Financial Illiteracy, with its kissing-cousin Financial Irresponsibility, is a plague upon our nation. Witness the skyrocketing national debt, encumbering present and future generations with mandatory interest payments while also pillaging from the working poor and middle class by the covert methods of inflation. Observe the confusion at congregational voters meetings as the church budget is adopted. Contemplate the embarrassing load of consumer debt that weighs down the typical household.

How did we get into this mess?

How can we ever get out?

Fortunately, all the Average Joe Americans among us easily can do something to help. The Accounting Game, by Darrel Mullis and Judith Orloff, introduces in a very basic way the profound and powerful analytical tools deployed by expert accountants. The mysteries of double-entry bookkeeping are demystified in a manner appropriate for high school students, or even for the precocious students of the upper-elementary level.

With The Accounting Game, adults are left without excuse. If you can’t distinguish an asset from a liability, if you don’t understand what determines profit or loss, if you think that debt provides a sustainable means for lubricating current cash flow, then you will benefit from this book’s whimsical lessons based on the childhood ambition of running a lemonade stand.

By the end of the book, you’ll abandon the lemonade sales business in favor of a consulting business specializing in coaching others how best to manage the financial operations of their lemonade stands. And that means you’ll at last be qualified to sit (productively!) on your church council’s finance committee or to become a truly helpful member on the board of directors for your favorite nonprofit organization. You’ll also be a more responsible head of household and a better parent (why not read this book together with your older children as a summer project?).

I find this book so helpful that I’d even suggest you buy two copies—sending the second one to your congressional representative, before it’s too late.

Curious about the contents? Here’s a sneak preview of p. 62. Keep in mind that the preceding sections built up the reader’s knowledge base one small step at a time, offering practice exercises with an answer key in the back.

accounting game


Dr. Ryan C. MacPherson is the founding president of Into Your Hands LLC and the author of several books, including Rediscovering the American Republic (2 vols.) and Debating Evolution before Darwinism. He lives with his wife Marie and their homeschooled children in Casper, Wyoming, where he serves as Academic Dean at Luther Classical College. He previously taught American history, history of science, and bioethics at Bethany Lutheran College, 2003–2023 He also serves as President of the Hausvater Project, which mentors Christian parents. For more information, visit

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