Financial Management is the specific area of finance dealing with the financial decision corporations make, and the tools and analysis used to make the decisions. The discipline as a whole may be divided between long-term and short-term decisions and techniques. Both share the same goal of enhancing firm value by ensuring that return on capital exceeds cost of capital, without taking excessive financial risks.
Capital investment decisions comprise the long-term choices about which projects receive investment, whether to finance that investment with equity or debt, and when or whether to pay dividends to shareholders. Short-term corporate finance decisions are called working capital management and deal with balance of current assets and current liabilities by managing cash, inventories, and short-term borrowings and lending (e.g., the credit terms extended to customers).
Corporate finance is closely related to managerial finance, which is slightly broader in scope, describing the financial techniques available to all forms of business enterprise, corporate or not.
Role of Financial Managers:
The role of a financial manager can be discussed under the following heads:
1. Nature of work
2. Working conditions
4. Training, Other qualifications and Advancement
5. Job outlook
7. Related occupations
Let us discuss each of these in a detailed manner.
1. Nature of work
Almost every firm, government agency and organization has one or more financial managers who oversee the preparation of financial reports, direct investment activities, and implement cash management strategies. As computers are increasingly used to record and organize data, many financial managers are spending more time developing strategies and implementing the long-term goals of their organization.
The duties of financial managers vary with their specific titles, which include controller, treasurer or finance officer, credit manager, cash manager, and risk and insurance manager. Controllers direct the preparation of financial reports that summarize and forecast the organization’s financial position, such as income statements, balance sheets, and analyses of future earnings or expenses. Regulatory authorities also in charge of preparing special reports require controllers. Often, controllers oversee the accounting, audit, and budget departments. Treasurers and finance officers direct the organization’s financial goals, objectives, and budgets. They oversee the investment of funds and manage associated risks, supervise cash management activities, execute capital-raising strategies to support a firm’s expansion, and deal with mergers and acquisitions. Credit managers oversee the firm’s issuance of credit. They establish credit-rating criteria, determine credit ceilings, and monitor the collections of past-due accounts. Managers specializing in international finance develop financial and accounting systems for the banking transactions of multinational organizations.
Cash managers monitor and control the flow of cash receipts and disbursements to meet the business and investment needs of the firm. For example, cash flow projections are needed to determine whether loans must be obtained to meet cash requirements or whether surplus cash should be invested in interest-bearing instruments. Risk and insurance managers oversee programs to minimize risks and losses that might arise from financial transactions and business operations undertaken by the institution. They also manage the organization’s insurance budget.
Financial institutions, such as commercial banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, and mortgage and finance companies, employ additional financial managers who oversee various functions, such as lending, trusts,...