Note: The UW-Madison SBDC traditionally offers a more comprehensive financial management course in the fall semester. If you have some familiarity with financial records but need to better understand financial analysis/management, that course may be right for you.
Accounting is the language of business. Being conversant in this language means you have a better ability to proactively plan where your business is going and to work effectively with your accountant, bookkeeper, lenders, and other members of your entrepreneurial advisory team. We consider business financial education to take place along a spectrum of learning – starting with recordkeeping/bookkeeping (accurately tracking your financial transactions), progressing to accounting (understanding how to read “the numbers,” interpret financial statements, identify trends, etc.), and culminating in financial management (taking an active role in the future planning of the direction of your business). This course focuses primarily on bookkeeping and the fundamentals of accounting.
Not sure which financial class is right for you? Check out our Introduction to vs. Intermediate Financial Management – Which is Right for You? page for a comparison of each.
Whether you are starting a new business or looking to organize your current business’ finances, accurate financial information is one of the most valuable tools you have to drive success. This course seeks to set participants on the right path by providing a “101” overview of financial bookkeeping, accounting terminology and concepts, a breakdown of the key financial statements, and a brief introduction to financial management.
This class is designed for participants who:
- Do not have an accounting background.
- Would benefit from breaking down the components of each of the “Big 3” financial statements – the Profit & Loss (Income) Statement, the Balance Sheet, and the Statement of Cash Flow
- Are unsure how to organize financial information to ensure accurate records
- Have already built a business plan (formal or informal), and can answer basic information about their revenue streams, pricing, costs, etc. Haven’t nailed down these details yet? Consider taking Biz Smart Sprint or the Entrepreneurial Training Program
- May be uncomfortable with “the numbers side” of the business and are looking to increase familiarity
- Are looking for an introduction to key financial tools and concepts, or those who are looking to revisit these topics
- Have recently taken on financial support roles in their business, or who need a general understanding of accounting to be successful in their roles
- Work with a professional accountant, but want to maximize that investment by knowing the basics and being able to focus on strategy
- Establishing a good organizational system and clear accounting processes
- Develop a basic understanding of accounting terminology
- Understand the key components of the “Big Three” financial statements – balance sheet, P&L statement, and cash flow statement
- Learn more about the impact of breakeven on the bottom line
- Practice a few examples of analyzing financial information to understand how your numbers relate to your business
- Help you “put the narrative to the numbers” and begin to be able to ask questions about what you see in your financial statements. By working with your team and/or accountant, you will first be able to understand what is happening, and eventually be able to make incremental improvements.
This course does not:
- Teach specific recordkeeping tools or software
- Provide personalized financial advice
- Discuss tax planning – tax laws are complex, highly individualized, and change regularly; seek the advice of an accounting tax professional
BONUS! Custom Workbook!
BONUS! Based on feedback from our clients - believe it or not, they asked for homework! - we designed a custom workbook to accompany the class content. Whether you are brand new to financial concepts or refreshing your memory, this workbook helps you connect the concepts we are learning in class to the context of your business - and provides a blend of concepts and calculations to help you make meaning from what you are learning. We believe that by being able to identify and thoroughly understand the components of your three key financial statements and business model, you will be much better equipped to make clear financial decisions in the future. The workbook also gives you the chance to make some basic calculations on your own time, along with an explanation of the answer and meaning so that you can begin to understand some of the financial information in your own context.
Registration Fall 2023
Location: Online, Live virtual sessions via Zoom. Course link will be sent out shortly before the first session.
Schedule: Sessions from 4:00-5:45 pm each date
Session Dates & Course Content (all sessions take place from 4:00 pm – 5:45 pm):
- Monday, November 13, 2023 | Session 1 – Class introduction, recordkeeping, establishing strong accounting practices
- Monday, November 20, 2023 | Session 2 – Financial Statements (overview) and the Income Statement/P&L
- Monday, November 27, 2023 | Session 3 – Balance Sheet
- Monday, December 4, 2023 | Session 4 – Cash Flow Management
- Monday, December 11, 2023 | Session 5 – Beginning Financial Management
Register here for Fall 2023 or call 608-262-2451 to register. BONUS: Place 2 or more paid courses in your cart, and use discount code SBDC10 for 10% off. Classes must be purchased in the same transaction. Participants must attend all 5 sessions.
Registration policy: Payment will be required at time of registration. You must have either a credit card or valid UW-Madison funding string to be able to register.
Cancellation policy: If you cancel before the program begins, there is a $25 cancellation fee. If you cancel after the program begins you will be charged for the full program fee. To cancel, call registration at 608-262-2451. Please note that in the case of a cancellation (by either the participant or the SBDC), participants can only be transferred one time into a new course.
Disability Statement: Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the UW-Madison SBDC office at email@example.com to request accommodations.
I would highly recommend the course to other entrepreneurs, managers and leaders. I feel this gives them the ability to get a pulse of the business and will help them in decision making... an absolute value for money. I refreshed [my knowledge of] a lot of financial concepts and got a better understanding of the cost structure of my organization's products after this course.Saransh Choudhury, Operations Manager and Continuous improvement Leader, Koerber Tissue North America
[I appreciated] getting a handle on some of the main terms that I need to really understand, such as reading a Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss [statement]... [I also] really loved that [the class] was recorded. The time didn't work for me, but I loved that I could watch it later.Tara Williams, Pronto Spanish Services, 2022 participant
Meet the Instructor: Kayta Gruneberg
Kayta received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Master of Accountancy from UW-Madison. Upon graduation she worked as a Postgraduate Technical Assistant at the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in Norwalk, CT where she focused on drafting technical accounting memorandum pertaining to state and local government accounting standards. She then worked for Deloitte in their Mergers and Acquisitions group assisting clients with financial due diligence for both buy side and sell side transactions. She primarily worked with mid-sized private equity firms who focused on SAAS (software as a service) acquisitions. She recently started a new position as the Finance Manager at a Richmond, VA based nonprofit, ChildSavers, that provides trauma-informed mental health and child development services to children in Virginia.
The Wisconsin SBDC Network is a proud part of the Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship in the University of Wisconsin System.
It is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (608) 263-2221.