30 Underrated Resources to Help You Master Your Small Business Financials

Posted by
Financial Resources Main Article Image - LivePlan (1)

If you’re not someone who is naturally good with numbers, managing your small business financials can be a bit of a struggle.

And even if you are, it can be difficult to know what metrics to focus on, and how to keep track of everything at once.

To that end, we’ve curated a list of 30 resources to help you manage the financial side of your small business. 

Do you prefer learning by watching, rather than reading? Or, do you wish you could have access to a great podcast that would tell you everything you need to know about managing your small business financials, that you could listen to while on your morning commute?

Great, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve included a variety of mediums to suit multiple learning styles and schedules. You’ll also likely find some new tools and resources, instead of more of the same old recommendations.

Do you have a great resource that helped you get a handle on your small business finances, that you think should be added to this list? Let me know in the comments below.

1

1. Funding Gates

This blog dives deep into accounts receivable, giving helpful tips, case studies, and ways to improve your AR process.

2. National Federation of Independent Businesses: Small Business Financing

This section of the NFIB’s website goes into detail on niche topics such as government grants, crowdfunding, and state-specific rules and regulations.

3. Fuse Financial Partners Blog

Formerly Rock Solid Finance, Fuse’s blog gives great, actionable advice on topics such as hiring your CFO, and why not to do your own accounting (also, be sure to check out partner David Worrell’s book, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Financial Statements). 

4. Business Credit Blogger

As the name suggests, this blog covers topics related to business credit, from distinguishing between loans and lines of credit, to how to get high limit business credit cards.

5. Intuit Quickbooks Money Blog

Powered by the folks behind Intuit’s Quickbooks software, this blog offers great resources on a variety of small business financial topics. They also have a financial literacy quiz.

6. The Fundera Ledger

In their “money” section, our partners over at Fundera cover everything from advice and tips on getting loans, to dealing with your cash flow.

7. Between Wall and Main

Recommended by Fundera’s Head of Content Meredith Wood, Between Wall and Main offers varied financial advice for small businesses. “It’s ‘Wall Street level’ financial advice for main street small businesses,” Meredith says.

8. Smart Passive Income

Popular for a good reason, Pat Flynn’s site dives deep into what it takes to earn a real income online. If you’re new to his site, start here.

9. Investopedia

While Investopedia’s main site serves as a good overview of investing and the economy as a whole, their entrepreneurship section has great resources to help you master the financials for your business.

10. SBA’s Business Financials

As always, the SBA gives a fantastic overview of topics such as estimating startup costs, and how to develop a cash flow analysis.

11. Bplans Funding Guide

Finally, our funding guide on our sister site Bplans has tons of great resources, covering everything from seeking investment to establishing good credit for your business.

2

12. Preparing Financial Statements

The SBA gives an in-depth overview of everything you need to keep in mind when preparing your financial statements.

13. Cash Flow 101: The Basics

Our five-part cash flow series on Bplans goes over every aspect of understanding cash flow that you could possibly need to know. Read this whole series, and the (sometimes confusing) concept of cash flow will seem simple.

14. What Is Cash Flow? Metrics in a Minute

That’s right, even more on cash flow. We think the topic is so important to get right that we’ve addressed it more than once. In this article, Palo Alto Software COO Noah Parsons goes into detail to describe what cash flow is, why it’s an important metric to track, and how to improve your business’s cash flow.

15. What Is Accounts Payable? Metrics in a Minute

Another great article in our “Metrics in a Minute” series on LivePlan, this article details what accounts payable (AP) is, and how to improve your business’s AP.

16. What Is Accounts Receivable? Metrics in a Minute

The counterpart to our coverage of accounts payable, this article details tracking and improving your accounts receivable, or AR.

17. What Are Direct Costs? Metrics in a Minute

This article goes over direct costs, also known as costs of goods sold (or “COGS”), and details why they matter, and how to track this metric in your business.

3

18. Finance Essentials for Small Business

This Lynda tutorial, led by accounting professors Jim and Kay Stice, goes over everything from cash management to how to hire a bookkeeper. An hour long segment, if you have access to Lynda’s huge database of online courses, this is a great, efficient way to get all your small business financial info in one place.

19. Khan Academy’s Finance Tutorials

If you prefer video tutorials to browsing through blogs, check out Khan Academy’s finance tutorial section. They cover accounting topics from a basic level, as well as small business specifics, like their series on core financial metrics.

20. Small Business Finance #1: Turnover and Profit

Excellent for helping entrepreneurs understand their small business finances in quick, easy to digest segments, this tutorial also has parts two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine. This series will be especially helpful to those running a business in the U.K.  

21. Introduction to Financial Accounting

This Coursera course is offered through the Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, as part of a five-course Business Foundations Specialization series.

22. Coursera’s Finance Videos

If Coursera courses appeal to you and suit your budget—they’re one of the few suggestions on this list that don’t come free—check out their finance section. You’ll find courses like Introduction to Corporate Finance, and New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs, among others.

4

23. The Accounting Best Practices Podcast

With over 200 episodes (and 2.5 million downloads), this podcast is a wealth of information. From the standpoint of the most comprehensive overview of small business financial education, this podcast wins on breadth alone.

24. The Smart Passive Income Podcast

If you were intrigued by the Smart Passive Income Blog, check out Pat Flynn’s podcast, which provides tips, tricks, and stories from his own experience and that of guest entrepreneurs.

25. So Money with Farnoosh Torabi

Award-winning financial correspondent Farnoosh Torabi’s great daily podcast features advice and interviews with some of the most sought-out names in entrepreneurship today, as well as her Q&A style “Ask Farnoosh” segment.

5

26. LivePlan

This list wouldn’t be complete without us recommending that you use our own software, LivePlan.

Now, as you’re on the LivePlan blog, it’s likely that you’ve heard of it; but, just in case you’re not familiar with the product, the Scoreboard feature of LivePlan allows you to keep all your key business metrics organized and right in front of you, on an interactive, visual financial dashboard.

It will take the mystery out of tracking your metrics, and enable you to manage your small business financials easily. If you’re curious for more details on how Scoreboard works and how it can make tracking and managing your financials easier, we’ve got you covered.

27. Mint

While we typically think of Mint as a platform for personal finances, small businesses can take advantage of Mint too. And, since Mint is great at helping you set and monitor your budget, you’ll be able to make sure you’re on track.

28. Paypal Invoicing

Adam Blacker of the MSLGroup recommends Paypal Invoicing, due to the ease of customization and ability to make batch invoices and attachments.

29. Zapier

To help you keep track of everything from bookkeeping to invoicing, automation app Zapier connects your other apps, making the process of keeping up with your financials easier. “I can’t add hours to my day, but I can make the hours I have work smarter for me,” says Ryan Ruud, founder and CEO of Lake One Digital, who recommended Zapier to me.  

30. Freshbooks

Designed specifically for small business owners (not professional accountants), Freshbooks makes keeping track of your small business financials simple. We’ve recommended it many times before on the LivePlan blog and on Bplans, and think it’s a great option for small business owners looking to make their accounting process as easy as possible.

Which resource did you find the most helpful? Have one to add? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @LivePlan.

Posted in Growth & Metrics
  • David Worrell

    Great List Briana! Thanks for mentioning my blog / book! We love liveplan too… all my clients use your tool to keep an up to date plan (for startup AND growth)!

  • Very informative and useful article for business owners.By reading it they can easily understand the resources that can help them to grow their business.

  • Indeed it is quite amazing how they give instructional and great information on how to grow yuor business.Very great and interesting.