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5 Podcasts to Sharpen Your Finance and Business Smarts

When you're on a long drive between offices or a flight to the next conference circuit stop, listening to music or watching movies is relaxing and fun. But today's podcasts offer such rich and varied content that you may want to turn off the music and sharpen your business acumen and back-office skills. We've pulled together a list of five podcasts that offer either a deep dive into managing business finances, or inspiration to leaders of growing businesses.

Accounting Best Practices with Steve Bragg

Host: Steve Bragg is a CPA, former CFO of several public companies and a prolific author about all-things accounting.
Why it's worth your time: A treasure trove of more than 200 podcasts on everything from cleaning up accounting spreadsheets to training and motivating financial staff. Renowned CPA and author Steve Bragg is a careful explainer of intricate accounting concepts, but he's also practical — even newcomers to back-office operations should walk with away with useful tips. Most of the podcasts run no longer than 10 minutes, so they're an easy listen.
Recommended episode: "Lender Relations" — tips for strengthening your relationship with a lender (and setting reasonable expectations for your business's success).
Tune in: Check out the website, or download on iTunes or via your preferred podcast player.

Your Money Now: The Small Business Report with Gordon Deal

Host: Nationally syndicated radio host Gordon Deal. He's a former journalist with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network.
Why it's worth your time: Deal mixes business news with advice from business leaders in the trenches, on subjects such as rethinking automatic pay raises and how to hire holiday help. Podcasts touch on entrepreneurship, marketing, big business trends that will affect small businesses, and guidance on where to get help with common business problems. Deal keeps a close eye on the latest breaking news, so you can expect to get a good grounding on whatever's bubbling up in the business world.
Recommended episode: Sept. 6 podcast on performance management tools that can help identify slackers in the office, without waiting for yearly performance reviews.
Tune in: Check out the website, or download on iTunes or via your preferred podcast player.

CFO Thought Leader

Host: Jack Sweeney is a longtime finance journalist. He is the former editor in chief of Business Finance Magazine.
Why it's worth your time: Sweeney quizzes CFOs on how they drive change in their businesses, how they overcame failures, and advice they can pass along to their back-office peers. Recent interviewees include Carol Wood, CFO of Dizzion, on managing systems and controls so the business can grow; and Ron Knutson, CFO of Lawson Products, on the value of adding an analytics unit to a finance team. Follow the podcast's Twitter feed at @CFOTL to stay on top of new interviews.
Recommended episode: Johanna Richman, CFO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), on how she's engaging millennials to build out her finance team.
Tune in: Check out the website, or download on iTunes or via your preferred podcast player.

Profit First: Profit Tips for Entrepreneurs

Host: Mike Michalowicz is an author, entrepreneur, lecturer and former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal.
Why it's worth your time: This podcast goes beyond the back office and looks at hiring, self-fulfillment, and customer relationships — but all discussions lead back to the idea of ensuring profitability. Host Mike Michalowicz gives the show a funny, fast-paced morning radio feel, so it's an entertaining listen rather than a chore.
Recommended episode: Transitioning from check-by-check to profitability — advice from the owner of a hot air balloon tour company.
Tune in: Check out the website, or download on iTunes or via your preferred podcast player.

The Bottom Line: BBC Radio

Host: Evan Davis is the former economics editor at the BBC.
Why it's worth your time: For a look at business trends beyond the 50 states, host Evan Davis offers conversations with people running companies and how they keep them operating successfully. He's recently delved into "fast fashion" companies, the art of negotiation and how to overhaul customer service.
Recommended episode: Escaping the Rat Race, on whether leaving a comfortable job to start a business is really a good idea — and how the dream compares with the reality.
Tune in: Check out the website, or download on iTunes or via your preferred podcast player.

Come across any valuable podcasts with a financial focus? Leave ideas in the comments below.

Christine Kent brings over 20 years of writing and journalism expertise to her work for technology, consumer and corporate organizations. Her journalism-driven approach enables her to not just write a document, but to find the voice of a client to tell their story in the most compelling way.

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