Read this introductory article, which will help you understand what the field of finance encompasses. What do you learn in a course in finance that you do not learn in financial accounting? How does finance build on what you learned? What does a financial manager do?
Overview of the Role of Financial Manager
The financial manager is responsible for budgeting, projecting cash flows, and determining how to invest and finance projects.
Describe the role and skills of a financial manager
- The finance manager is responsible for knowing how much the product is expected to cost and how much revenue it is expected to earn so that s/he can invest the appropriate amount in the product.
- The finance manager uses a number of tools, such as setting the cost of capital (the cost of money over time, which will be explored in further depth later on) to determine the cost of financing.
- The financial manager must not just be an expert at financial projections; s/he also must have a grasp of the accounting systems in place and the strategy of the business over the coming years.
- The head of the financial department is the chief financial officer (CFO) who is responsible for all financial decisions and reporting done in the company.
Money and wealth; the means to acquire goods and services, especially in a non-barter system.
The Role of the Financial Manager
The role of a financial manager is a complex one, requiring both an understanding of how the business functions as a whole and specialized financial knowledge. The head of the financial operations is called the chief financial officer (CFO).
The structure of the company varies, but a financial manager is responsible for the same general things across the board. The manager is responsible for managing the budget. This involves allocating money to different projects and segments so that the business can continue operating, but the best projects get the necessary funding.
The manager is responsible for figuring out the financial projections for the business. The development of a new product, for example, requires an investment of capital over time. The finance manager is responsible for knowing how much the product is expected to cost and how much revenue it is expected to earn so that s/he can invest the appropriate amount in the product. This is a lot tougher than it sounds because there is no accurate financial data for the future. The finance manager will use data analyses and educated guesses to approximate the value, but it's extremely rare that s/he can be 100% sure of the future cash flows.
Figuring out the value of an operation is one thing, but it is another thing to figure out if it's worth financing. There is a cost to investing money, either the opportunity cost of not investing it elsewhere, the cost of borrowing money, or the cost of selling equity. The finance manager uses a number of tools, such as setting the cost of capital (the cost of money over time, which will be explored in further depth later on) to determine the cost of financing.
At the same time that this is going on, the financial manager must also ensure that the business has enough cash to pay upcoming financial obligations without hoarding assets that could otherwise be invested. This is a delicate dance between short-term and long-term responsibilities.
The CFO is the head of the financial department and is responsible for all of the same things as his/her subordinates, but is also the person who has to sign off that all of the company's financial statements are accurate. S/he is also responsible for financial planning and record-keeping, as well as financial reporting to higher management.
The financial manager is not just an expert at financial projections, s/he must also have a grasp of the accounting systems in place and the strategy of the business over the coming years.