Improve your financial knowledge
Good financial knowledge can help you make the right decisions. It will also help you discuss your finances with your accountant, advisor, financial institution and investors.
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 turnover rate
- lodge tax returns.
Maintaining your own financial statements can also save you time and money, and help convince lenders 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, statements and analysis, include:
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, including the Be MoneySmart course available from ASIC’s MoneySmart website. See our events page for details of your nearest courses, such as financial management basics, cash flow management or record keeping essentials.
Learn the terminology
While financial jargon is difficult to avoid, learning the terminology gives you a better understanding of your financial statements. This helps you to ask more specific and often more crucial questions. See our financial glossary to familiarise yourself with financial terminology.
Asking your accountant and/or business adviser 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.
Financial counselling is a free, confidential and independent service to help you improve your financial situation. Rural financial counsellors help farmers, fishing enterprises, forest growers and harvesters, and small related businesses through their one-on-one service. Find a financial counsellor near you using ASIC’s MoneySmart website.
Find out more
- Search our events for details of nearby courses, such as financial management basics or cash flow management.
- Read our glossary of key financial terms.
- See the managing your small business records page on the ATO website.
- Read our invoicing and collecting payments 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 ASIC’s MoneySmart glossary for personal finance terms.
- Visit ASIC’s MoneySmart website for information, tools and tips to help you improve your personal finances.
- See our resources to help finance your business.