The term financial management focuses on ratios, equity, and debt. Financial managers are those people who will do in-depth research on the subject. Based on the research they would decide what sort of capital to obtain in order to fund the company’s assets as well as maximize the value of the firm for all the stakeholders.
Financial Management is all about meticulous planning, organizing, directing and monitoring the financial activities such as procurement and utilization of funds in an enterprise. It talks about applying general principles of management to the financial resources of an enterprise.
Purpose of financial management
The goal of financial management is the maximization of profit for an organization. The survival of an enterprise is an integral consideration when the financial manager makes any financial decisions. One incorrect decision will lead a company towards bankruptcy. Maintaining proper cash flow is considered to be one of the preliminary objectives of financial management.
Importance of financial management
Reasons for which financial management is important are as follows-
- Helps an organization in financial planning
- Guides an organization in the planning and acquisition of funds
- Helps an organization in effectively utilizing and allocating the funds received or the funds that are acquired
- Assists an organization in making important financial decisions
- Helps in improving the profitability of an organization
- Increases the overall value of an organization
- Provides economic stability to an enterprise
- Encourages employees to save money, which in turn helps them in personal financial planning
- Helps to avoid company losses and negative cash flows
- Helpful in providing business reports of its operations
Roles of financial management
The financial management of an organization plays an integral role in the success of a business. It should be considered as the key element in managing the organization seamlessly. This form of management usually comprises of tactical and strategic goals that are related to the business. Some of the core roles of financial management are as follows:
#1 Accounting and Bookkeeping
The foundation of an effective management system lies in good bookkeeping. Any sort of accounting system should always measure, identify, record and also communicate all the financial information about the organization. A bookkeeper will always give accurate and complete financial information to the accountant. The accountant is usually responsible for the overall financial picture of the organization while the person in charge of bookkeeping deals with the specific transactions taking place on a day-to-day basis.
#2 Investment opportunities
Finance always gives you the power to invest in the right opportunities at the right time. The company only makes use of these opportunities after considering the financial health of the business and checking on the ability to invest. The decision to invest in the right product or in an acquisition can only be done after critically considering every aspect of the financial management in an organization.
#3 Payables and Receivables
Payables and receivables are an important part of a financial management system. It is important to check what you owe to your suppliers and what your consumers owe to you. This clear track record is very important to stay liquid with a proper amount of cash all the time. Accounts payable will always show the workflow and also allow the organization to approve invoices, update all the records and have an integrated document management system. Account receivables on the other hand talks of what consumers owe to you. It keeps a track of the invoices, updates records, and also maintains an integrated document management system. Receivables option helps an organization to recover amounts that are due before they actually become bad debts.
A minimal amount of risk along with maximum profit is the goal for any business. A proper healthy financial management system can be considered as the prerequisite to minimize any sort of unforeseen risks and also counteract the liabilities. An effective financial management system should include adequate insurance for core sections of the organization, budgeting for working capital, controlling debt and maximizing flexibility in operations if the business experiences cash flow problems.
There are a number of stakeholders who only rely on the company’s financial report to make important decisions. Accurate data from a financial report is very important to make key decisions in an organization.
What do finance managers do?
Financial managers look after the financial health of an organization. They generate financial reports, perform investment activities, and also develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization.
The job responsibilities of a financial manager are as follows:
- Perform a variety of advanced financial analysis to figure out present and forecasted financial health of an organization
- Research and report on factors that impact business performance
- Use financial modeling to simulate different financial scenarios
- Provide and interpret financial information
- Present potential scenarios and the outcomes to the management
- Prepare, publish and manage departmental and organization financial documents
- Develop financial management mechanisms which minimize financial risk
- Collaborate with management on the development team and execute fund strategies
- Examine financial and legal documents to verify accuracy and adhere to financial regulations and acceptable financial principles
- Monitor and interpret cash flows apart from predicting future trends
- Develop external relationships with appropriate contacts, which includes auditors, solicitors, bankers and statutory organizations
- Analyze financial change and advise accordingly
- Develop or recommend solutions for financial problems in an organization
- Formulate strategic and long-term business plans
- Conduct reviews and evaluations for cost-reduction opportunities
- Manage Budget for the organization
- Arrange new sources of finance for an organization’s debt facilities
What skills do financial managers need?
The skills required by a financial manager:
- commercial and business awareness
- excellent communication and presentation skills
- an analytical approach to work
- high numeracy and sound technical skills
- problem-solving skills
- negotiation skills
- strong attention to detail and an investigative nature
- the ability to meet the demands at work with study commitments
- good time management skills and the ability to prioritize
- Able to work as a part of the team and to build strong working relationships
- the capacity to make quick but rational decisions
- the potential to lead and motivate others
- good IT skills
What are the three major types of financial management decisions?
There are three types of financial management decisions.
- Capital Budgeting (Investment decision): This decision usually involves careful selection of the assets that will be invested by the firm. A firm has a number of options to invest in, but they have to select the most appropriate one that would bring maximum benefit to them. It is the process of planning and managing a company’s long-term investments.
- Capital Structure refers to the specific mix of long-term debt and equity the firm uses to finance business operations.
- Working Capital Management usually comprises of a firm’s short-term assets, which include inventory, and other short-term liabilities, like the money owed to suppliers. This can be considered as more of everyday activity.
What are the goals of financial management?
Financial management has two main goals which are as follows-
Profit maximation goal- Profit maximization goals comprise of those actions that increase profits to be undertaken and those that decrease profits should be rejected. The finance functions should be oriented towards maximization of profit.
Value maximization goal- Value maximization goals comprise of decisions that maximize the value of the firm. The value of a firm is generally the total of the market value of equity and the market value of debt. Debt holders usually have fixed claim to the firm. If the value of the organization is maximized, the market value of the firm will increase.
Do you need GMAT for masters in finance?
A GMAT is not required when you are planning to study a Master’s in Finance. But if you want to go for an MBA, GMAT might be required. If you are working towards getting a Master’s degree online in Finance, you need to score high on the GRE.
Is finance a BA or BS degree?
Finance is a BA degree. Students pursue a Bachelor of Arts in finance or a Bachelor of Science in accounting, but both often go through similar introductory courses. At the upper levels, the two programs usually diverge. The finance major curriculum comprises of the study of concepts like monetary resources and profitability analysis. Accounting students study different branches of accounting apart from getting acquainted with financial standards and rules. A Bachelor of Arts in finance program usually includes more general education credits while a Bachelor of Science in accounting will usually require more courses that are specific to the major subject.
What is an MBA in financial management?
A bachelor’s degree in finance will help you to work in commercial banking, financial planning, investment banking, money management, insurance, and other similar sectors. An MBA in Finance will help you to gradually move up the corporate ladder and get more prominence in your job. Courses of this kind offer students a deep understanding of financial management, interpersonal skills, technological proficiency, professional insight, business skills, and managerial skills.
What is the MFM course?
M.F.M. or Master of Financial Management is a postgraduate Financial Management course. Master of Financial Management covers all the relevant areas of finance and accounting with emphasis on managerial applications. Master’s degree programs and MBAs in Finance usually require one to two years to complete.
Which is the best country for financial management studies?
France is considered to be the financial hub in Europe. France offers some of the best finance courses in the world. Studying finance in France opens up new job opportunities for you as top multinationals and consultants are in the European Union. The cost of basic essentials in France is pretty reasonable compared to other countries. For example, housing benefits, student accommodation, medical insurance, and healthcare services are affordable enough. Also, France has relatively softer visa norms than other countries which makes it ideal for students to pursue financial management studies.
What are the best MS programs in financial management?
Some of the best MS programs in financial management are as follows-
- Master of Finance
- Executive Master in Financial Management
- MSL: Financial Services and Wealth Management
- Master in Accounting and Financial Management (with specialization in International Finance and Accounting)
- Masters of Management in Finance (MMF)
- Master of Accounting and Financial Management
- Master of Business (Financial Management)
- Master in Accounting, Valuation & Financial Management
- Master in Financial Management
- Master of Business Administration with Finance
What are the best BS programs in financial management?
- Bachelor in Finance & Control (international)
- Degree in financial administration
- Bachelor in Marketing and Financial Management
- Bachelor in Financial Management and Services
- BSBA with Emphasis in Financial Services
- Bachelor in Accounting & Financial Management
- BCom Hons in Financial Management
What are the major job opportunities in financial management?
The job opportunities in financial management are as follows-
- Branch Managers: Branch managers of financial organizations manage the functions of a branch office. Starting with hiring personnel to assist consumers with accounts, approving loans and lines of credit. Branch managers also establish a rapport with the community to build a business.
- Cash Managers: Cash managers monitor the flow of cash receipts and disbursements to meet the investment and business needs of an organization.
- Financial Controllers: Controllers supervise the preparation of financial reports that review and have a clear preview of the organization’s financial position. They also prepare appropriate reports required by regulatory authorities. Also, controllers look after the accounting, audit, and budget departments.
- Credit Managers: Credit managers are in charge of their company’s issuance of credit, and all the required policies and procedures that are related to it.
- Directors and Managing Directors: Directors and managing directors (MDs) give more importance to corporate finance. MDs develop and build relationships with various companies in order to generate more corporate business for the organization. MDs usually specialize in one specific industry, to develop relationships among management teams of companies.
- International Finance Managers: Managers who specialize in international finance develop financial and accounting systems for the banking transactions of multinational organizations.
- Risk and Insurance Managers: Risk and insurance managers are responsible for reducing risks and losses which may arise from business operations and financial transactions undertaken by their organization. They also look after an organization’s insurance budget.
- Treasurers and Finance Officers: Treasurers and finance officers oversee the investment of funds and also handle associated risks. They look after cash management activities, carry out capital-raising strategies to support a firm’s expansion, and supervise mergers and acquisitions.
- Risk / Credit Risk / Operational Risk: Market risk analysts do in-depth research to figure out the probability of asset loss or reward from investments that are done in that particular domain. They also develop risk management systems and consult with securities traders. Market risk analysts prepare a thorough reporting and present the research results.
- Business Valuations expert: The work of a business valuation specialist is to determine the economic value of a brand. They prepare a detailed report which is used in the business sale, litigation matters, or in establishing partner ownership.
- Finance Controller: Financial controllers are responsible for all of the day-to-day operations in the finance department, reporting directly to the finance director. A financial controller is responsible to monitor that all accounting allocations are properly made and is in the form of documents. In a small organization, the controller may also look after cash management functions and manage accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash disbursements, payroll, and bank reconciliation functions.
- Management Accounting: They do the work that helps the company’s owner, manager or board of directors make decisions. They might also develop and maintain a company’s financial system and supervise its bookkeepers and data processors. Also, management accountants may have an area of expertise, such as taxes or budgeting. Management accountants play important roles in determining the status and success of a company. While some choose to become a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), which is a similar credential to CPA (Certified Public Accountants), but with a greater focus on cost accounting, financial planning, and management issues.
- Internal Auditor: The role of an internal auditor is to provide independent assurance that an organization’s risk management, administration, and internal control processes are operating effectively. These auditors have a professional duty to provide an unbiased and objective view. They help an organization to achieve its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and then improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. Professionals called internal auditors are employed by organizations to perform the internal auditing activity.
- Investment Banker: Investment bankers help their clients raise money in capital markets by issuing debt or by selling equity in the companies. Other job responsibilities include assisting clients with mergers and acquisitions (M&As), and advising them on unique investment opportunities such as derivatives.
- Research – Credit & Equity: A credit analyst is responsible for gathering and analyzing financial data about clients which include paying habits or history, earnings and savings information, and purchase activities. After the data has been collected, a credit analyst evaluates the data and then recommends a course of action for the customer.
The equity researcher plays a major role in bridging the information gap between the buyers and the sellers. The preliminary job of an equity researcher is to spend a lot of time and energy on researching these stocks.
- Investment Managers: Investment managers manage investment portfolios and operate under the government’s securities legislation. An investment manager makes investments in portfolios of securities on behalf of clients under the investment objectives and parameters the client defined.
- Commodity Finance: Commodity finance is a type of lending that fits into trade finance. It is split into three groups of commodities, which include metals and mining, energy and soft commodities. SCF is a financing technique which is used by many primary producers, lenders and trading houses. Financial experts offer a varied range of products to meet your requirements at every stage of the trade flow. With the help of structured inventory products, they offer ownership-based financing solutions.
- Project Finance: A project Financial Controller has control of all financial aspects of the project which includes preparation of financial statements, files for taxes on time, and liaising with tax consultants, preparing management reports including budget and cash flow reports, and leads the implementation of new accounting software in coordination with the group accounting systems.
- Leveraged Finance: An expert in leveraged finance acquires an asset, repurchases certain shares, makes an acquisition or even buys out another company. This debt is usually used to grow the company or raise capital to invest in another asset. The form of debt can be a leveraged loan, which tends to carry high interest as it is a riskier investment.
- Structured Lending: An expert in structured lending offers an opportunity to make fuller use of their assets and to follow a wide variety of sophisticated investment strategies. Additionally, funds may be used to finance purchases of non-financial assets (i.e. not in a bank’s custody), such as companies, property, aviation or marine assets.
- Corporate Banker: A corporate banker deals with companies rather than everyday people. Their clients range from small and medium-sized companies to huge conglomerates. They also advise corporate clients about mergers, acquisitions, capital markets, and about preparing lending agreements.
- Retail and Priority Banking: An expert in priority banking is responsible for providing financial solutions to the priority customers and also ensure value-added services. The person is also responsible for increasing liabilities, size of relationship via balances in the accounts of existing customers and also enhancing customer profitability by capturing a larger share of wallet. An expert in retail banking plays the customer service role. They advise clients, assist with services such as setting up savings accounts, authorizing loans and other financial services.
- Senior Management Roles (Head of Risk / Compliance, CFO, COO): A chief financial officer (CFO) is considered to be the senior executive who is responsible for managing the financial actions of an organization. The duties of a CFO include tracking cash flow, financial planning and analyzing the company’s financial strengths and weaknesses along with proposing corrective action. Risk management specialists are the financial managers who make use of specific training, skills, and experience to figure out possible risks which can result in loss of cash flow and higher insurance rates for any business. These specialists assess risks and implement plans and strategies to minimize business losses. The role of a COO (Chief Executive Officer) is to secure the functionality of the business to drive extensive and sustainable growth.
- Compliance (General, Product, AML, Anti-fraud): Compliance officers usually take advice from the legal department, as they do from Audit or HR. Compliance officers are executives who design and operate a management tool known as the compliance program. They are responsible for identifying and deploying the resources needed to keep it running as designed.
- Internal Audit (Product audit, Operations audit, IT audit): An internal auditor assesses the final product/service and whether it is suitable for use is evaluated. Also, the purpose of the product/service is taken into consideration and is monitored. They also ensure a thorough inspection of a final product before delivery to a supplier or a customer. IT auditors collect and evaluate evidence of an organization’s information systems, the practices, and also the operations. IT auditors look at physical controls as a security auditor would do. They need to have a thorough look at business and financial controls within an organization.
- Product Control (Wholesale Banking, Global Markets, Consumer Banking): Product control is a center of cost responsibility for the daily PnL(Profit and Loss) and its explanation for a dedicated trading desk. In turn, product controllers are responsible for ensuring traders mark their books to fair value prices.
- Tax: An expert in tax is very well acquainted with tax laws, planning, and compliance. A tax consultant typically expands on the role of a tax preparer. While tax consultants prepare tax returns, they also often work closely with clients throughout the year to ensure client tax liability is minimized.
- Business Process Reengineering: An expert in business process re-engineering examines and redesigns business processes and workflows in an organization. A business process is a set of related work activities that are performed by employees to achieve business goals.
- Business Analysts: Business analysts examine the data of internal or external clients and use their findings to make recommendations to their superiors about business decisions. This data, rather than being investment-related, involves the day-to-day operations of the business.
- Underwriters: An underwriter evaluates and assumes another party’s risk for a fee, such as a commission, premium, spread or interest. Underwriters operate in many aspects of the financial world, including the mortgage industry, insurance industry, equity markets, and common types of debt securities.
List of Best Universities for Financial Management
- University of Pennsylvania
- New York University
- Harvard University
- University of Chicago
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- Columbia University
- The University of Texas at Austin
- The Indiana University Bloomington
- Georgetown University
- London School of Economics and Political Science
- The University of Oxford
- London Business School (https://www.london.edu/programmes/topic/finance)
- City University London
- The University of Cambridge
- The University of New South Wales
- The University of Melbourne
- Monash University
- The University of Sydney
- The University of Technology Sydney
Career prospects for financial management
An individual with a financial management degree from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, or Sweden can work for the following roles-
- Finance Manager
- Financial Planner
- Financial Analyst
- Financial Auditor.
- Investment Banking Analyst.
- Investor Relations Associate.
- Branch Managers
- Cash Managers\
- Financial Controllers
- Credit Managers
- Directors and Managing Directors
- International Finance Managers
- Risk and Insurance Managers
- Treasurers and Finance Officers
Payscale for Different Countries
- The USA- The average salary for a financial manager was $139,720 in 2016. That salary is high compared with other occupations on our list of the Best Business Jobs. For example, a financial analyst made a mean salary of $97,640 in 2016, a management analyst made $91,910 and a financial advisor made $123,100.
- Australia- The average pay for a Finance Specialist is AU$54,095 per year.
- The UK- The average pay for a Financial Consultant is £8.58 per hour. The average pay for a Financial Consultant is £36,187 per year.
- Sweden- The average salary for a Financial Analyst in Stockholm is $60,031 per year.
- Germany- The average pay for a Financial Analyst is €17.69 per hour. The average pay for a Financial Analyst is €47,884 per year.
- Canada- The average pay for a Financial Analyst is C$24.74 per hour. The average pay for a Financial Analyst is C$57,873 per year.
- New Zealand- An entry-level Management Accountant with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn average total compensation of NZ$71,000
5 Top Financial Services Industry Recruiting Trends
The top 5 financial services recruiting trends are as follows-
#1 Big Data
Big Data is one of the emerging trends that is invading human resources and talent acquisition department in different industries. Financial services and telecom are two such industries that have started to harness the power of big data. To increase the profitability in businesses. So, recruiters are getting more focused on getting big data engineers and data scientists for their company.
#2 Deficiency of mid-career candidates
It is very difficult to find accounting and finance talent, especially the mid-career candidates. These candidates will be in demand as there is a rise in economic growth along with a rise in interest. The financial service firms will be able to go for finance and accounting professionals who have gained experience in the payroll sector account receivable and account payable in different sectors.
The financial industry is always under tighter regulations to remain compliant with thousands of regulations and prevent any sort of risky behavior. Since the time there has been a financial crisis, financial institutions require to crack down any sort of compliance requirements. Companies are looking forward to getting more financial analysts, regulatory analysts, forensic researchers and other experts in customer service.
#4 Security experts
With the rise in security breaches, companies have become more secure and stringent on security. Financial institutions hold a lot of valuable information, data, sensitive human resource information, and other recruiting information. So, security specialists are high in demand to secure data and also pay close attention to employee connections both inside and outside the organization.
#5 The talent gap
There has been a continued widening of the talent gap in the financial domain. Many people say that repairing the reputation of financial institutions can help in decreasing the talent gap and bring more people into an organization.