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Whether you’re starting out for the first time or you’re already an existing sole trader, you may want to brush up on your general accounting skills to help understand the financial aspect of your work.

Whatever your reason for wanting to learn more about finances including basic financial metrics, obligations and forecasting, we have provided a list of some highly rated books that can help you towards becoming more proficient with your financials relating to your contracting work as a sole trader. This should help save you some time to search around for the best available books so you can get educated about this important aspect of your work-related activities.

Sole Trader Accounting – A Complete Bookkeeping Training Kit (Robert Redfern)

In no particular order, this first book concentrates on bookkeeping. Although bookkeeping itself may only touch upon the arguably complex subject of accounting, it will provide a solid grounding for further learning and can put you streets ahead of other sole traders. This could make your life easier in the long run as you’ll understand what records to keep and how to organise them in a sensible manner effectively streamlining a process.

The Best Small Business Accounts Book (Peter Hingston)

On the surface this may seem like it is more relevant for owners of companies such as contractors with limited companies, but this book deals specifically with accounts related to non-VAT registered small business, which may be appropriate for your particular circumstances. This book gives a broader depth of information to help with the entirety of cash coming in, going out and how this relates to the numbers needed for filing your end of year tax returns. It gives practical steps to take in order to achieve this.

Bookkeeping and Accounting All-in-One For Dummies (Jane E. Kelly)

This book forms part of the widely known series of books for ‘Dummies’, which tries to break down complex or relatively inaccessible topics into digestible information for people without prior experience. If you know very little about finance and you’re just starting out then this may be a useful book for your collection. This book may be more than you need if you’re just after a very basic understanding but it will provide a solid framework for accounting education.

Practical Accounts & Bookkeeping in easy steps (Alex Byrne)

The author, Alex Byrne, actually worked for HMRC in a previous life, which makes him highly qualified to present information about accounting related to your contracting work and has a unique insight into exactly what numbers are important for your tax obligations in the UK. This book has reviews stating it is easy to read and is particularly useful for beginners in understanding accounting for small operations such as those likely to be run by a sole trader.

I can start your business (Russell Smith)

Despite the title of this book suggests it is more of a general business book than an accounting book, it does contain sufficient information about the ‘need to know’ aspects of contracting in various different fields. This means that even if you are a sole trader this book will have some useful tips and information related to your industry. The book is written by an accountant so you’ll be sure to find a wealth of financial know-how to improve your knowledge and competency.

Picking the right book for you

Of course, this is merely a short list of the available books out there to help further your accounting knowledge and different books may be better than others for specific goals. However, it is likely you will find something useful in each book that will enhance your knowledge that little bit more.

After gaining a broader understanding of this topic, why not have a chat with one of our experienced team to learn how an accounting professional could help you not onlyfulfil your basic accounting obligations but help devise a strategy to help increase your financial efficiency. Call us on 0330 024 0406 or email