Some people say that comfort is the enemy of growth — and we tend to agree. As accounting plays a more central role in daily business operations, complacency and relying on old skills won’t serve accounting professionals well. Even the most seasoned accountants should still seek out opportunities to expand their knowledge and challenge assumptions.
One of the best ways to learn is through reading, and lucky for us, there are a ton of great books out there to help accountants in every stage of their career. Whether you’re looking for ways to adapt to change, brush up on basics, or boost your professional development, you can start crafting your reading list with some of these titles in mind.
1. “Accounting Made Simple” by Mike Piper
As the name implies, the accounting profession is straightforward when you strip it down to the basics. This classic is known for its straightforward approach to accounting concepts, making it a great option for recent graduates looking to invest in themselves. Bonus: at just over 100 pages, you can cover the basics and start on your next book even faster — nice.
2. “Growing by Numbers" by Della Hudson FCA
In this comprehensive guide, business finance mentor Della Hudson FCA provides expert advice and practical steps to help entrepreneurs scale up their businesses successfully. From strategic planning and cost control to team building and role shaping, this authoritative book covers all aspects of preparing your business for growth. With a focus on understanding and leveraging financial numbers, readers will gain the knowledge and confidence needed to navigate the path to sustainable growth.
Whether you're a finance novice or expert, this book is your roadmap to achieving financial security and long-term success in business.
3. “Financial Shenanigans” by Howard M. Schilit, Jeremy Perler, and Yoni Engelhart
Sometimes good clients behave badly. In those cases, it’s good to be prepared so you can respond accordingly. This book focuses on detecting accounting gimmicks and fraudulent financial reporting by covering both broad concepts and zeroing in on specific case studies.
4. “Dare to Lead", by Brené Brown
"Dare to Lead" by Brené Brown is a thought-provoking book that challenges the traditional notions of leadership. In this book, Brown emphasizes that leadership is not about titles or wielding power, but about taking responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas. She encourages leaders to develop that potential by staying curious, asking the right questions, and cultivating empathy, connection, and courage.
Through research, stories, and examples, Brown provides a no-nonsense guide on how to cultivate braver and more daring leaders while embedding the value of courage in organizational culture. "Dare to Lead" is a must-read for anyone seeking to step up and embrace brave leadership in today's world.
Considered a go-to reference for accounting professionals everywhere, the sixth edition of ‘Barron’s Accounting Handbook” helps you stay on top of the latest trends in all things accountancy, no matter what stage of your career.
6. “The Wealthy Accountant,” by Rob Nixon
The name says it all: what if you could rely on systems that help you fast-track your goals? The guidebook to working smarter, not harder, this title will help you start 2024 with a more strategic approach, no matter what your interpretation of wealth might be.
7. “The Accountant Marketer" by Karen Reyburn
"The Accountant Marketer" by Karen L. Reyburn, CPA is a guide that challenges the conventional approach to marketing. With a focus on authenticity and values, this book provides a framework for creating marketing strategies that truly reflect who you are and what you stand for.
By following the principles outlined in this book, you can attract clients who align with your values and spend less time on filtering leads. Discover the joy of marketing and build an accounting business that allows you to do work you enjoy, get paid for your worth, and work with clients who are a perfect fit for you.
While this title isn’t an accounting book per se, it can help you show up as your best self on the job. Feeling overwhelmed by choices? Setting personal and professional boundaries can be tough, but it’s necessary for a balanced life. The book helps readers drill down into the basics so they can navigate decisions large and small at work or at home with clarity and ease. Professional development is a lifelong journey, and reading is one way to level up.
In "The Radical CPA," Jody Padar highlights the four key characteristics of a radical certified public accountant (CPA): their approach to technology, use of social media, understanding of the relationship between pricing and value, and conviction that customer experience should drive internal processes.
This book emphasizes the rise of innovative CPAs who challenge the traditional firm business model and create a supportive community beyond the establishment's control. The author shares their own journey and how they discovered like-minded peers through Twitter (now X). The term "radical" refers to the fundamental and disruptive changes these CPAs are making to their firms and the profession as a whole. Find your path to embracing change and join the movement towards a new way of doing business.
Looking for even more reading material? There are stacks of other titles you can access at your local library, through streaming audiobook and podcast platforms, or on YouTube. You can also check out Canopy’s resource library, where we share ebooks and guides to keep you up-to-speed on accounting best practices, news, and more.
Chris is a content manager for Canopy, joining the team with a combined eight years of experience as a copywriter, editor-in-chief, and content marketer. He's a skilled wordsmith and strategic thinker who shapes brand identity through compelling content and fosters a collaborative and innovative environment. With a passion for storytelling and a dedication to excellence, he is a driving force behind any company's success in content marketing. Champion of the Oxford comma.READ MORE BY Chris