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Finance Basics (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series)

Finance Basics (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series)

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Finance Basics (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series)

4.5/5 (18 valutazioni)
100 pagine
1 ora
Feb 18, 2014


Intimidated by corporate finance? The numbers (and the jargon) can feel overwhelming--but you have to understand them to manage effectively. Finance Basics explains the fundamentals simply and quickly, introducing you to key terms and concepts such as:

  • How to navigate financial statements
  • How to weigh costs and benefits
  • What’s involved in budgeting and forecasting
  • How to gauge a company's financial health

Don't have much time? Get up to speed fast on the most essential business skills with HBR's 20-Minute Manager series. Whether you need a crash course or a brief refresher, each book in the series is a concise, practical primer that will help you brush up on a key management topic. Advice you can quickly read and apply, for ambitious professionals and aspiring executives--from the most trusted source in business. Also available as an ebook.

Feb 18, 2014

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Finance Basics (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series) - Harvard Business Review

Finance Basics

Get up to speed fast on essential business skills. Whether you’re looking for a crash course or a brief refresher, you’ll find just what you need in HBR’s 20-Minute Manager series—foundational reading for ambitious professionals and aspiring executives. Each book is a concise, practical primer, so you’ll have time to brush up on a variety of key management topics.

Advice you can quickly read and apply, from the most trusted source in business.

Titles include:

Creating Business Plans

Delegating Work

Finance Basics

Managing Projects

Managing Time

Managing Up


Running Meetings

Finance Basics

Decode the jargon

Navigate key statements

Gauge performance


Boston, Massachusetts

Copyright 2014 Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation

All rights reserved

Printed in the United States of America

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior permission of the publisher. Requests for permission should be directed to, or mailed to Permissions, Harvard Business School Publishing, 60 Harvard Way, Boston, Massachusetts 02163.

The web addresses referenced in this book were live and correct at the time of the book’s publication but may be subject to change.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Finance basics.

         pages cm — (20-minute manager series)

   ISBN 978-1-62527-085-6 (alk. paper)

   1. Corporations—Finance.     2. Managerial accounting.

   HG4026.F487 2014



ISBN: 978-1-62527-089-4 (ebook)


No matter where you work in your organization, you’ll do your job better if you understand basic financial concepts. You’ll be a more effective contributor to your company’s efforts to make money and grow.

This short book explains the basics of finance. Though reading it won’t make you a finance expert, it will help you:

• Make sense of the three key financial statements.

• Gauge your company’s financial health.

• Weigh costs and benefits before committing resources.

• Consider financial risks when making decisions.

• Estimate future performance.

• Track investments against what you’ve budgeted.


Why Understand Finance?

Navigating the Three Major Financial Statements

Accounting methods

The income statement

The balance sheet

The cash flow statement

Using the Statements to Measure Financial Health

Profitability ratios

Efficiency ratios

Liquidity ratios

Leverage ratios

Other ways to measure financial health

Preparing a Budget

Top-down versus bottom-up budgeting

Getting started

Articulating your assumptions

Quantifying your assumptions

Calculating Return on Investment

Costs and benefits

Payback period

Net present value and internal rate of return

Break-even analysis

Sensitivity analysis

Evaluating unquantifiable costs and benefits

Tracking Performance

Performance of an investment

Performance of an existing unit


Test Yourself

Answers to Test Questions

Key Terms

Learn More



Finance Basics

Why Understand Finance?

Why Understand Finance?

Finance matters to all companies because they all have to bring in money and spend it in order to do business. On the bringing-in side, smart managers consider questions like these:

• How much of our money comes from the owners? How much from sales? How much from borrowing?

• Which of our product lines and regions earn the highest profits? Which ones fail to perform?

• How long does it take to collect money that customers owe us?

On the spending side:

• Are our costs what they should be? Are we spending the right amount on our people and on our physical assets, such as office space and computer equipment?

• If we can invest in only one of several opportunities for growth, how do we determine which one would generate the most value?

• If we increased our output by 20%, would we make 20% more money?

Your company’s finance department (or bookkeeper, if it’s a very small company) produces financial statements, budgets, and forecasts. By understanding these documents, you’ll gain the information you need to ask essential questions and make smart decisions for your division, department, or team.

By the way, finance uses jargon that may be unfamiliar

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  • (5/5)
    Fácil de entender , bien explicando sin tanto concepto que confunde solo lo importante
  • (5/5)
    I was in need of understanding basics,this book was very crisp and neat loved reading it.
  • (5/5)
    This book covers the very basics of finance; super well explained.
  • (4/5)
    Nice compilation of basic finance concepts..worth to have for an quick refresh