Five top tips for managing your finances Adrian is living proof that anyone can do finance – he even had to resit his maths exam at school! I've managed European programme budgets in the hundreds of thousands of pounds, developed and delivered accredited courses for universities to help small businesses better understand and manage their finances, and trained other enterprise advisers in the charity sector to successfully apply for grants and loans. The ‘top tips’ I'd offer to anyone with regards to their finances and financial management are: Try not to be scared of the numbers and receipts – many people have the urge to run away and hide from them, but once you face up to them, they can tell you all sorts of stories about how your enterprise is faring. Don’t feel stupid about not understanding all of the layouts and terminology at first – as a society we’ve spent a few hundred years agreeing some common shared approaches to how we do financial management and reporting, so don’t expect to pick up all up straight away! If you use an accountant or bookkeeper, don’t be afraid to ask them what they mean or if you’re not sure about anything they’re doing – ultimately, you’re legally responsible for your accounts, not them. And I’ve seen lots of examples where accountants haven’t properly understood their clients’ businesses meaning they’ve gotten into some sticky situations. Common sense as an approach is seriously under-rated. If you’re used to managing a household budget, the same ideas apply to budgets in a business (it’s just that some of the terms use different words and the numbers are a bit bigger). Lots of people and agencies ‘out there’ have their own agendas in encouraging you to apply for different types of finance to help you manage and grow your enterprises – just try and remember that it’s your business, not theirs, so if you’re not sure if it’s really right for you, don’t be afraid to ask more questions or say so. Are you keen to learn more? Then come along to our Introduction to Co-operative Finance course on the 14 March where Adrian will be sharing more of his knowledge and expertise.