Financial Management is about preparing, directing and managing the money activities of a company such as buying, selling and using money to its best results to maximize wealth or produce best value for money. It is basically applying general management concepts to the cash of the company. Financial Management can also be defined as – The management of the finances of a business / organization in order to achieve financial objectives
Taking a commercial business as the most common organizational structure, the key objectives of financial management would be to:
• Create wealth for the business
• Generate cash, and
• Provide an adequate return on investment bearing in mind the risks that the business is taking and the resources invested
(1) Financial Planning
Management need to ensure that enough funding is available at the right time to meet the needs of the business. In the short term, funding may be needed to invest in equipment and stocks, pay employees and fund sales made on credit.
In the medium and long term, funding may be required for significant additions to the productive capacity of the business or to make acquisitions. This links in with the financial decision making process and forecasting.
(2) Financial Control
Financial control is a critically important activity to help the business ensure that the business is meeting its objectives. Financial control addresses questions such as:
• Are assets being used efficiently?
• Are the businesses assets secure?
• Do management act in the best interest of shareholders and in accordance with business rules?
(3) Financial Decision-making
The key aspects of financial decision-making relate to investment, financing and dividends:
•Investments must be financed in some way – however there are always financing alternatives that can be considered. For example it is possible to raise finance from selling new shares, borrowing from banks or taking credit from suppliers. This is connected with the capital budget and forecasting when dealing with fixed assets and projects.
•Financial options – this is connected to the raising of finance from various sources like banks or financial investors, which will depend on the options of the type of source, period of financing, cost of financing and the net present returns generated.
•A key financing decision is whether profits earned by the business should be retained rather than distributed to shareholders via dividends. If dividends are too high, the business may be starved of funding to reinvest in growing revenues and profits further.