10 Best Online Courses to Help You Manage Your Business Finances


Struggling to balance your business’s budget? Not sure where your cash is going? Finding new expenses every month? Business finance management is a complicated dance and for many new business owners and entrepreneurs, it’s a frustrating situation that doesn’t seem to get any better.

Thankfully, there are ways around that. Like most other skills, business finance management can be learned. You just need someone to teach you. And with the availability of online courses, you can do all that learning right from the comfort of your laptop without the need to attend a class in person.

The challenge, of course, is separating the wheat from the chaff. Which online courses are worth your time and money? Which will give you the financial acumen necessary to guide your small business confidently into the future? Which are best avoided?

We’ve done all the research to help you save time and sanity. In this guide, you’ll discover the 10 best online courses to help you manage your business finances today and as it grows.

The 10 best online courses to learn business finance management

1. Udemy – Basics of Business Finance

This course offers a solid grounding in critical topics that small business owners and entrepreneurs need to know to manage their business finances. That includes basic accounting, the use of Excel and similar tools to build financial reports, understanding financial statements, conducting financial statement analyses, and more. It’s comprised of 24 lectures and runs a total of four hours. It’s also very affordable at $64.99 (check for sales, as Udemy frequently drops the price to as low as $11.99).

2. Harvard – Leading with Finance

Harvard’s Leading with Finance course is among the best of the best when it comes to financial leadership and managerial finance training. Although it does cost money to take this course ($1,750), it’s an investment well-made because it’s taught over six weeks and covers everything from financial analysis to capital allocation, and it comes with a Harvard Business School Online certificate to show your success. 

3. MIT – Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting

This course covers core finance and accounting subjects that business owners need to understand. It’s free to take but does require a bit of a time investment. The course comes with assignments, lecture notes, exams and answers, and other necessary materials. It’s a more general business course, but that makes it great for those first-timers who are just getting into the world of business finance. 

4. Coursera – Corporate Finance Essentials

This course has a small fee but comes with a seven-day free trial so you can at least get started at no cost. it’s also a self-paced course that teaches everything from financial risk to investments and includes exams to check competence upon completion. It comes with a certificate of completion and is designed to help people have a better understanding when they read financial information and news. 

5.Coursera – Business Foundations (University of Pennsylvania)

Looking to build a solid foundation in understanding and managing business finances? This might be an ideal course. Offered by the University of Pennsylvania and delivered through the Coursera platform, it gives you the chance to develop key skills, like accounting, financial decision-making, financial strategy, and more. Note that it also includes other basic business topics, like marketing, financing, and operations. It’s designed for beginners and is self-paced, with an estimated completion time of three to six months depending on the amount of time you can invest each week. This course is free but has limited enrollment periods.

6. Indiana University – Financial Reporting

This course is hosted on the edX platform and is a free online course offered through a partnership with IU’s Kelly School of Business. It offers a strong foundation for those who need to learn financial reporting and analytics. It’s part of a MicroMasters program, too, and will take about three months to complete. This is an advanced class for those who want to learn all about the ins and outs of finance. Plus, Indiana University’s MBA program is ranked 3 out of a total of 295, so you can trust you’re getting solid information. 

7. Udemy – Introduction to Finance, Accounting, Modeling, andValuation

This is the best-selling accounting course on the online learning platform. It covers everything that you need to know in about 4.5 hours of video. It’s not free, but it does provide a lot of valuable insight that may be worth the investment for many. Business pro and MBA professor Chris Haroun teaches the course, and it covers things like discounted cash flow, valuation methodologies, and so forth. 

8. University of Maryland – Entrepreneurial Finance

The formal name of this course from UofM, College Park is Financing and Profiting from Innovation for Corporate Entrepreneurs. It’s part of the school’s Corporate Entrepreneurship specialization and it’s a totally free course for anyone who wants to check it out. It’s hosted through Coursera and offers valuable insight into entrepreneurial finance. It also only takes about 10 hours to complete and is spread over about four weeks. 

9. UC Irvine (Coursera) – Fundamentals of Finance

This is a free introductory course available from UC Irvine through the Coursera platform. It also happens to be a part of a 10-part serieson finance that takes about seven hours to complete in total. It is self-paced, so you can learn at your own speed, and you can take up to eight weeks to complete the course if you need it. The course covers things like planning, forecasting, budgeting, financial interpretation, and related topics.

10. Duke University (Coursera) – Entrepreneurial Finance

This free online course is found on the Coursera platform. It teaches business owners and leaders all about financial strategy and specialization. It also includes an introduction to topics like blockchain technology and how to build capitalization tables. Despite how it sounds, it’s a beginner-level course and it is completed over four months with an investment of just two hours per week. It even covers modern payment systems, legal issues surrounding the aggregation of accounts, and other relevant current topics. 

Speaking of planning, are you planning for someone to manage the incoming leads?

Investing in your education is critical. By becoming a better business owner, you can guide your company forward with confidence, through thick and thin. As you learn more about how to manage your business finances, you’ll learn about the importance of having reliable systems in place.

One of those systems is communication. If you’re tied up answering phone calls and fielding questions from customers all the time, it’s impossible to do what you do best. That has an immediate effect on your financial stability. Instead, work with Smith.ai. Our virtual receptionists can answer phone calls 24/7, help with lead intake, schedule appointments, and even accept payments

Ready to learn more? Schedule your free consultation. You can also email us at hello@smith.ai or call us at (650)709-2975.

Business Education
Written by Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing Manager with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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