clifford stephens
Accounting, Finance
Material Type:
College / Upper Division
  • Bonds
  • Business
  • Capital Asset Pricing Model
  • Finance
  • Financial Analysis
  • LOUIS Peer Review
  • Stocks
  • louis-peer-review
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    Creative Commons Attribution
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    Education Standards

    Business Finance Essentials Review

    Business Finance Essentials Review


    This is a review of Business Finance Essentials by Bracker, Lin and Pursley:

      This review was completed by Clifford Stephens, Ph.D., Department of Finance, Louisiana State University.


    The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary.

    Business Finance Essentials is just that - the essentials.  

    Business Finance Essentials covers the basic material for an introductory finance class fairly well, but lacks detail in a couple of areas - primarily in capital budgeting.

    The text is organized into nine chapters and two appendices, which may be sufficient for an introductory finance course, but would likely need to be augmented with other material covering topics such as cash flow estimation for capital budgeting purposes.  There is also no coverage of capital structure, payout policy, derivatives, working capital management or mergers and acquisitions that are generally included in introductory finance textbooks (although primarily to be used for a second corporate finance course)

    Content Accuracy

    Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased.

    The content appears to be accurate.  The information provided is accurate and unbiased, as would be expected for any finance textbook.  Most finance textbooks do not cover any controversial topics and are essentially fact based; this textbook is no exception.

    Relevance Longevity

    Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement.

    Finance theory and applications do not change rapidly, at least at the basic level for which this textbook is aimed.  Consequently, the content is relevant and will remain so for a long time.  The examples included are recent and the firms used in the examples are familiar to students, making it easier for students to relate.


    The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used.

    The textbook is clear and easy to read.  This is the strength of this textbook as many students struggle with material and way it is presented in other textbooks.  In some cases, the textbook appears to be overly simplified, but the "how to" videos included at the end of many chapters provide more detail.  These end-of-chapter videos are also generally well-done, clear and easy to understand.


    The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.

    The terminology and more importantly the notation are consistent throughout the text. The chapters are all structured similarly (at least where the material allows) and the formulas and notation are consistent through the chapters.  Each chapter consistently and logically builds from the previous chapter.


    The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

    The material is broken into chapters in a logical way.  Although most of the chapters build directly from the previous chapters there is still flexibility to cover the chapters/material in a different order.  Although the chapters are short, they are divided with headings into several subsections covering different material (that could be excluded or covered in a different order, if desired).

    Organization Structure Flow

    The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion.

    Each chapter builds on the previous chapter in a logical progression.  Within each chapter the topics also build on the previous topic.  A discussion of each topic is followed by example problems and frequently by real-world examples.  The chapters are easy to follow, and the end-of-chapter problems are relevant to the material, but sometimes overly simple.


    The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader.

    The interface is fine.  The table of contents is used to navigate through the textbook; however, the TOC navigation pane remains locked at the top of the webpage requiring you to navigate back to the top of the page to change chapters.

    The charts and diagrams are good, and the videos are generally excellent.  The video examples are clear and easy to follow.

    Grammatical Errors

    The text contains no grammatical errors.

    Although I am a poor proofreader, I did not notice any grammatical errors.

    Cultural Relevance

    The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

    The examples in the text are recent and firms recognizable to students.  I found nothing offensive in the text and the text as a section on social responsibility in business included in the first chapter.