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Need help managing your money? Read Streetwise Finance & Accounting

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This story appears in the May 2000 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

The dream: running a successful business. The reality: taking responsibility for all components of that business. While entrepreneurs eagerly tackle marketing, sales, quality control, production levels, customer service and the gamut of operating problems, most shun financial management. Accounting is seen as a boring, indecipherable stepsister best left to outside experts. But it needn't be boring or indecipherable. And it shouldn't be left to outsiders.

"Finance can be fun," says entrepreneur Suzanne Caplan, who encourages business owners to understand that numbers tell a story. "When you learn how to read that story, it gets far more interesting. After all, you probably went into business because of your personal competitiveness. The numbers are how you keep score."

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