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Best Accounting Textbooks

Whether you’re a seasoned accountant looking to sharpen your skills or a small business owner managing your own finances, a good accounting textbook is a great resource to have on hand.

Taking an online seminar or attending a class can be costly or and can clash with your busy schedule. A book is always there when you need it and has no hidden costs.

Quick Look: The Best Accounting Textbooks

  • Accounting Made Simple by Mike Piper – Get this book
  • Warren Buffett Accounting Book by Stig Brodersen and Preston Pysh – Get this book
  • Schaum’s Outline Principles of Accounting I by Joel Lerner and James A. Cashin – Get this book
  • Barron’s Accounting Handbook 6th Edition by Shim, Siegel, Dauber, and Qureshi – Get this book
  • The Accounting Game by Darrell Mullis and Judith Orloff – Get this book
  • Accounting 27th Edition by Carl Warren, James Reeve and Jonathan Duchac – Get this book
  • Accounting Principles 12th Edition by Wygandt, Kimmel, and Kieso – Get this book
  • Advanced Accounting 13th Edition by Hoyle Schaefer and Doupnik – Get this book
  • Fundamental Accounting Principles 23rd Edition by Wild, Shaw, and Chiappetta – Get this book
  • Intermediate Accounting 16th Edition by Kieso, Weygandt, and Warfield – Get this book

What Do the Best Accounting Textbooks Look Like?

When selecting an accounting textbook, there are 3 key requirements you should be on the look for. First, take note of the writer and their level of experience. Second, make sure the content is in line with what you need to know. Lastly, the textbook needs to be offered at an affordable price.

Great Author Reputation

Before deciding on a text, it’s best to begin researching the writers. See if they have any other books and look into what topics those cover. Also, examine the reputation of the author. You can locate public perception of the author from paying attention to reviews from readers on Amazon, Goodreads, and similar sites.

Enriched Content

You should examine the contents of the textbook to make sure it covers the topics you need. A good accounting textbook should be easy to understand, offering accurate and up-to-date info.

A great textbook should also contain flowcharts, explanation tables, quizzes, and problems for you to solve. Look for books that use real-life examples to illustrate the covered concepts.

Make sure to check out the reviews and ratings of each book you consider. If there are too many negative reviews and one-star ratings, you should probably look elsewhere.

Fair Price

Finally, you should shop around and compare the prices to make sure you’re not being charged too much for the book. While a quality textbook can be pricey, you should avoid books that promise miracles or are out of your price range.

The Top Accounting Textbooks

The list below was compiled using the criteria introduced in the previous section. Keep reading for the best accounting textbooks for beginners, intermediate level students, and advanced accountants.

1. Accounting Made Simple by Mike Piper

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? Beginners
  • Price: On sale

Mike Piper lays out the basic principles and concepts of accounting in a simple and easy-to-grasp manner.

It’s aimed at beginners, but former students who want to brush up on the basics can also find this book valuable. Accounting Made Easy also explains financial ratios without using too much technical jargon.

Get this textbook

2. Warren Buffett Accounting Book by Stig Brodersen and Preston Pysh

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? All levels
  • Price: On sale

This is the second volume of the immensely popular series Warren Buffett’s Three Favorite Books.

It was written by Stig Brodersen and Preston Pysh, and accountants of all levels can use it. The authors start off by explaining how fundamental analysis works and then cover practical topics like reading balance sheets, interpreting and understanding income and cash flow statements, and more.

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3. Schaum’s Outline Principles of Accounting I by Joel Lerner and James A. Cashin

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? Beginners
  • Price: On sale

Though it wouldn’t be a mistake to call this a textbook, Schaum’s Outline Principles of Accounting is best used as a workbook.

It features 520 solved problems, which will keep you sharp and on top of your game for a long time. Along with the definitions of basic accounting terms, this book also contains some sample exams and explanations of the concepts used in beginner-level courses.

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4. Barron’s Accounting Handbook 6th Edition by Shim, Siegel, Dauber, and Qureshi

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? Advanced accountants
  • Price: On sale

Shim, Siegel, Dauber, and Qureshi wrote this handbook mainly as a reference book for experienced accountants.

The highlights of this book are the thorough explanations of GAAP (Generally accepted accounting principles) and IFR (income fund reimbursable) accounting guidelines. Additionally, the authors explain how to prepare tax forms in great detail.

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5. The Accounting Game by Darrell Mullis and Judith Orloff

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? Beginners

With The Accounting Game, the authors use accelerative learning, which engages the senses and emotions, as well as the reader’s critical thinking skills.

The book is written in a simple narrative style with vivid examples and illustrated with cartoonish drawings. Thanks to its almost deceptive simplicity, it’s a good option for people who have tried and failed to learn the skill of accounting before.

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6. Accounting 27th Edition by Carl Warren, James Reeve and Jonathan Duchac

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? All levels
  • Price: On sale

The 27th edition of Accounting builds on and improves the previous versions, giving students a smoother learning experience.

The basics of accounting are laid out in a clear, easy to understand manner and are laden with great examples.

This book features very useful flowcharts and offers an insight into the latest accounting policies.

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7. Accounting Principles 12th Edition by Wygandt, Kimmel, and Kieso

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? Beginners
  • Price: On sale

Wygandt, Kimmel, and Kieso explain the fundamentals of accounting in a straightforward manner, and they provide a great number of examples applicable to real life situations.

Financial statements are thoroughly covered. This book also contains instructive tables that make the learning process all that easier.

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8. Advanced Accounting 13th Edition by Hoyle Schaefer, Doupnik

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? Advanced accountants
  • Price: On sale

Advanced Accounting 13th Edition is among the finest accounting textbooks written for experienced students.

The authors don’t spend time on defining basic terminology and explaining simple concepts. Instead, they use the terms in context, and you are expected to learn as you go.

Many of the examined cases include historical controversies and how they played out.

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9. Fundamental Accounting Principles 23rd Edition by Wild, Shaw, and Chiappetta

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? Beginners
  • Price: On sale

Fundamental Accounting Principles has been around for more than six decades and countless students have learned basic accounting principles and terms from this book in the past.

The 23rd edition opens each chapter with a vignette that demonstrates the concepts and terms introduced in that chapter. This book challenges the reader to think like a businessperson and apply critical thinking.

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10. Intermediate Accounting 16th Edition by Kieso, Weygandt, and Warfield

Source: Amazon.com
  • Who’s it for? Intermediate accountants
  • Price: On sale

Intermediate Accounting is widely regarded as the gold standard when it comes to teaching intermediate-level accounting.

It is famous for its comprehensive structure, as well as its accuracy and accessibility. In the 16th edition, Kieso, Weygandt, and Warfield build upon the legacy of previous editions and offer in-depth explanations of IFRS Standards.

US GAAP concepts are covered too, and there are challenging practical problems for students to solve.

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Finding the Textbook Right For You

If you’re keen on expanding your knowledge of accounting, a quality textbook is a great way to get started. Whether you’re looking to improve your finance skills or business basics, a textbook is an essential starting point. You can read it at your own pace and in your spare time.