It is important for every key person of a business to understand how accounting records are kept and to be able to interpret accounting reports. Not all managers and key persons of a business have training in accounting.

In general, this manual seeks to enable the following users with no accounting background to explain and apply the principles, basic tools, and techniques of the accounting process.



Are you frustrated because you can't communicate adequately with your accountant or bookkeeper? Your ability to ask intelligent questions on accounting issues will command respect from colleagues and employees. This manual offers tips, techniques and short-cuts you won’t find in a text book. Examples used in the book are from common experiences found in small companies like yours. Or, perhaps you are an accounting manager who needs to provide staff training in accounting. This course can provide your staff with a basic accounting foundation, making your job of teaching much easier.



Treasurers of small non-profit organizations usually volunteer for the job. However, they often have no training in the field of finance, but are expected to stand before a Board of Directors and report on the organization’s financial condition. This course can provide you with the accounting background necessary to fulfil your responsibilities as treasurer.



Loan officers frequently review customer’s business financial statements. However, as a loan officer, you may not have had the opportunity to learn how all of the general ledger accounts interact with each other. For instance, is there continuity in the customer’s business equity accounts from year to year? Without good grounding in the fundamentals of general ledger account activity, you could be easily fooled into making a bad loan. Use this manual to sharpen your skills without having to return to school to attend a career course in accounting.



Financial planners often have clients who own small businesses. The business is usually an integral part of the client’s total financial picture. Financial planners should know how to read and interpret a business financial statement. For example, you should be able to explain to your client that his debt-to-equity ratio is too high; that the business is under-capitalized; or his receivables are not being collected in a timely manner, etc. Build client appreciation, respect and confidence by serving all their financial planning needs.



Often a bookkeeper may acquire some accounting skills, but did not learn how all the general ledger accounts function. This lack of knowledge can be a hindrance to the bookkeeper who would like to qualify for more responsibility (and higher pay). This Accounting Manual of instructions can fill those gaps and open up new career opportunities.



Accounting Manual for Non-Accountants, a short, step-by-step program in accounting basics, benefits students in several ways:

  • Students feeling unprepared for or overwhelmed by formal college accounting courses, find Accounting Manual for Non-Accountants an excellent primer for building confidence.
  • Students struggling to make headway in courses on entrepreneurship and finance, receive the background they need in order to understand and succeed in these courses.
  • Non-business majors, such as artists, programmers, writers, etc., grasp the essentials of accounting so that they can succeed in starting their own business.



Often in business (or any field), changes require us to take on new challenges. Such events may require you to bone up on skill sets you have not used for a while.

If accounting is a skill set of yours, and you would like a quick review of the basics to meet that new challenge, this accounting manual education is for you.




This manual is written primarily with the object of providing for the needs of entrepreneurs, owner-managers of businesses, finance staff of SMEs, officers of private voluntary organizations with no accounting background but are involved directly or indirectly with financial management, College students and anyone who needs a fast review of accounting.

Specifically, at the end of studying this manual, users will be able to:

  •   Understand how financial transactions are recorded
  •   Understand how final accounts are produced
  •   Apply principles, concepts, methods and procedures of financial management and planning such as capital budgeting, cost-volume profit analysis, and working capital;
  •   Read financial statements, and analyze and use them for decision-making.




I am most eternally grateful to Jehovah for the strength, knowledge and wisdom granted me in writing this book.

My profound gratitude goes to A. H. Millichamp, Jimmy Sweeney, Michael Lee, opentuition and Ghana VAT Service for their source material used in this book.

I am grateful to my lecturer, Mr. David Sarpong Jnr. His corrections and many suggestions were of great help in developing this book. I am also indebted to my computer assistant, Horla Kweku Adjornor. A good deal of credit for this book goes to my students and colleagues at the Accra Polytechnic, for encouraging me to complete this task.

I am equally thankful to Mr. Wisdom A. Adjornor and his gracious wife, Mrs. Grace A. Adjornor for all their spiritual and material supports. Not to mention my relations, friends and brethrens who were praying behind the scene.

Though acknowledgements are warranted, let me hasten to add the traditional sole-responsibility clause: I exclusively and fully bear the responsibility for all shortcomings of this book and any constructive criticisms and suggestions will be warmly welcome and finally, I hope this book will prove itself to be useful.