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Improve your financial knowledge


It's necessary to have at least some financial knowledge, regardless of whether you hire someone to manage your finances or you manage your own. Financial skills can help you make the right decisions, and help you discuss your finances with your accountant, advisor, financial institution, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and investors.

Why you need money management skills in business

Whether you're a self-employed tradesperson or running a retail, home-based or online business, it’s important to understand and manage your money wisely. When starting and running your business you’ll need to do things like:

  • take care of the bookkeeping
  • make decisions about investing in tools or equipment
  • manage debts, including paying  your suppliers
  • manage cash flow
  • decide on payment terms,create invoices and collect payments from customers
  • Manage your inventory costs and calculate your inventory tumover rate
  • lodge tax returns.

Maintaining your own financial statements can also save you valuable time and money, and help convince lenders that you are a good candidate for receiving finance.

How to improve your financial literacy

Ways you can improve your financial knowledge and build your understanding of financial terms, financial statements and financial analysis, include:

1)Attend training

Whether it's for yourself or a staff member, training is the best way to take control of your finances. There are a number of free or low-cost training options available to give you the right start, including the Be MoneySmart course available from the MoneySmart website. See also Events for details of your nearest courses, such as financial management basics, cash flow management or record keeping essentials.

2)Learn the terminology

While financial jargon is difficult to avoid, developing your financial knowledge can give you better control over your finances. Learning the terminology can also give you a better understanding of your financial statements, and enable you to ask more specific and often more crucial questions.

3)Ask questions

Asking your accountant and/or business advisor questions can improve your understanding of your finances and increase your financial literacy. It can ensure you're fully informed before making financial decisions, as well as help you uncover possible errors.

What to do...

  • Search Events for details of nearby courses, such as financial management basics or cash flow management.
  • Check out the free Be MoneySmart online course run by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
  • See the Manage your invoices,payments and records page on the ATO website.
  • Read Invoicing and collecting payments for tips on choosing the payment methods accepted from customers, to help you manage your cashflow.
  • Visit the ATO Definitions page for tax-related terms and the MoneySmart glossary for personal finance terms.
  • Visit the MoneySmart website for information, tools and tips to help you improve your personal finances.
  • See how to manage your finances in your state or territory.

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