What is an easy to understand book that teaches a beginner how to read a balance sheet? Something like a Balance Sheet for Dummies?

closed as off-topic by Ganesh Sittampalam Jan 8 '18 at 23:02

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product or service recommendations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve." – Ganesh Sittampalam
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


By a remarkable coincidence, there actually is a title "Balance Sheets for Dummies". I've not read this particular title, but the series has yet to disappoint. If you'd like a start, the 6 page A Beginner's Guide to the Balance Sheet is a decent article.

  • Google Books does not even have the title "Balance Sheets for Dummies".......... google.com/search?q=Balance+Sheets+for+Dummies&tbm=bks – Pacerier May 11 '13 at 11:34
  • Perhaps it's out of print. This question is two years old. – JoeTaxpayer May 12 '13 at 1:22
  • Google Books archive even books that are out of print. I doubt the book "Balance Sheets for Dummies" even exist.... Do you mean "accounting for dummies"? – Pacerier May 13 '13 at 7:09
  • Accounting for Dummies should cover the topic. – JoeTaxpayer May 14 '13 at 15:19
  • 1
    I appreciate the note. The file structure at the source changed. The link functions now. – JoeTaxpayer Feb 23 '15 at 15:12

I found this yesterday which is really beginner friendly in the way it breaks each part down into layman terms. Really helped me a lot.

A Simple Guide to Understanding Your Company's Financial Statements by Illinois Small Business Development Center

Screenshot from inside:

enter image description here

(if link ever goes dead ping me and I can share through PDFy or Google Drive)


I think Investopedia.com is one of the best resources for beginners.

Heres a good tutorial on balance sheets.


Nothing beats Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham. Especially the 1941 Edition, is the best.

Its very tough to read it, but if you do it will be incredibly transforming.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.