Monday, December 14, 2015

Finkler et al: Financial Management for Public, Health, and Not-for-Profit Organizations - A Review

Finkler et al: Financial Management for Public, Health, and Not-for-Profit Organizations

4th Edition

This was the book assigned to me for my class specifically for Nonprofit Financial  Management as I pursue my MBA  specifically for Nonprofit management.

As textbooks go, it is serviceable. The writing is clean and clear, and is easily understandable for someone that has some background in accounting. I am the Director of Finance at a nonprofit, and I was able to pick up a number of useful things from this, though a lot of it was review.

A couple of things bothered me a bit. There is a chapter about the time value of money (here it is chapter five). The book teaches the student how to approach the problems from a point where the unknowns are plugged into excel. This may just be me being old fashioned, but to me it skipped a step in being overly reliant on technology instead of going back one step and showing the derivation and making the student go through the motions to get an understanding of where excel is coming from. It’s not that it isn’t there - for example the derivation of finding the value of the annuity is footnoted, in small print. Again, a small concern, but one nevertheless.

A second thing is to look at the cost. Due to a mix up with the professor’s syllabus, I had first bought the third edition of this book, before being told that the fourth edition was the only acceptable one. The problem is that at the time, the third edition was less than half the price of the fourth edition. The kicker was I ended up with both of the editions side by side, and looking at the first three chapters I noticed no discernible difference. This may not be true in later chapters as I didn’t make the comparison. If you are assigning the text, have a look at the third edition for the student’s sake.