Study Financial Management, Financial Management Schools
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The famous line of Tom Cruise in his movie Jerry Maguire, “Show me the money!” is the reality every for-profit organization deals with everyday. Businesses, large or small, exist for profit. At the end of the day, organizations (except, of course, for charity and not-for-profit civic organizations) are measured not on how large the building is, not on the number of staff employed, and not on popularity; but on the strength of their financial stance. This is the reality of life. This is why Finance is one of the pillars of every organization. This is the group that ensures the organization is in good financial shape to sustain the business existence and growth.
Financial Management (FM) is an ongoing process and not something organizations do on ad hoc basis. This is one field of Finance that handles financial planning, financial risks management, financial analysis and control, financial accounting, and financial reporting.
Financial planning is about identifying possible resources, planning organization’s budget based on anticipated resources, and allocating this budget to appropriate, necessary, efficient, and timely expenditure. This should always take into account possible financial risks, like uncertainty of collecting revenue from expected source on specified timeframe. Consequently, a fall-back plan should always be in place. It is said that a good financial manager should be as good in Plan B as he is in Plan A. Financial control, on the other hand, is about monitoring how the actual inflow and outflow of cash relates to the budgeted cash flow. Control mechanism comes in when income and expenditures do not go as planned. This is when we usually hear “budget cut,” “pay cut,” “cost-cutting,” etc. Unlike not-for-profit organizations, for-profit organizations follow strict financial accounting principles and methodologies. This is because every for-profit organization has financial accountability to its stockholders. Stockholders provide the financial means for the company, and these people expect profit from their investment in return. Every single cent in for-profit organizations is tracked and reported. Financial reporting plays a vital role in financial management. Financial reports are submitted to shareholders, and these should include no specious financial information and interpretation. Transparency is of utmost consideration in financial management. Due to sensitivity of financial reports, there are shareholders who actually opt to have third party audit of the report to ensure its integrity.
Career in financial management is in demand everywhere. As opposed to how some perceive it that financial management career is in demand only in financial organizations, such as banks, lending companies, and insurance companies, financial management is actually not industry-specific. Financial principles and methodologies apply across various industries; although there are industry-specific specializations and regulations, which can be learned either in classroom or as someone gets immersed in the business process per se.
While organizations go for people with significant exposure in this field, having strong educational background or formal training is definitely a plus. Fields of study that typically qualify for this career include Finance, Accounting, Business Administration, Management, and Economics. Preference is given to those with master’s degree in any of the said fields of study. Some organizations require their middle to top management team to have financial management training.
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