Finance Management Courses - Why Financial Management is a Popular Program

Finance management or financial management is that aspect of management which involves the application of general management principles to specific financial operations. It basically entails planning within a business enterprise to ensure a positive cash flow and maximize shareholder wealth. Financial management includes a large number of complex practices and processes, including the administration and maintenance of financial aspects and identifying and managing risks.
The decisions that financial managers need to make are in regard to financing, investments, payouts of dividends, and working capital management. They generally encounter difficulties in the form of measurement problems, uncertainty, and temporal spread. Financial managers need to be conversant with the tools and concepts of financial management, such as capital budgeting, sources of finance, various types of financial statements, financial accounting, financial reporting, and risk management.
Managerial or corporate finance is the task of providing funds for a corporation's activities. Its goal is the maximization of the company's wealth and the value of its stock, while balancing risk and profitability. People entrusted with the financial management of corporations must be sound in the practices of financial management if they are run an organization successfully.
Given the importance of financial managers in today's business environment, it is not surprising that a wide variety of courses from the full-time MBA to the online courses abound.

Finance is perhaps the most popular choice for candidates seeking management degrees. The role of the financial manager is to oversee the generation of financial analysis and reports to help with the company's decision making, business development, and more importantly, strategic planning. The job of the financial analyst is to use these tools and devices to shape the company's investments and business growth. Financial analysts and managers today play a crucial role in effecting mergers and global financing and expansion.
If you are looking for a role in finance in a medium to large corporation, the degree program is what you will need to look at, given the complexities of financial management in large corporations. When choosing a program, remember that with finance and management degrees, the institute that you pick must be reputable and recognized in the field. Accreditation bodies exist specifically for MBA programs to oversee the consistency and quality of business education, so it is preferable for a student to select a program that is accredited.
If however, you are already running your own small or medium enterprise or non-profit organization, and need to apply the tools of financial management to run your organization more effectively, you can opt for the shorter courses or the online programs offered by the many institutes.
Several MBA programs offer tailor-made courses that could be full-time, part-time, and distance learning courses with specialized concentrations. Accelerated MBA programs involve a higher course load and more intense and examination schedules. Part-time courses are another option, with classes being held in evenings, after normal working hours, or on weekends. Executive MBA programs are developed to meet the training needs of full-time managers and executives, allowing them to earn their degrees without compromising their jobs.
From this spectrum of financial management courses, there is truly one for each one to enhance our own financial management skills and take our enterprises to the cutting edge!

12 Areas to Include in Your Financial Management Operations Manual

From a process perspective, Financial Management is the easiest and simplest business process to take care of no matter what business you're in. But it's often the most avoided and neglected area of any business. So why is that? Well, in my experience it often comes down to our fears around money.
The best way to tackle fear is by using knowledge. Not avoidance. I work with many clients who at first will try their absolute best to avoid looking at their numbers, or not paying attention to it, in the hope that it will go away. But unless we know where you're at right now, there's no way we can improve it. This is where putting together a financial management process and documenting this in a financial management operations manual can be of huge benefit both to yourself as a business owner and to your business!
The type of Financial Management process that I take clients through is a method that I devised because I was probably way behind where you are now. It comes down to understanding some simple systems that you can then enhance to build your very own financial management process. Then putting that knowledge into a financial management operations manual so that your financial records are maintained in a consistent manner that you can get the information you want.

I have to be very clear with you here. I am not an accountant. My understanding of financial management comes from learning the hard way - by it costing me a fortune to NOT know. So over time, I developed my financial know-how and then devised systems and procedures to help me to be able to better manage my business finances.
And by the way, I have always had great financial people on my team. But they are made great by the fact that I have a system that they follow. This ensures that my data is recorded in a consistent manner, and that I've got my finger on the pulse of my business by having all the right reports available at the right time.
Here's a quick high level checklist of what should be included in putting together your financial management process and operations manual:
1. ACCOUNTING ROLES: Clearly indicate who's responsible for your money in your financial management operations manual. Understand the different roles of people who are doing the numbers in your business. Be clear about the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant or financial manager and how each can benefit your business in the most cost effective way. Then put together job descriptions outlining who is responsible for what and how they interlink (or you can purchase complete job descriptions for your bookkeeper and financial controller at our website).
2. FINANCIAL REPORTS: Work out what reports you require to keep your finger on the pulse of your business - and then insist on receiving them on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. Outline in your operations manual who is responsible for delivering these (this should be outlined in the job descriptions also!) and at what regularity. These reports should form the cornerstone of your business decisions. You can never have too much information.
3. YOUR ACCOUNTING SYSTEM: Many people rely on their bookkeeper or accountant to tell them what the best accounting system is to use. But don't just take this information at face value. Investing in an accounting system is a big investment over time. Research the initial investment cost of any recommended system, as well as the continual costs to upgrade the system from year to year. Also consider how many bookkeepers are trained in this system. There is no point is purchasing an accounting system that is cheap as chips if there is no-one able to use it. This will just result in paying top dollar for a specialized bookkeeper and potentially more costs down the track to convert over to a less specialized system!
4. PROFIT AND LOSS PROJECTIONS: Every year prior to the end of your financial year, you should be putting together a profit and loss projection of what you want your business to be doing. This provides you with important "what if" scenario planning. It's always better to know whether something is going to financially work before you embark on it!
5. BUDGETING: Budgets are the most known about and yet least used thing in most businesses. You should have an annual budget that has been derived from your Profit and Loss Projection then broken down into specific areas in your business. It also assists people (including your bookkeeper) in your business to know exactly what they can spend and what they can't. It's also an idea to ask your bookkeeper to enter the budget into your accounting system so that you can incorporate your budget into your Projected Versus Actual reports.
6. CASH FLOW ANALYSIS: I often get asked why a business is making a profit, but there's never any money to spend. This is because there is a difference between cash flow and profit. It is essential that you ask for a cash flow analysis each month at a minimum - weekly would be better! This ensures that you have enough money in your bank to pay people when money is due, and allows you to chase up faster those that owe you money.
7. CONTROLLING COSTS: To control costs in your business you should have a purchasing system in place. Ensure that not a dollar is spent in your business without a purchase order and incorporate this into your company policy document. Every bookkeeper I've ever known baulks at this idea because it's extra work for them. But at the end of the day, it keeps control over your money. With this system in place you will never have unexpected expenses arise that an employee has kindly organised for you.
8. ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: Outline and record in your financial management operations manual how your accounts are paid including the method and timeline. Also include any regular payments including direct debits, as well as other spending methods such as store cards or credit cards. Another tip is to include your petty cash system and employee (and director) expense reimbursement systems.
9. ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE: Often business owners think that it's common sense for a bookkeeper to know what to do in accounts receivable. But never for one moment think that your common sense is the same as your employees! Ensure that your financial management operations manual includes an overview of the system for dispensing goods and/or services, your credit terms, how to raise invoices and how to follow up on outstanding payments. I also encourage clients to include phone scripts on debt collecting in their operations manual so that there is no doubt as to how to handle clients. Nothing annoys a good client more than an accounts person chasing them for money and conversely, nothing annoys a business owner more than an accounts person who can't get a definite payment date!
10. BANK ACCOUNTS: Make sure that your financial management operations manual includes an outline of bank accounts, including GST accounts and who credit cards are issued to. Also include an overview of online payment systems. However NEVER include details on your PIN numbers. This should be divulged in person and never written down.
11. Other things to include in your financial management operations manual should include items such as Fixed Asset Register, Insurances, Depreciation Registers and End of Year Procedures. Although these are generally covered by your accountant at the end of the year, it should also be included in your financial management operations manual so that your bookkeeper and/or financial controller know what steps to take to prepare the information for your accountant.
12. DATA BACKUPS: Your money records are THE most important records in your business. Ensure that your bookkeeper is saving your records to a device that is stored externally to the computer. Include information on how to back up to this device in your financial management operations manual.