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The best free online finance courses

If you are a small business owner and you sometimes feel that your knowledge and skills in the field of finance hold you back or give you cause to doubt, then you would be wise to consider improving your finance skills. 

Do I need finance training?

Managing your business finances can feel overwhelming if you don’t feel assured that you know what you are doing, but it could lead to a business disaster if you neglect to do anything about it.

Thankfully, there are a vast number of finance courses available online — including ones which are completely free. The only problem is, then, how to choose one.

We have complied a guide to the very best free online courses available, to help you find the training you need to manage your businesses effectively and confidently.

Studying finance and accounting

Regardless of whether you have a natural affinity with numbers or aversion for them, you do not need to let that stand in the way of you managing a successful small business.

Even if you don’t have the spare funds to invest in attending a paid-for course, there are many free online courses dedicated to helping people who are interested in learning about finance and accounting in order to benefit their businesses.

Understandably, not all small business owners are willing or able to spend large amounts of money on hiring accountants and financial advisors. Yet, if you are to manage your own business finances successfully, you will likely need to learn more about finance and accounting. Taking a free online course in accounting and finance is highly recommended for those who want to gain a greater understanding of how to manage their small-business finances as it provides much needed structure and direction to your studies without incurring additional costs.

Choosing a finance and accounting course

Whether your business needs you to expand your skillset to include bookkeeping, financial decision making, tax contributions or even cryptocurrency – there is a free course out there for you.

Some of the best free online finance and accounting courses are provided by these world-class universities:

  • Imperial College Business School
  • Princeton University
  • Yale University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Michigan
  • Copenhagen Business School

Despite being provided by world-class academic institutions, most free courses attempt to be accessible for anyone; so there are (thankfully) unlikely to be entry requirements for a free online finance and accounting course.

However, there are factors which you may want to consider if you are to course the best course for you:

  • The specific skills and knowledge you need to help your business endure and expand.
  • The time commitment (for instance, is it a requirement that you complete the course within a certain number of months).

Luckily, most free online courses are designed to be as flexible as possible, allowing people to work through the content at their own pace and complete the course in their own time; this means that they will usually fit easily around your schedule.

Finance and accounting accreditations

If you want to learn how to understand and up-skill in finance for the sake of your business, without the commitment of enrolling on a paid-for online course, then a free online course could provide you with the ideal solution.

However, you do not want to accidentally enrol on a course which is out of date or inaccurate, so make sure that you sign up to a course which is accredited.

Some of the leading professional bodies accrediting finance courses are:

  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)
  • Awards for Training and Higher Education (ATHE)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

The benefits of taking an online course

Finance and accounting skills are an extremely important aspect of any business, and – if you want to make a success of your small business – absolutely necessary to get right.  

Whichever aspect of your business finances you are hoping to improve, then a free online course could be exactly what you need to allow you to:

  • Avoid losses through overtrading
  • Keep your taxes efficient
  • Pursue additional finance options risk-free
  • Balancing your books
  • Organise your VAT
  • Adapt to economic changes

Instead of spending precious resources on employing other people to help you take care of your funds, getting yourself trained in finance and accounting will ensure that – even in hard financial times – you are still able to manage your money and make sound financial decisions to protect and grow your business.

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