Understanding Financial Accounting-A Guide for Non-Specialists

  • 12h 31m
  • Jimmy Winfield, Mark Graham, Taryn Miller
  • Oxford University Press (US)
  • 2021

Focusing on the content that will benefit business and management students, and featuring a wealth of global examples from real businesses, the authors enable students to unpick and analyze financial statements with confidence.

Do your students struggle to engage with financial accounting topics? Look no further than Understanding Financial Accounting to help them actively engage with the content, understand the key concepts, and advance their analysis skills.

Writing specifically for those with no background in accounting, the authors focus on how to extract the information that will contribute to business decision making. Their conversational and captivating style makes even technical and complex principles unambiguous and immediately accessible.

A recurring case study, contextual examples, and real-world financial statements from multinational companies are interwoven throughout, demonstrating the principles in practice. Winfield, Graham, and Miller illuminate the relevan c e of IFRS and financial statement literacy to non-accountants, as well as guiding students towards carrying out analysis autonomously.

Students are also encouraged to develop their independent research and critical thinking skills by attempting a series of end-of-chapter questions. In addition, the book is complemented by the following online resources to support students and lecturers.


  • Written in a highly engaging style, the authors provide refreshing and lively support to students
  • Focused on IFRS content and how to unlock the information valued by decision makers, the content is ideal for newcomers to accounting and supports readers as they progress to perform more advanced analysis
  • The authors address broader topics of vital interest to accounting and analysis, such as business valuations, financial scandals, and emerging trends in corporate reporting
  • Enriched by examples and real-world financial statements from a myriad of multinational companies, students can contextualize the subject matter and practise their interpretation skills
  • Each chapter closes with a series of questions that encourage independent learning and critical thinking
  • these are accompanied by answer guidance from the authors
  • Further online resources such as additional case studies with questions, answer guidance, and multiple-choice-questions with instant feedback provide additional support t o students and teachers

About the Author

James "Jimmy" Winfield is an Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town (UCT), where for many years he has taught courses in financial reporting, management accounting, and business ethics for the College of Accounting, Graduate School of Business and Philosophy Department. He has received many awards for his teaching, including the National Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, granted by South Africa's top higher education council. In addition to his several qualifications in Accounting, Jimmy has a Master of Arts in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, which he received from the University of Oxford. He is also the lead author of the book Business Ethics & Other Paradoxes (Fairest Cape Press, 2014) .

Mark Graham is a chartered accountant and an Associate Professor at UCT's Graduate School of Business where he is a multiple award-winning teacher of finance and accounting on the MBA, EMBA, and various executive programs. He is a former Head of the College of Accounting at UCT, where he taught aspiring chartered accountants for over 20 years. Mark is also the former chair of the Association of Heads of Accounting in South Africa and has been involved with Ernst & Young's Excellence in Reporting awards since its inception in 1997. He is now the current chair of the adjudication panel for the annual Ernst & Young's Excellence in Integrated Reporting awards.

Taryn Miller is a chartered accountant and Senior Lecturer in the College of Accounting at UCT, where she is Head of the financial reporting section. She is an established researcher in the areas of core accounting concepts, curriculum reduction and cognitive load, and a producer of many applied case studies. She also leads projects driving curriculum change to equip graduates with the necessary skills and relevant competencies for the future world of work. Taryn has pioneered and now convenes online courses for thousands of candidates preparing to sit their final board exams. She also regularly consults on technical accounting issues to listed and unlisted companies.

In this Book

  • Getting the Most Out of Understanding Financial Accounting
  • Financial Accounting in Context
  • Accounting Basics
  • Financial Reporting Standards
  • Income and Expenses
  • Cash Flows
  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • Leases, Foreign Exchange, and Deferred Tax
  • Group Financial Statements
  • Equity
  • Financial Analysis
  • Business Valuations
  • Creative Accounting
  • Trends in Corporate Reporting
  • Glossary