Top Free Money Management Courses & Webinars for Small Business Owners

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Beat Out Your Competition with Money Management Education

Today’s small business owners and entrepreneurs face more challenges than ever before, as they struggle with greater, stronger and more informed competition in an ever-expanding world marketplace. One of the ways you can get an edge on your competitors is through education – teaching yourself the principles of better, more effective money management, and related topics.

The following list takes you from basic money management through more in-depth topics, like accounting and taxes, before leading you down the rabbit hole of advanced topics. These courses cover graduate-level subjects like managerial accounting and corporate finance, but always relate back to your business and your money.

So go forth, learn, and profit.

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The Basics: Small Business Money Management Courses

When it comes to business and corporate finance, we could all do with some basic knowledge – a general understanding of savings, loans, retirement planning, taxes, and other topics. These basic courses cover all the essentials, and throw in helpful extras like groundwork in general accounting, financial accounting, cash accounting, managerial account, small business taxes, corporate finance, valuation, and other topics.

Don’t get overwhelmed, though – these courses have no pre-requisites and are largely designed for entrepreneurs and small business-owners with no formal financial education.

1. Money Smart for Small Business

 

Money Smart for Small Business

Money Smart for Small Business is one of the best resources – free or paid! – out there for small business owners. This instructor-led training curriculum is a joint effort between the Small Business Association (SBA) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and is accessible to beginner-intermediate entrepreneurs as a foundation for small business success and more advanced training.

Features:

  • Created for people with no formal business training
  • 10 in-depth training modules, broken down into topics like financial management, tax planning, and insurance
  • No certifications required to use the curriculum

 

2. Savings Plans for Small Businesses

 

Savings Plans for Small Businesses

The Small Business Association (SBA) offers an online Learning Center, complete with online trainings, videos, chat session transcripts, and other resources. One of our favorite money-management resources is the Savings Plan for Small Businesses online training, which runs just 30 minutes but manages to pack in important info on tax breaks, long-term savings, retirement planning, and more.

Features:

  • Available as an online video, running just 30 minutes
  • Introduction to basic savings principles for small business
  • Text-based, accessible version available

 

3. Financial Planning and Money Management

 

Financial Planning and Money Management

The Financial Planning and Money Management course, available through iTunesU, is a 7-part training in all things personal finance. But don’t let the personal fool you: the course covers financial basics like planning, budgeting, and allocating your resources, as well as cash management, banking, risk management, and taxes.

Features:

  • 7-part course from college professor Frank Paiano
  • Finance 101 – everything from cash management to U.S. taxes
  • Full course materials available online

 

4. Accounting and Its Use in Business Decisions

 

Accounting and Its Use in Business Decisions

If you haven’t heard of Alison, it’s a website for free, certified learning – and its Account & Its Use in Business Decisions course is an excellent intro to the site’s offerings. This is the first in a series of accounting for business courses, so it’s the perfect jumping-off point for non-business majors or entrepreneurs who need a refresher.

Features:

  • Emphasis on accounting principles for business decisions
  • Covers basic accounting topics, including balance sheets, financial analysis, and cash flows
  • Certificate of completion, upon finishing the course

 

5. Fundamentals of Accounting

 

Fundamentals of Accounting

Fundamentals of Accounting is another Alison offering, and is slightly more advanced than the above course. This offering builds on basic accounting principles to show you how to control your business’s finances, through profit & loss analysis, balance sheets, and essential adjustments.

Features:

  • Learn how prudent money management influences your business success or failure
  • Build on your knowledge of basic accounting principles
  • Certificate of completion, upon finishing the course

 

6. Introduction to Accounting

 

Introduction to Accounting

Speaking of accounting, the SBA also offers an overview of basic accounting for business – again in a lightening-fast (30-minute) package. The class is part of a greater series on teaching entrepreneurs the fundamentals of launching, growing and operating a successful business, for which proper money management is absolutely essential.

Features:

  • 30-minute video training course
  • Review basic accounting methods, and how they affect and influence your business
  • Text-based, accessible version available

 

 

7. Introduction to Cash Accounting

 

Introduction to Cash Accounting

 

Next up is another Alison contribution, this time an introduction to a more specific aspect of business finances: cash accounting. Cash accounting is a tried-and-true method of dealing with your revenue and expenditures, in which organizations track accounts receivable/payable during the period in which they are received/paid. This free course teaches the basics of how to establish and maintain a cash accounting system, and offers reasons why it might benefit your business.

Features:

  • Delve into the why and how of cash accounting
  • Two modules cover the practices, procedures, and assessment of cash accounting
  • Certificate of completion, upon finishing the course

 

8. Introduction to Financial Accounting

 

Introduction to Financial Accounting

Saylor enters the fray with a comprehensive course on financial accounting. The class is comprised of 10 units, each meticulously outlined and with links to lectures, notes, and additional resources. Unsurprisingly, Saylor labels this as a Business 103 class – it’s so robust, it’s the equivalent of an undergraduate-level accounting course.

Features:

  • 10 units, each with careful course outlines
  • Multiple lectures per unit
  • Taught by a professor with an MBA and MHRM

 

9. CNN Money: Money 101

 

CNN Money-Money 101

CNN Money offers an excellent overview of money management, for both personal and business purposes. The online classes, which you can access with just a click of the mouse, teach you about making budgets, banking, investing, saving, taxes, retirement savings and more. You’ll have to sift through the more personal-finance aspects, like buying a home, but the lessons are organized to make it easy to find what applies to you.

Features:

  • 23 online lessons cover diverse topics in money management
  • Each lesson features clickable sub-topics, so you can skip ahead to applicable topics
  • Every lesson offers an optional test to quiz your knowledge

 

10. Money Management International

 

Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI), the largest nonprofit, full-service financial counseling organization in the U.S., offers helpful financial education guides online. Topics cover general topics, like loans and debt, talking to your partner about financial decisions, budgeting, and savings, and walk you through many aspects of money management, both personal and entrepreneurial.

Features:

  • Easy-to-filter lessons cover a variety of topics
  • Each lesson is broken down into specific topics, each with its own article
  • MMI also offers help and counseling on financial decisions

 

11. Bean Counting 101

 

Bean Counting 101

With a name like Bean Counting 101, you know you’ll get a laugh. This online accounting course, which offers all lessons in multimedia format, covers the principles of basic accounting in five easy sections. You’ll learn everything from the most basic – what is accounting? – to methods that apply to your business, like accrual accounting and fiscal periods.

Features:

  • Five “bean counting” lessons teach accounting at your own pace
  • Media-rich lessons, great for visual and auditory learners
  • Most topics apply directly to accounting for business, not just general accounting

 

12. IRS Small Business Video and Audio Workshops

 

IRS Small Business Video and Audio Workshops

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) delivers a series of oh-so-helpful online workshops for U.S. business owners. Their Small Business Workshops section covers in-depth topics, like filing and paying business taxes, and then breaks each down into even more specific topics, e.g. getting the tax benefits your small business deserves.

Features:

  • 16 workshop topics cover all aspects of small business taxes
  • Each video is clearly labeled by length, usually 1-2 hours
  • Some workshops, like Small Biz Taxes, offer a full lesson plan, complete with webinars

 

13. An Introduction to Financial Accounting

 

Introduction to Financial Accounting

From UPenn’s esteemed Wharton Business School comes this outstanding introductory course to financial accounting. The premise is simple: even if you hire people to do your books, you, as a business owner, should know enough about accounting to make informed decisions. This course improves your knowledge of financial accounting, so you can interpret your finances and better control your business.

Features:

  • Offered via Wharton Business School, one of the top MBA programs in the U.S.
  • Comprehensive syllabus is divided into 10 week-long modules
  • Designed for students with little or no education in financial accounting

 

14. How to Sell Your Business for 10x Its Worth

 

How to Sell Your Business for 10x Its Worth

For a completely different take on money management, SmartCompany offers a webinar on how to sell your business for 10 times its worth. Sounds gimmicky, but this resource is solid: it covers topics like how to mold your succession plan, how to handle voluntary and involuntary succession, and related topics.

Features:

  • Webinar from Jason Cunningham, a founding partner of a full-service accounting firm, and Melinda Oliver, the Acting Editor of SmartCompany
  • Start thinking ahead, to where you want your business to go
  • Build the foundation to sell your business for 10x its current value

 

15. Financing Options for Small Businesses

 

Financing Options for Small Businesses

Another solid entry from the SBA, their course on financing options for small businesses grants an overview of financing – angel investors, crowd funding, grants, loans, venture capital, etc. – for your growing small business. As this is just an intro course, the webinar touches on only the basics of each type of funding.

Features:

  • Info-filled overview in just 30 minutes
  • Learn about almost every financing option, from traditional loans to oh-so-popular crowd funding
  • Text-based, accessible version available

 

16. Corporate Finance Essentials

 

Corporate Finance Essentials

Personal finance and corporate finance are two very different beasts, and this Coursera offering will help you understand the latter. Courtesy of the University of Navarra’s IESE Business School, Corporate Finance Essentials delves into the need-to-know aspects of business finances – anything money related to your business, investors, and capital markets.

Features:

  • Course lasts 6 weeks, and requires 2-3 hours of study per week
  • Learn corporate finance basics, from risk and return to corporate value creation
  • Eligible for a Statement of Accomplishment, upon completion

 

17. Introduction to Finance

 

Introduction to Finance

Another dynamite Coursera offering, the Introduction to Finance is an online course from the University of Michigan. The class covers the fundamental principles of valuation, including value creation, both in theory and using real-world examples. Though there are no prerequisites for the course, an understanding of algebra, statistics, accounting and economics are considered very helpful.

Features:

  • 15 weeks of study, requiring 6-8 hours of study per week
  • Subtitles for all video lectures available in: Chinese, English, Brazilian Portuguese, and Ukrainian
  • Eligible for a Verified Certificate and/or Statement of Accomplishment, upon completion

 

18. Financial Management

 

Financial Management

Available through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) online course catalog, this class studies capital markets and corporate finance, with an emphasis on making managerial decisions with finances in mind. The course covers various aspects of finance, like financial derivatives and risk management, and teaches the use of empirical research to guide managerial decisions.

Features:

  • 5-week course is broken down into 20 sessions (1.5 hours each) and 8 recitations (1.5 hours/session)
  • Course materials (one textbook) must be purchased
  • Turkish translation available

 

19. Finance Primer: Guide to SBA Loan Guaranty Programs

 

Finance Primer-Guide to SBA Loan Guaranty Programs

If you’ve ever wondered about loan guaranty programs – and chances are, you have – the SBA offers a free primer. This 30-minute course is accessible and easy to understand, but leaves you with a solid foundation of knowledge regarding this important program. Tips and real-world examples are provided.

Features:

  • Online course lasts just 30 minutes
  • Designed for small businesses that would like to borrow money
  • Text-based, accessible version available

 

20. Foundations of E-Commerce

 

Foundations of E-Commerce

If you sell a product online, then this Coursera course is for you: available from Nanyang Technological University, the Foundations of E-Commerce covers online commerce from the ground up. You’ll learn how to create a business model that embeds IT into all your customer interactions, products, and processes, and will study how IT can revolutionize your business and set you apart from your competitors.

Features:

  • 6 weeks of study requiring 5-7 hours of work per week
  • Free resources; no additional materials required
  • Eligible for a Statement of Accomplishment, upon completion

 

21. Managing Your Time, Money, and Career: MBA Insights for Undergraduates

 

Managing Your Time, Money, and Career-MBA Insights for Undergraduates

Direct from UC Irvine, this Coursera class offers a comprehensive introduction to money management, time management, and life planning. While it’s not strictly about business finances, the course offers a multidisciplinary approach and lays the groundwork for further study in managerial economics – a practical foundation for any entrepreneur with a non-finance background.

Features:

  • 5 weeks of study, requiring 4-7 hours of study per week
  • Class combines lectures, quizzes, a discussion forum, and a final exam
  • Eligible for a Verified Certificate and/or Statement of Accomplishment, upon completion

 

22. Financial Accounting

 

Financial Accounting

MIT delivers yet another gem, this time in the realm of financial accounting. The six-week course uncovers the basics of corporate financial accounting and reporting – important concepts used to make investment decisions, assess business or managerial performance, value other companies, and more. The course emphasizes analysis from a managerial standpoint, not an accounting standpoint.

Features:

  • 6 week course, divided into 4 lectures/week (1.5 hours each) and 1 recitation/week (1.5 hours each)
  • Separate course materials (1 textbook) purchase required
  • Translations available in Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, and Persian

 

23. Management Accounting and Control

 

Management Accounting and Control

MIT is on fire, offering up yet another excellent course – this one on Management Accounting and Control. The graduate-level lesson plan studies various aspects of management accounting, and explores related analysis and methodologies for prudent decision-making for profit-driven businesses. You’ll learn about budgetary control systems, product costing, performance evaluation, and other aspects of business in this 18-lecture course.

Features:

  • Course requires 3 lecture sessions/week (1.5 hours each)
  • No additional materials required
  • Final exam required

 

Advanced Study: Financial Planning, Pricing & Economics Courses for Small Business

Once you have the basics under your belt, you may want to delve a little deeper into corporate finance, money management, pricing, and related issues. After all, even if you hire financial and money managers, pricing specialists, and other high-level employees, it always helps to have a fundamental understanding of the factors, methods, and elements that influence your business decisions.

The following free courses, webinars, and presentations introduce more specified, advanced topics, like economic analysis and competitive strategy – subjects that directly affect the way you manage your company’s money and bottom line.

 

24. Entrepreneurial Finance

 

Entrepreneurial Finance

Entrepreneurial Finance is a graduate-level online course from MIT that focuses on finances for entrepreneurs. The course covers general topics, but is especially geared toward the finances of tech start-ups, addressing issues like raising money, valuing your company, and structuring your exit plan.

Features:

 

25. Advanced Competitive Strategy

 

Advanced Competitive Strategy

An advanced Coursera offering, Advanced Competitive Strategy is offered through Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), one of Europe’s leading research universities. The class covers complex competitive situations, and teaches you to use available tools to examine the competition and gain the competitive advantage through smart decisions.

Features:

  • 7-week course requires 2-4 hours of study per week
  • Coursera’s Competitive Strategy is recommended, although not a pre-requisite
  • Eligible for a Statement of Accomplishment

 

26. Economic Analysis for Business Decisions

 

Economic Analysis for Business Decisions

MIT rolls out another educational gem with Economic Analysis for Business Decisions, a class designed specifically for SMEs. This course examines individual market behavior in relative detail, and focuses on economic analysis, like demand, market power, pricing strategy, and cost analysis – and their implications to your business.

Features:

  • 10-week course includes 2 lectures/week (1.5 hours each) and 1 recitation/week (1 hour each)
  • Separate required reading purchase required
  • Translation available in Spanish and Turkish

 

27. How to Prepare a Loan Package

 

How to Prepare a Loan Package

Money management doesn’t happen without, well, money. The SBA is back, this time with a course on how to prepare a loan package to infuse your business with much-needed capital to start, grow or expand the company.

Features:

  • Online course spans just 30 minutes
  • Designed for small business-owners who want to prepare their own loan package
  • Text-based, accessible version available

 

28. The Power of Macroeconomics: Economic Principles in the Real World

 

The Power of Macroeconomics-Economic Principles in the Real World

One of the most important things you can do for your business – and your money – is get educated in economic basics. This course, available through UC Irvine, is the equivalent of an undergraduate course, covering the essentials of macroeconomics and how they apply to your life and your business.

Features:

  • 11-week course, requiring 2-4 hours/week of study
  • No additional reading material required, although some recommendations are made
  • Eligible for a Verified Certificate, upon completion

 

29. Mathematical Methods for Quantitative Finance

 

Mathematical Methods for Quantitative Finance

Take a deep breath. No, deeper. There you go. While the title of this course sounds intimidating, in practice this is an undergraduate-level course that most entrepreneurs can handle. Available from the University of Washington via Coursera, this heavy-duty class is a great choice for math lovers who want to leverage their passion to help make better, more informed financial decisions for business.

Features:

  • 8 weeks of study requiring 8-10 hours of work per week
  • Entry-level college calculus courses recommended, though not required
  • Suggested reading requires separate purchase

 

30. Introduction to Computational Finance and Financial Econometrics

 

Introduction to Computational Finance and Financial Econometrics

A second offering from the University of Washington, this Coursera class teaches you to analyze your business’s financial data, estimate statistical models, and build an optimized financial portfolio. You’ll analyze real-world data and solve problems that are close to home, so even after the class is over, you’ll be well equipped to take your new knowledge back to the office.

Features:

  • 10-week course
  • Highly recommended supplemental reading materials must be purchased separately
  • Learn how to use the free DataCamp.com program

 

31. Microeconomics Principles

 

Screen shot 2014-09-01 at 4.56.00 PM

We’ve talked big-picture macroeconomics, and now we’ll dial-down with Microeconomics Principles, a Coursera offering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. And while this course shines a light on microeconomics and how it affects everyday life, you’ll also learn plenty about product markets and competition and other elements that directly affect your business.

Features:

  • 8 weeks of study, requiring 4-12 hours of work per week
  • Eligible for a Verified Certificate and/or Statement of Accomplishment, upon completion
  • Translations available in Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese

 

32. Financial Engineering and Risk Management: Part 1 & Part 2

 

Economics of Money and Banking

If you’re even peripherally interested in pricing (and no doubt you are), then have a look at this double-whammy from Coursera and Columbia University. You’ll learn about portfolio analysis, risk management, derivatives pricing, and related topics – and discover how they relate to your business success.

Features:

  • Each part requires 6 weeks of study (12 weeks total), and 7-10 hours of work/week
  • Self-contained course load, but additional recommend reading may be purchased
  • Eligible for a Statement of Accomplishment, upon completion

 

33. Economics of Money and Banking: Part 1 & Part 2

 

Economics of Money and Banking 1

If you like two-part, in-depth study, here’s another twofer for you: through Coursera, Barnard College at Columbia University is offering an excellent exploration of the economics of money and banking. You’ll learn about vulnerabilities, financial collapse, derivative contracts, and other essential aspects of money and banking – important topics for understanding the market and how it relates to your business.

Features:

  • Each part requires 7 weeks of study (14 weeks total), and 5-7 hours of work/week
  • Intermediate Microeconomics and Intermediate Macroeconomics recommended, but not required
  • Eligible for a Statement of Accomplishment, upon completion

 

34. Asset Pricing

 

Asset Pricing

From the University of Chicago, this Coursera offering introduces you to the wonderful world of asset pricing. Created for investment bankers and money managers, this is an excellent intro to all things pricing – and your online dictionary to finance jargon. (Don’t you finally want to know what “beta” and “risk premium” and “arbitrage” actually mean?)

Features:

  • 9-week course requires 10-15 hours of work/week
  • Most materials available for free, online
  • Eligible for a Statement of Accomplishment, upon completion

 

35. Business Analysis Using Financial Statements

 

Business Analysis Using Financial Statements

Whether you’re looking to acquire a business or create your own succession plan, this MIT course will help you analyze a business using financial statements. This class builds on the basic principles of accounting, economics, and corporate finance to build a more complete picture of business success.

Features:

  • Course requires 2 lectures/week (1.5 hours each)
  • Recommended textbook must be purchased separately
  • Translation available in Chinese

 

36. The Economics of Information: Strategy, Structure and Pricing

 

The Economics of Information-Strategy, Structure and Pricing

Another excellent course from MIT, this online class teaches you to analyze market economics to build a better business strategy, including solid structure and successful pricing models for your market and your product. Interestingly, this class also delves into the new-world issues of social networks, targeting advertising, online search, and other topics.

Features:

  • Course requires 2 lectures/week (1.5 hours each)
  • Two textbooks are strongly suggested, and four more are optional; all must be purchased separately
  • Class emphasizes individual and team projects

 

37. Pricing

 

Pricing

Few topics affect your business as much as does pricing, and this MIT online course teaches you the basics of pricing your goods and services. You’ll learn about a range of related topics, including price customization, economic value analysis, how to price complementary products, anticipating competitive price responses, and more.

Features:

  • Class involved 3 lectures/week (1.5 hours each)
  • Recommended reading must be purchased separately
  • Class participation is highly emphasized

 

38. Corporate Finance

 

Corporate Finance

Through iTunesU, New York University (NYU) offers up this “big-picture” class in corporate finance and the financial principles that govern how business – your business – works. Designed as an intro class for MBA students, you’ll find plenty of advanced material that somehow manages to stay accessible to listeners with non-financial backgrounds.

Features:

  • 212-item download via iTunes
  • Recommended reading may be purchased as a textbook or sourced online
  • Sessions range from 5-minute reviews to 90-minute lectures

 

39. ECO 305: Money and Banking

 

ECO 305-Money and Banking

Offering online courses in a different medium, the University of Missouri has published its Econ 305 class on YouTube. The 40-lecture series covers the basic nature and functions of money, with practical applications for banking and business. You’ll appreciate this solid, undergraduate-level coverage of an important topic.

Features:

  • 40-lecture series, to view at your convenience
  • Total 29 hours of classes
  • Classes range from 20 to 50 minutes in length

 

40. Principles of Managerial Accounting

 

Principles of Managerial Accounting

Our final addition, this iTunesU offering comes courtesy of Villanova University’s Dr. Anthony Catanach and Dr. Noah Barsky. Download audio or video lectures from each class, and learn how information plays an important role in business decisions today – and how you can compete in an ever more challenging business environment.

Features:

  • 10-part series, available as audio or video
  • No set schedule: download and consume at your convenience
  • Covers topics from budgeting fundamentals to forecasting tools

 

If you have questions regarding financing options for your business we can help. To learn more about Direct Capital’s services please visit our website.

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