For companies that are just cracking the binding on open-book management, Video Arts' videotape "The Balance Sheet Barrier" provides an easy introduction to financial basics. John Cleese -- star of the offbeat Monty Python TV show -- plays a bumbling big-company middle manager who can't bluster his way past a balance sheet. An entrepreneurial type explains it to him and to viewers, using a hypothetical spoon company. By the end, we understand how a company makes and spends money. Video Arts (800-553-0091) produces dozens of tapes on the nitty-gritty of management and supervision. The tapes are quite expensive to purchase (this one retails for $870), but the rental fee is more reasonable -- about $250 for one to five days, which is cheaper than many one-day seminars. Customers may preview most tapes for $50.