Financial management, at present is not confined to raising and allocating funds. The study of financial institutions like stock exchange, capital, market, etc. is also emphasized because they influenced under writing of securities & corporate promotion. Company finance was considered to be the major domain of financial management. The scope of this subject has widened to cover capital structure, dividend policies, profit planning and control, depreciation policies. Some of the functional areas covered in financial management are discussed as such-
- Determining financial needs:- A finance manager is supposed to meet financial needs of the enterprise. For this purpose, he should determine financial needs of the concern. Funds are needed to meet promotional expenses, fixed and working capital needs. The requirement of fixed assets is related to types of industry. A manufacturing concern will require more investments in fixed assets than a trading concern. The working capital needs depend upon scale of operations. Larger the scale of operations, the higher will be the needs for working capital. A wrong assessment of financial needs may jeopardize the survival of a concern.
- Choosing the sources of funds:- A number of sources may be available for raising funds. A concern may be resort to issue of share capital and debentures. Financial institutions may be requested to provide long-term funds. The working capital needs may be met by getting cash credit or overdraft facilities from commercial bands. A finance manager has to be very careful & cautions in approaching different sources.
- Financial analysis and interpretation:- The analysis & interpretation of financial statements is an important task of a finance manager. He is expected to know about the profitability, liquidity position, short term and long-term financial position of the concern. For this purpose, a number of ratios have to be calculated. The interpretation of various ratios is also essential to reach certain conclusions Financial analysis and interpretation has become an important area of financial management.
- Cost-volume profit analysis:- This is popularly known as “CVP relationship”. For this purpose, fixed costs, variable costs and semi variable costs have to be analyzed. Fixed costs are more or less constant for varying sales volumes. Variable costs vary according to the sales volume. Semi-variable costs are either fixed or variable in the short-term. The financial manager has to ensure that the income of the firm will cover its variable costs, for there is no point in being in business, if this is not accomplished. Moreover, a firm will have to generate an adequate income to cover its fixed costs as well. The financial manager has to find out the break-even point that is, the point at which the total costs are matched by total sales or total revenue.
- Working capital management:- Working capital refers to that part of firm’s capital which is required for financing short-term or current assets such as cash, receivables and inventories. It is essential to maintain proper level of these assets. Finance manager is required to determine the quantum of such assets.
- Dividend policy:- Dividend is the reward of the shareholders for investments made by them in the shares of the company. The investors are interested in earning the maximum return on their investments whereas management wants to retain profits for future financing. These contradictory aims will have to be reconciled in the interests of shareholders and the company. Dividend policy is an important area of financial management because the interest of the shareholders and the needs of the company are directly related to it.
- Capital budgeting:- Capital budgeting is the process of making investment decisions in capital expenditures. It is an expenditure the benefits of which are expected to be received over a period of time exceeding one year. It is expenditure for acquiring or improving the fixed assets, the benefits of which are expected to be received over a number of years in future. Capital budgeting decisions are vital to any organization. Any unsound investment decision may prove to be fatal for the very existence of the concern.