-winning financial writer and columnist, and author of the book How Money Works. She worked as City Editor at The Guardian, deputy editor of Guardian online, and has worked for The Times, Telegraph and BBC.

Related articles