The Easiest Way For Millennials to Learn Business for Free–Guaranteed

My generation…

… holy moly, I never thought I’d be old enough to write those words. Let’s pause a moment to reflect on that before I begin again. Deep breath. 

…most of my generation recalls what life before the Sept. 11 and how life changed dramatically and subsequently, though admittedly some of us were a little too young to remember it. We’re civil minded: we care about our neighbors. We check in with them on social media, use smartphones easier than pens, and find texting as comforting as a hug even though we know we’re a lot like primates grooming one another with technology. Our forefathers think we’re spoiled, but we’re just used to life that’s instantaneous. We grew up on microwave dinners, fast food and VCRs as babysitters. We don’t let life gel. We just hit buttons and get results. We’ve shaken the hell out of the workforce, even though we’re optimistic, engaged and team players. At our worst we’re Trophy Kids who are used to receiving awards just for showing up to practice and we’re bratty when we’re not rewarded instantly for existing; at best we’re a technologically savvy generation who has instant access to the world at our fingertips and we’re confident enough to navigate it and do it fast. So how are we going to receive education that will transform us, and the world around us, into entrepreneurs who solve an entirely new generation of problems? Most likely we’ll do it the way we operate in our world: through the Internet.

That’s why I enjoy so much when colleges and universities give us information in the exact way we digest it. I respect so much that the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities program through Syracuse University, Florida State University, UConn, Cornell and more offer Google Hangouts to chat with other entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship professors. I like how Standford University offers Youtube videos of their classes and lectures at Harvard.

I enjoy these programs because they’re free financially and only cost me my time, I can view them from the comfort of my office, and they’re communicating with me by speaking my language and meeting me right where I am on an educational, topical and financial level. They’re making business education available to the masses and it’s incredible.

This education mirrors my generation: its civil minded: they educate neighbors regardless of their ‘hood. I can reach out to them on social media. I can get a top ranked education on my smartphone. I can text them instead of picking up my pen. They catered to the fact that I’m admittedly spoiled and they’re giving me an instant education. I can go to class while I eat my microwave dinner, whip through the fast food line and I can use their lectures as fodder for my step children. Their lessons gel. I hit a button and I get instant educational results. It’s shaking the hell out of the educational system and they’re giving me real world opportunities to learn how to become even more engaged and an even better team player so why wouldn’t I be optimistic about that? The only part of me that doesn’t find it appealing is my inner Trophy Kid because I know I won’t receive a degree just for showing up to practice. So yeah, in that regard I’m a little bratty. But these institutions appeal to me: they’re tech savvy and they’ve given me at instant access to Ivy League and tier one educations and I am confident enough to learn in their classes even without being in their classes. I’m receiving my ongoing education in a transformational way so that I too can transform the world around me or at least a market segment of it.

About the Author
Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.

Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, the won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.

She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.

She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.

For more information visit her Google + Page.

You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Get Capital for B School or Business

If you want to go to b school or become an entrepreneur, you need to know one critical detail. It’s going to take capital. However, if you think about it, raising capital for education or business is the exact same idea, you just have slightly different methods of arriving at the same conclusion.

It doesn’t matter if you’re going to read books or sell widgets, when you’re starting out, you’re not at the point yet where a many lenders or investors are going to fork over some cash. You haven’t proven yourself yet so that means you need to hock your assets, borrow money from institutions, max out credit cards, tap into your 401(k) or borrow from loved ones.

In business this is called friends and family funding. In school it’s just called being broke. It’s normal. You’re not weird. And there’s no shame in it. After you exhaust those options it’s time to move onto crowdsourcing.

Startups can use programs like Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Selfstarter, Fundable or Microventures to get enough capital to get going. Schools work similarly, believe it or not. Sites like Scholarships or Fastweb offer capital to students often free of charge to students.

In both cases paying the money back isn’t the goal. The goal is to get enough capital to get started so you can find alternative ways to continue paying for your venture.

When you’re down with crowdsourcing there’s negotiating.

Did you know you can talk your way out of classes? Upon orientation sit down with your adviser and discuss books you’ve read and real life experience you’ve had that translate into the classroom. You may be able to get out of taking classes which saves you money. The same idea applies in business. Business works the same way. Sit down and speak with someone in your field about how you can use your knowledge to save money and get your business off the ground.

Don’t forget about grants. Professors are often able to write grants for some students which waives class cost. There are grants available in business too from the SBA, the Clinton Foundation and more. Oftentimes the biggest hurdle in finding grants is that you have to have a hook. Find out the angle of the people or organizations that are offering the funds and make sure that your need reflects their mission.

So in the end, you don’t have to be rich to get capital for b school or business. You just have to know how to Google search to begin looking for funding to start whatever venture you desire.

About the Author

Named Top 100 Leaders by 2012 Magazine, Jasmine Grimm has been nominated for Central Penn Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and The Lancaster Chamber’s ATHENA Award.

Jasmine founded Ruby, Inc. a personal styling business that teaches women how to dress for their body types and became a two-time nominee for Inc. Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 Top Young Entrepreneurs in America. She won the 2013 SCORE Business Development Award, the won the Central Penn Business Journal’s Top 25 Women of Influence Award in 2013 and the 2013 Leadership Award from the MS Society.

She has been a popular guest lecturer at the Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship and has been featured in Under 30 CEO and Productive Magazine, was the cover story for Harrisburg Magazine and her writing has graced National Geographic Television and Film, Harvard University and more.

She’s a 5,3,8,3 on the Kolbe A Index and her strengths include input, relator, learner, responsibility and achievement.

For more information visit her Google + Page.

Accountant Resource Guide

Accounting is a critical part of the US economy and becoming increasingly important as new technologies and regulations emerge. Fortunately, for accounting professions and students, there is a wealth of resources on the web to support them. This article provides an overview of the best blogs, journals, educational resources, professional organizations, and apps that support students and CPAs working in a range of areas.

General Resources

Each country will have its own resources, but one of the best ones for those working in the US is the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • US Securities and Exchange Commission – the SEC is the US government’s body dedicated to regulating markets and investments. It requires public companies to disclose information as required by law. They oversee brokers, investors, markets, advisors, and funds. Their website includes forms, regulations, news, and information for investors and those involved in litigation.

Blogs

There are blogs focused on nearly every aspect of accounting. Here are some of the best sites and what they do.

  • Axiom CPA – Axiom is a small accounting firm based in Florida and focusing mainly on small businesses. Their blog focuses on lessons for effectively running businesses, meetings, and interacting with clients.
  • Brumley’s Blog – Scott Brumley is a CPA who works with individuals on preparing tax returns and on audits. His blog provides concise and helpful information on tax laws, requirements, and deadlines along with suggestions.
  • CPA Blogger – This blog covers a wide range of accounting issues. They have posts focused on students and education, including resources to help learn accounting. They also blog about audits, firms, finance, and taxes. The authors participate in many community-oriented projects, and they feature updates about these projects on the blog as well.
  • Don’t Mess With Taxes – Written by Kay Bell, a professional journalist focused on taxes and finance, this blog takes a journalistic perspective on finance. She presents accessible and often humorous posts about taxes and their relationship to current issues. The blog has won awards for its presentation.
  • Empower Your Business – Written by a CPA, this blog focuses on advice to small and medium sized businesses regarding taxes and finance.
  • Fraud Files Blog – This blog, updated daily, focuses on those who have violated tax law. It discusses court cases, fraud, scandals, and scams. In addition to the overview of current news related to these topics, the blog discusses ways that companies get themselves into this kind of trouble. For example, they explain how pyramid schemes or fraudulent accounting practices are implemented.
  • Golden Practices Blog – This blog offers advice to CPAs, financial advisors, consultants, and lawyers about the best practices they can use to building good relationships with clients and growing their businesses. The topics frequently focus on marketing, but are geared specifically to those working in financial services.
  • Leadership Notebook – Mary Werner, who helped found an organization called CPA Consultants’ Alliance, writes this blog. Its main concern is with leadership and building effective relationships, and it has a focus on accountants and their relationships with clients.
  • It’s Taxing – Bond Beebe, Accountants & Advisors maintain this blog. They are based in the Washington, DC area, and offer advice for individuals and small businesses about current issues in tax laws, accounting, and finance.
  • Phil Hogan’s Blog – Phil Hogan is a chartered accountant with Hutcheson and Co. based in Canada and operating in the US and Canada. His blog frequently takes questions from users on Twitter, and answers them. Those generally focus on personal tax advice, often for people who live and work both in the US and Canada.
  • Accounting Coach – This blog tries to teach accounting through a question and answer format. Mosts post titles are formatted as questions and the posts are concise responses designed to teach the tax law behind them.
  • Small Business Blog – Cherry, Bekaert & Holland is a well established CPA firm representing businesses. They blog largely about updates to laws that might affect small businesses.
  • Social CPAs – This site is geared toward CPAs. It discusses social media and how CPAs can leverage it to improve brand recognition and increase revenue.
  • Tick Marks – Austin Peay State University faculty member David Meyer writes this blog. It discusses taxes and accounting, and often presents this in the context of government news.

Journals and Magazines

For those interested in peer reviewed content, particularly focused on theory and research, there are a number of journals available with a variety of foci.

  • Journal of Accountancy – This journal is published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. They publish articles on a broad range of topics, including financial reporting, auditing, taxes, accounting, financial planning, ethics, legal issues, and other topics. It has over 386,000 subscribers.
  • International Journal of Accounting – A mix of academic and professional authors and audience members, this journal aims to increase the understanding of accounting theory and practice for these audiences. They cover a range of issues with a particular interest in the role of accounting issues in an increasing globalized economy.
  • CPA Journal Online – The CPA Journal is published by the New York State Society of CPAs. Geared toward accounting professionals, it prints accessible articles on a wide range of accounting practices and related issues.
  • International Journal of Accounting and Finance – IJAF is directed not just to practitioners, but also academics, policy makers, and regulators. It publishes new research along with news and commentary. Topics of focus include international and financial accounting, taxes, education, auditing, and ethics.
  • The Accounting Review – Accounting Review is the Journal of the American Accounting Association. It has a largely academic focus, publishing new research with an emphasis on research methodology. The target audience includes academics, graduate students, and other professionals interested in research.
  • Journal of Accounting Research – JAR is another academically focused journal, published by the Accounting Research Center based at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. It publishes empirical research, experiments, and field studies in accounting. Topics include accounting theory, taxes, auditing, and application areas, such as environmental accounting.
  • Journal of Accounting and Economics – This journal focuses on the application of theory to accounting problems. They consider articles about the role of accounting in organizations, accounting standards, theory, and regulation.
  • Accounting Today – This online magazine for the accounting industry offers late-breaking business news, tax information, commentary, and resources. The site includes text articles and podcasts. With a free membership, readers can receive updates via email.

Educational Resources

Accounting students are lucky in that the web offers a lot of sites to supplement their formal education. Here are a few of the best sites to look at for accounting education help.

  • Middle City Accounting Tutorials – The free tutorials provided on this site are designed to supplement the lessons that would standardly be covered in college accounting courses. It includes lessons on financial statements, accruals and deferrals, merchandising, assets and depreciation, equity, liabilities, and cash flows to make a few. Some of the tutorials include videos, quizzes to test your knowledge, and important keywords.
  • Bean Counter Accounting – The Bean Counter site is designed to teach readers the basics of bookkeeping. Topics include property rights, debits and credits, recording transactions, how to keep a general ledger and journal, and financial statements. Lessons include quizzes and games along with skill tests.
  • Wanna Learn Accounting Tutorial – This site is a collection of pointers to other online resources, tutorials, and books on accounting.

Societies and Professional Organizations

Professional groups help build the culture around a profession. Because accounting is international and has so many sub-areas, there are a number of large, well established, and standard setting organizations.

  • American Accounting Organization – Originally founded in 1916, this organization is for individuals interested in accounting education and research.
  • American Institute of CPAs – AICPA is a world wide organization of accounting professionals, with over 386,000 members in 128 countries. They are the world’s largest accounting organization. They have several publications. They also set ethical standards for the industry and define auditing standards for all market sectors.
  • International Accounting Standards Board – This board maintains the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation, which sets the standards for financial reporting around the world. They monitor the acceptance and compliance with these standards, with an eye toward the unique needs of emerging markets.
  • Financial Accounting Standards Board – This group sets the standards for financial accounting among non-governmental organizations. Their standards are recognized by the Securities and Exchange commission and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
  • Institute of Internal Auditors – This professional organization of internal auditors brings together accountants who work on risk management, governance, education, security, and internal auditing.

Apps

Smart phone apps are a way to bring professional or educational support with you wherever you go. These are some of the best apps for CPAs and students.

  • Accounting Today – This iPhone app brings content from the popular accounting magazine to your phone or iPad. It includes news from the magazine, a searchable archive of magazine issues, audio and video features, and social sharing features.
  • Accounting Principals – This app connects people with a comprehensive list of accounting jobs in North America. It is created and maintained by its namesake organization, Accounting Principals, which is a recruiting firm focused on finance and accounting professionals.
  • Becker’s CPA Mobile Flashcards – For students, this app is a must have. It provides a large set of terms that students need to memorize for the CPA exam. It lets users sort and filter cards to create exercises, and allows them to track their progress as they learn.
  • Accounting Terms – When working in a field as technical and jargon filled as accounting, it can often be difficult to explain information to non-professionals. This app is designed to improve communication between accounting professionals and their clients. It is useful for students to learn better communication techniques and for professionals who want to improve their interview skills and interactions with customers.
  • CPA Exam Aid – This is a comprehensive guide for students preparing for the CPA exam. It includes information on the FAR, AUD, BEC and REG tests. Provided by the AICPA, it features fourteen hours of exercises, progress tracking, and information, along with features to support interaction with other users.
  • 2012 Tax Reference Info – A great reference for students and professionals, this app provides fast access to information for the current tax year, including tax rates, contribution limits, deductions, gifts, and more.

Resource Guide for Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Business drives the world, and the world of business is massive. The complicated and diverse world of international and even local business can be overwhelming for those pursuing a Bachelor of Business degree if they do not have one specific aspect to hone in on. There are countless resources available to business students and business professionals alike that offer a variety of perspectives and insights about the all encompassing world of business. The goal of this business resource guide is to list the best, most prominent of those resources. We have lists of journals, websites and magazines, conferences, research organizations and think tanks, and prominent blogs along with short descriptions of each to help you find the resources that will meet your needs.

Journals, Websites, and Magazines

Business Journal Inc.: The website for Business Journals Inc, a company that publishes twenty-eight custom magazines and five business to business journals.

Harvard Business Publishing: Harvard Business Publishing is a wholly owned subsidiary of Harvard University. Harvard Business Publishing serves the needs of educational institutions, corporations and independent managers. Their primary publication is the Harvard Business Review.

Ivey Business Journal: The Ivey Business Journal is a management focused journal from the Richard Ivey School of Business and features progressive articles from world leaders in management.

L.A. Business Journal: A Los Angeles focused weekly journal that keeps L.A. businesses and business people apprised of news, events and other information pertinent to the L.A. business community.

Inc: Inc. is a print magazine and website with topical articles that span every aspect of entrepreneurship from startup to running, managing and marketing your business.

Entrepreneur: Another print magazine with corresponding website, Entrepreneur Magazine is one of the best resources available for anybody starting a business or thinking about it.

Business and Finance: For 45 years Business and Finance has been providing insightful articles, commentary and analysis of the Irish and international business community.

Forbes: One of the major business magazines in the world encompassing Forbes, Forbes Life, and Forbes Asia. Forbes is one of the top resources for news, analysis and commentary on international business.

Business Week: Business Week, a Bloomberg L.P. company is one of the primary methods by which its parent company executes its mission; to provide up to the minute quality information and analytics to business professionals worldwide.

Fast Company: Fast Company offers a unique focus on innovation, technology, ethical economics (ethonomics) leadership and design. Fast Company seeks to distill the knowledge of business leaders and innovators for its readers.

The Economist: The Economist was founded in 1843 to support free trade. The top publication for those looking for fact based editorials about the effect of economic policy on business.

Money Magazine: CNN Money covers the larger picture in the business world and incorporates news and analysis for business professionals, and articles on financial strategy, money management techniques and other issues.

Sports Business Journal This global journal covers the world of sports business and publishes the two leading daily trade publications that cover the business of sports.

Conferences and Trade Shows

allconferences.com: A comprehensive website that lists thousands of business conferences around the world divided by discipline, covering all categories and sub-categories of the business world.

International Business Form Conferences: A series of conferences catering to healthcare professionals and businesses pursuing clean technology and also featuring a corporate venturing and innovation conference.

American Business Conferences: This company produces business conferences covering everything from technology innovation to resource management, sustainability, business strategy and marketing.

Opportunity Green: A conference focused on englightening attendees about sustainable green practices and innovation that will allow businesses to embrace the cutting edge, outside the box technology behind sustainability.

IQPC: A worldwide conference organizer with conferences running the gamut from the food and beverage industry to mining, telecoms, infrastructure, defense and more.

Inc Events: Inc runs several conferences throughout the year focused on company growth, leadership, and business ownership. Inc also has its own business awards ceremony.

The Conference Board: The Conference Board is a global association devoted to business research and working in the public interest. They have conferences with a variety of themes.

Sports Business Daily: A global journal that is devoted to sports business news; Sports Business Daily also holds many conferences every year with the goal of advancing the business of sports.

Growthcon: Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Growthcon is a conference devoted to helping entrepreneurs of all stripes grow their businesses and achieve success.

Research Organizations and Think Tanks

Women’s Business Research: A research organization devoted to providing woman business owners with data driven knowledge that will advance the impact of them as individuals and their businesses as a whole across the board.

SustainAbility: This think tank and strategic advisory firm is devoted to advancing the sustainable philosophy among businesses in a way that will be beneficial to the businesses themselves and society as a whole.

AEI: The American Enterprise Institute is a private, non-partisan, non-profit, think tank devoted to the cause of liberty, individuality and free enterprise. AEI also seeks to educate on government, politics and economics.

IEA: The U.K. based Institute of Economic Affairs is a research organization that produces reports, books, and papers on all areas of economic policy. Their policy experts often contribute to newspapers and consult for other media outlets.

Brookings: Brookings has been ranked the #1 most influential, think tank in the world in a University of Pennsylvania based report. The think tank conducts research, comments on economic policy, and serves myriad other purposes.

The Cato Institute: The Cato Institute is a public policy think tank devoted to individual liberty and free markets. Cato is one of the top sources for a conservative approach to economic policy.

CEPR: The Center for Economic and Policy Research was established in 1999 with the goal of providing a forum for discussion and debate on the most important social and economic issues of today.

ERC: Britain’s oldest economics think tank, the Economic Research Council’s focus in on extending the influence of economic education throughout the country and the world.

The Peterson Institute for International Economics: This international economics research institute is one of the formost research firms in international economics. IEE analyses the economic state of economies in all stages of development.

UFE: United for a Fair Economy is a national, independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank devoted to educating people on the ideal that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy.

Associations

APICS: The Association for Operations Management is the leading association for operations and supply chain management worldwide. APICS offers superior, internationally recognized training and a worldwide professional network.

ABM: The Association of Business Information and Media Companies was founded in 1906 and has consistently been at the center of the international business to business economy.

GBCHealth: GBCHealth is committed to harnessing the power of the international business community with the goal of building a healthier world. The organization uses the combined power of members to address international health issues.

GMIC Global: The Green Meeting Industry Council has a unique and specific focus. This focus is primarily achieving sustainability in the many thousands of business conferences and meetings.

WORLDCOB: The World Confederation of Businesses is one of the leading associations in the global business community. WORLDCOB is committed to excellence in providing education and resources the executives and businesses worldwide.

The Carbon Collective: An association devoted to government and business working together in synergy to explore opporunities in limiting human impact on climate change and to develop solutions that benefit both the environment and businesses.:

National Business Association: This non-profit association is committed to the ideal of helping the self employed and small business community achieve success and realize their professional goals.

Blogs

Harvard Business Review Blogs: This is the blog portion of the Harvard Business Review website. The site links to blog posts from the HBR community and provides readers with a centralized location from which they can access posts of interest.

CNN Business Blogs: CNN has a network of business bloggers and this is the main page of that network which links to the blog postings of the individual bloggers ensuring that users have access to up to date and relevant posts.

Consumerism Commentary: Consumerism Commentary is a blog devoted to personal financial principles and strategies to enable people to embrace lifestyle ideals that can significant increase their financial potential both personally and professionally.

Duct Tape Marketing: This is a small business marketing blog attached to a marketing and consulting firm that specializes in small business marketing strategies. The blog was chosen as Forbes magazine’s favorite marketing and small business blog.

Biz Sugar: This is a business blog website that tracks blogs and posts all updates from relevent blogs in one convenient place. Blogs range from marketing-centric to blogs on the benefits of cold calling and more.

Business Blogs Hub: This blog site has a long list of business bloggers (each with their own bio), it posts the most relevent and popular posts to the main page and you can select any author that writes an article you appreciate and find other articles by them.

Young Entrepreneur Blogs: This is a blog network for up and coming entrepreneurs to give and seek advice on the best methods for starting and maintaining a successful business.

Entrepreneur Magazine Blogs: This network of business blogs from Entrepreneur Magazine offers some very good advice in regard to starting and running your own business.

Degree Programs

Top 10 Online Entrepreneurship Degree Programs