Small Business e-Learning FCAWA (2021)
Foundations of Small Business
Financial Counselling e-Learning Series
Part 1: Small Business Fundamentals
Module 1 – Small Business Fundamentals
This module introduces financial counselling in a small business context, covering key business structures, an overview of working with small business owners and scope of practice, and an outline of FCVic’s definition of a small business.
Part 2: Credit Issues
Part 2 summarises key differences in legal protections for small business owners, along with potential options and negotiation tactics for small business clients where there are issues with creditors and suppliers.
There are two components, each comprising a number of modules. We recommend completing Part 2A before Part 2B.
Part 2A: Credit Issues
Module 2.1: Introduction to the legal system as it pertains to small business
This module summarises the different legal framework for small businesses which often do not qualify for the same protections as retail consumers under the consumer credit laws.
Module 2.2: Unresolved disputes and the legal enforcement process
This module applies a small business lens to dispute processes and introduces options for finding assistance in managing or obtaining mediation in business disputes.
Module 2.3: Guarantees, collateral and liens/charges
This module contains a summary of technical detail related to arrangements that can determine whether and what assets may be at risk from business dealings. It aims to provide contextual background and to build familiarity. Memorising the technical details is not expected.
Part 2B: Credit Issues
Module 2.4: Negotiation, options, advocacy, and dispute resolution
The substantive part of this module involves a scenario (from a blend of real cases) intended to bring a practical focus to concepts relevant to assisting a small business, including assessing their financial situation, a simple cash flow projection, possible tactics to negotiate with creditor/suppliers, and relevant options for the business, including grants or other supports.
The module does not cover the ‘soft skills’ that financial counsellors use in negotiation tactics.
Module 2.5: Commercial property leases, utilities and telcos
The supports, protections, and options available to small businesses with utilities, telcos and commercial leases are limited relative to those available to individual consumers. This module outlines the frameworks and potential options while noting that advocacy remains key.
Part 3: Financial Fundamentals
Module 3: Financial Fundamentals
This module provides an elementary introduction to key financial statements and tools for assessing the financial situation of the business. A financial assessment is often critical if time is needed to re-organise finances, or to negotiate changed repayments, or to provide breathing space to allow owners to make bigger decisions about future direction.
Part 4: Insolvency
Module 4: Insolvency
This module provides information on insolvency for companies, including key duties of directors and their liabilities in insolvency. It stands on its own.
Bankruptcy material, which is applicable to sole traders and partners, can be found in the Bankruptcy Toolkit on the FCA Toolkit site.
The Resource Index is a compilation of useful reference material and webinar recordings from the whole e-Learning Series.
Additional material will be added over time. Some resources, such as bookmarks, cannot be continually updated. We recommend that financial counsellors monitor and update to maintain currency.
© Copyright Financial Counselling Victoria 2020
This content has been created by FCVic for use by its members for their professional development. It is not intended for use outside the network.
While every effort has been made to ensure the information provided is accurate, the material does not constitute legal or financial advice. References are provided to relevant sections of the law including links. These are provided for information only.
Case studies, role plays, activities and responses are included for illustration only. They are intended to assist with assimilation of material and not to reflect actual case work processes or situations.
Financial Counselling Victoria acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.