Financial Management Meaning, Nature and Scope

Financial Management Meaning, Definitions, Nature and Scope
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Financial Management Meaning 

Financial management is management principles and practices applied to finance. General management functions include planning, execution and control. Financial decision making includes decisions as to size of investment, sources of capital, extent of use of different sources of capital and extent of retention of profit or dividend payout ratio. Financial management, is therefore, planning, execution and control of investment of money resources, raising of such resources and retention of profit/payment of dividend.

Financial Management Definitions

Howard and Upton define financial management as "that administrative area or set of administrative functions in an organisation which have to do with the management of the flow of cash so that the organisation will have the means to carry out its objectives as satisfactorily as possible and at the same time meets its obligations as they become due.”

According to Guthamann and Dougall,” Business finance can be broadly defined as the activity concerned with the planning, raising, controlling and administering the funds used in the business.”

Bonneville and Dewey interpret that financing consists in the raising, providing and managing all the money, capital or funds of any kind to be used in connection with the business.

Osbon defines financial management as the "process of acquiring and utilizing funds by a business”.

Considering all these views, financial management may be defined as that part of management which is concerned mainly with raising funds in the most economic and suitable manner, using these funds as profitably as possible.

Financial Management is also called as Business Finance/ Corporation Finance.

Financial Management Features

Features/Nature/Characteristics of financial management is concerned with its functions, its goals, trade-off with conflicting goals, its indispensability, its systems, its relation with other subsystems in the firm, its environment, its relationship with other disciplines, the procedural aspects and its equation with other divisions within the organisation.

1)      Financial Management is an integral part of overall management. Financial considerations are involved in all business decisions. So financial management is pervasive throughout the organisation.

2)      The central focus of financial management is valuation of the firm. That is financial decisions are directed at increasing/maximization/ optimizing the value of the firm.

3)      Financial management essentially involves risk-return trade-off Decisions on investment involve choosing of types of assets which generate returns accompanied by risks. Generally higher the risk, returns might be higher and vice versa. So, the financial manager has to decide the level of risk the firm can assume and satisfy with the accompanying return.

4)      Financial management affects the survival, growth and vitality of the firm. Finance is said to be the life blood of business. It is to business, what blood is to us. The amount, type, sources, conditions and cost of finance squarely influence the functioning of the unit.

5)      Finance functions, i.e., investment, rising of capital, distribution of profit, are performed in all firms - business or non-business, big or small, proprietary or corporate undertakings. Yes, financial management is a concern of every concern.

6)      Financial management is a sub-system of the business system which has other subsystems like production, marketing, etc. In systems arrangement financial sub-system is to be well-coordinated with others and other sub-systems well matched with the financial sub­system.

7)      Financial management of a business is influenced by the external legal and economic environment. The investor preferences, stock market conditions, legal constraint or using a particular type of funds or on investing in a particular type of activity, etc., affect financial decisions, of the business. Financial management is, therefore, highly influenced/constrained by external environment.

8)      Financial management is related to other disciplines like accounting, economics, taxation operations research, mathematics, statistics etc., It draws heavily from these disciplines.

Financial Management Scope

Financial management is one of the important parts of overall management, which is directly related with various functional departments like personnel, marketing and production. Financial management covers wide area with multidimensional approaches. The following are the important scope of financial management:

1. Financial Management and Economics: 

Economic concepts like micro and macroeconomics are directly applied with the financial management approaches. Investment decisions, micro and macro environmental factors are closely associated with the functions of financial manager. Financial management also uses the economic equations like money value discount factor, economic order quantity etc. Financial economics is one of the emerging area, which provides immense opportunities to finance, and economical areas.

2. Financial Management and Accounting: 

Accounting records includes the financial information of the business concern. Hence, we can easily understand the relationship between the financial management and accounting. In the olden periods, both financial management and accounting are treated as a same discipline and then it has been merged as Management Accounting because this part is very much helpful to finance manager to take decisions. But now a day’s financial management and accounting discipline are separate and interrelated.

3. Financial Management or Mathematics: 

Modern approaches of the financial management applied large number of mathematical and statistical tools and techniques. They are also called as econometrics. Economic order quantity, discount factor, time value of money, present value of money, cost of capital, capital structure theories, dividend theories, ratio analysis and working capital analysis are used as mathematical and statistical tools and techniques in the field of financial management.

4. Financial Management and Production Management: 

Production management is the operational part of the business concern, which helps to multiple the money into profit. Profit of the concern depends upon the production performance. Production performance needs finance, because production department requires raw material, machinery, wages, operating expenses etc. These expenditures are decided and estimated by the financial department and the finance manager allocates the appropriate finance to production department. The financial manager must be aware of the operational process and finance required for each process of production activities.

5. Financial Management and Marketing: 

Produced goods are sold in the market with innovative and modern approaches. For this, the marketing department needs finance to meet their requirements. The financial manager or finance department is responsible to allocate the adequate finance to the marketing department. Hence, marketing and financial management are interrelated and depends on each other.

6. Financial Management and Human Resource: 

Financial management is also related with human resource department, which provides manpower to all the functional areas of the management. Financial manager should carefully evaluate the requirement of manpower to each department and allocate the finance to the human resource department as wages, salary, remuneration, commission, bonus, pension and other monetary benefits to the human resource department. Hence, financial management is directly related with human resource management.   

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