Corporate Finance News

Mercredi 26 Mars 2014

FY360° | Defining the Financial Manager’s Role


A financial manager is responsible for providing financial advice and support to colleagues and clients to enable them to make sound business decisions. The role of the financial manager is more than simply accounting; it is multifunctional. Financial managers must understand all aspects of the business so that they are able to adequately advise and support the chief executive officer in decision-making and ensuring company growth and profitability.

Almost every firm, government agency, or other type of organization has one or more financial managers. Financial managers oversee the preparation of financial reports, direct investment activities, and implement cash management strategies. They also implement the long-term goals of their organization.

Many corporations operate multifunctional teams where the financial manager is responsible for a particular division or function, or looks after a range of departments and functions. Financial managers often have specific roles and titles:

Controllers prepare financial reports and analyses of future earnings or expenses that summarize the organization’s financial position. Controllers are also in charge of preparing special reports required by regulatory authorities—especially important because of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act, designed in part to protect investors from fraud.

Treasurers and finance officers direct and oversee budgets, monitor the investment of funds, manage associated risks, supervise cash management activities, execute capital raising strategies, and deal with mergers and acquisitions.

Risk and insurance managers administer programs to minimize risks and losses that could arise from financial transactions and business operations.

Credit managers supervise the firm’s issuance of credit, fix credit-rating criteria, determine credit limits, and monitor the collection of past-due accounts.

Cash managers supervise and manage the flow of cash receipts and disbursements to meet business and investment needs.

The financial manager’s role, particularly in business, is changing in response to technological advances that have significantly reduced the time it takes to produce financial reports. Financial managers now perform more data analysis to offer senior management ideas on how to maximize profits. They play an increasingly significant role in mergers and acquisitions and in related financing, and in areas that require wide-ranging, focused knowledge to diminish risks and maximize profit.


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