Accounting for Startup Founders

'Laolu Samuel-Biyi
Accounting for Startup Founders

Members of founding teams have different roles to play. Still, regardless of their area of expertise, every entrepreneur will one day find themselves in that desperate position where they have to make sense of financial statements. This could be when the tax auditors come knocking with a bill, or when investors ask technical questions.

They will quickly discover that beyond the technical capacity to develop a solution and the business skills to be able to sell it, the accounting and finance function can be one of the most painful and critical pressure points, and perhaps one of the few that can’t entirely be outsourced.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve taught several classes in Accounting and Finance with a focus on non-finance managers. I have also lectured the same to business students in universities. I have observed marked improvements in hundreds of students over the years, and it has been a joy to see confounded faces nod in understanding after only a few weeks.

Accounting is a very broad field, and it will take several years to attain true mastery, but for most real-life applications, the fundamentals should be enough to get by. Everyone in business should have a mature understanding of basic Accounting concepts, and they should be able to read, evaluate, and create financial statements from scratch. Accounting is the language of business, and you can only truly appreciate any prose if you understand the alphabet and appreciate the vocabulary.

I created a tutorial workbook many years ago, and it has served me very well. This workbook builds on the fundamentals of Accounting and develops into a full set of financial statements. The sheets and entries have detailed annotations using simple language, and the purpose of the workbook is to expose how ordinary business transactions compile into lines on the financial statement. Hopefully, this knowledge will help teams make smarter business decisions and reduce surprises in the future.

Feel free to download and explore the Excel below, and let me know if you find it useful.

Photo by Desola Lanre-Ologun on Unsplash

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