Romancing the Balance Sheet
Kempe Gowda International Airport, Bangalore had become a sort of second home for me in the year 2018. I had resolved to cut down my travel at the beginning of the year and I ended up travel maximum during that year. Now, the KIAL has become like a Kempegowda bus stand due to the low-cost airline revolution created by Captain G.R Gopinath, the founder of Deccan Airways. It has become inevitable to reach the Airport at least two hours before the scheduled flight time to beat the airport congestion. After missing my flights, a couple of times, I always make it a point to reach the airport well ahead. My favorite spot in KIAL is RELAY bookshop. Until boarding time, I spend my time going through the all the recent and unusual books. One such book I spotted sometime back was “Romancing the Balance Sheet.” by Anil Lamba.
Subtitle said, “For anyone who owns, runs or manages a business.” A quote by Anil Lamba on the back page said, “Sooner or later, everyone realizes that their ability to lead successful businesses largely depends on their ability to read Balance sheets.” Back page credits said, “Romancing the Balance Sheet is perhaps the easiest way to learn financial management. Written in jargon-free, user-friendly language, this book is your key to smart finance. Essential reading, whether you are a large conglomerate or a small trader, an executive or a student.” That was quite motivating. Anila Lamba is a practicing accountant, bestselling author and financial literacy activist I was supremely pleased to buy a business book written by an Indian author.
I bought that book immediately. Understanding the Balance sheet was still a little fuzzy for me even though I had Financial management as a subject during my MBA (Correspondence!). All my financial management so far was based only on my father’s two quotes. First, “money saved is money earned,” and the second, “what cannot be accounted for, cannot be saved.” If someone asked me for some details about my IT returns or Balance sheet, I used to refer them directly to my auditor. As soon as I put on my seat belt in the flight, I opened the book. By the time I reached my destination, I had not only read the book thoroughly, but I also had all the financial management information required to run my business ventures. The same moment I resolved to clear all my hospital building construction debts as early as possible irrespective of huge tax liability.
The author has candidly narrated all the financial information in an easily understandable, jargon-less, simple and conversation type of language with appropriate examples. The book is not just about understanding the balance sheet. It teaches us how to manage our finances better, maximize our profits, how to analyze funds-flow statements and build financially intelligent organizations. Earlier I had not understood the concept of depreciation properly, and the author has elaborated on that topic succinctly.
Overall, the book delivers more than it promises. And it’s a must for everyone irrespective of the size and type of the business.
Dr. Prahlada N.B