Many of us have, at one point or another, found ourselves baffled by cricket jargon; perhaps it was when first developing an interest in the game, or perhaps there's never been any affection there at all, and the sport remains shrouded in incomprehensible terms and unappealing notions. Silly points, nurdles, third men, googlies and slips: even those of us who love cricket will accept that it has a strange vocabulary all of its own.

However, jargon and technical terminology are issues we all have to deal with at one point or another, as they crop up in so many different walks of life. They can often seem daunting, or discourage us from moving any further and deeper into their world. For those within that world, those who already understand the language, the vocabulary serves its own purpose, efficiently explaining often complex circumstances when everyday words wouldn't suffice - yet however effective the jargon is in its own role, that side-effect of deflecting the uninitiated is difficult to negate (and that's assuming that those in the know are even aware that it might need to be negated - which is often not the case).

And it can frequently be the wealth of new terms to be understood that can leave non-financial managers convinced that the financial world is not for them, that it's all a bit too much to get to grips with. It's an understandable position, surely: after all, not understanding sporting jargon might mean not enjoying the game, but troubles with the terminology used in finance may lead to a very costly error. Better, surely, to leave well alone.

Isn't it? It needn't be. The most important thing to remember is that you don't have to be a chartered accountant to attend to financial issues, so many of the most complex matters in finance don't have to be learnt along with the basics; if you're looking to address financial issues as a non-financial manager, chances are you'll be managing a small- to medium-sized company and the most important thing is to look after day-to-day matters. So the only jargon you need to be familiar with is that relating to those day-to-day matters.

This includes concepts such as cash flow and profit. These two can be easily confused as they describe similar principles, but breaking through the jargon is all about knowing the difference between one term and another. Profit, simply, is total incomes minus total losses.

Cash flow is the movement and availability of cash through and to the business over a given period (a month, a year, a quarter).

Another common element of financial jargon is the relationship between net and gross; net includes all deductions, so a net profit is the final profit after all spending is taken out; gross, on the other hand, refers to a more limited measurement without the expenditure reduced - just as gross salary on a payslip doesn't include taxes or other deductions, so a gross profit is the profit made from selling something, the price less the cost of creating or providing it (gross profit is also often referred to as the margin, in case you come across that term as well).

Some other common, yet deceptively simple terms: liabilities are just what the business owes; overheads are the unavoidable expenses of running the company, such as rent or electricity; liquidity indicates the company's capacity to pay its short-term debts; reserves are the share of the profits retained year on year; markup is the amount added to the cost price in order to cover overheads and make a profit.

Inevitably, there may be other terms that you come across - and a short training course in financial management can help settle any remaining doubts in your mind - but even this small vocabulary can help you navigate your way through the jargon of those everyday issues, help you to better understand the key issues and just how much money your business has. This understanding is clearly beneficial: in knowing how your company's finances are performing from one day to the next, you'll be in a better position to know what to spend and when, and how much, and also when to make savings or changes that the business needs. Above all, taking control of everyday finance gives you the power to take control of your organisation's future.