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Financial literacy for decision makers

Most companies, large or small, have key staff members who are strong as it relates to financial analysis and financial management……..WRONG!  The fact is that most organizations still equate financial management as the ability to make sure that there is money in the bank, that financial records are up to date, or that there is a proper accounting of all financial resources.  What many people don’t understand is that those activities are closely related to financial MAINTENANCE, not financial management; and yes THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE.
Financial management is not a cold type of program inclusive of multiple sets of mathematical equations or simplistic administrative processes; financial management is a science, and that science must be respected as companies need to use the finding to:
• Handle the corporate decision making process• Mitigate Risk• Determine growth initiatives• Ascertain the effectiveness of the strategic plans developed by management• Evaluate departments and employees• Maintain shareholder satisfaction• Assist the Board in making decisions affecting the course of the company
While financial maintenance is not only important, but also vitally necessary to the strength and sustainability of the organization; it is a grave error believing that these activities are interchangeable.
In a NEW GLOBAL ECONOMY where companies must place increasing onus on how decisions are made, the element of risk associated with those decisions, and the ability to create contingency plans that allow companies to “hope for the best, but plan for the worst”, financial management must be a major element of everyday operations for all organizations.
The problem is that many companies still use an antiquated approach to financial management that puts them in a risky position in both the short term and the long term.  While surveys show that 55% of companies site the need for stronger financial expertise, the fact is that number should be more like 90%.  This in no way infers that existing financial experts are incompetent; what it infers is that most companies require more people than they currently have to handle financial management initiatives.

Management Of Investment Risk

A financial institution has as one of his duties the management of financial risk. They need to manage it well otherwise they will not be in business for long. Credit reports and collateral are some of the risk management instruments that consumers are familiar with. They can seem oppressive when applying for a loan but a few were the lender you would understand their importance and that a handshake deal or a gentleman’s agreement doesn’t do much in terms of offsetting risk.
Even the best forex trading doesn’t come without its share of risk. Liquidity risk is the risk that a financial institution will be unable to generate sufficient cash inflow to meet required cash outflows. Liquidity is critical to financial institutions such as banks and credit unions that need liquidity to meet deposit withdraws and pay off other liabilities as they come due such as pension funds which need liquidity to meet contractual pension payments and life insurance companies need liquidity to pay death benefits. The quiddity also means that an institution need not pass up a profitable loan or investment opportunity because of lack of cash. If a financial institution is unable to meet its short-term obligations because of inadequate liquidity than the firm will fail even though over the long run the firm may be profitable.
Foreign exchange risk is the fluctuation in the earnings or value of a financial institution that arises from tuition in exchange rates. Many financial institutions deal in foreign currencies either for their own accounts or the by or sell currencies for their customers who are acting on forex trading tips. There is considerable risk involved in dealing in foreign currencies and institution must offset then carefully as just the mere announcement of changes in interest rates can severely affect one’s position in the foreign exchange market.

Management Fundamentals

Management

What is management? What exactly does management do? Excellent questions for somebody that has never worked directly with a management team. To the uninitiated, it might seem like management just sits on their posteriors all day long and bosses people around. However, there is a reason management gets paid top dollar and it is not because they are the only ones willing to sit behind a desk day in and day out.

As Merriam-Webster informs us, management entails conducting or supervising something or someone. In the business setting, management ensures business objectives are met and the corporation turns a profit. The management team shoulders the majority of the responsibility within a corporation. Simply put, management makes the decisions, especially the hard ones. If the business is successful they get paid well, if the business suffers they get fired.

Management Report

The management report contains everything important to management. The management report helps the executive management team make the necessary decisions to drive the business down a successful path. Depending on the business, the management report will contain a variety of different division reports.

The management report will typically contain reports from the core divisions of the business. For example, an ordinary management report will include reports from such departments as finance, operations, human resources, and R&D. These reports include information pertaining to the particular department and include upcoming issues and plans for the future. The executive management team will analyze the management report, which consists of a compilation of each report from the core departments, and make executive decisions based on the information contained therein.

Financial Reporting

What is Financial Reporting? Glad you asked. As Dr. John Sacco of George Mason University explains, financial reporting from the governments perspective covers the following:

Financial reporting is largely an effort to assess financial performance, that is, how well or how poorly the government performed with money entrusted to it. Financial decisions include raising and spending money as well making promises that have financial consequences. Financial reporting is considered a part of governmental accountability for financial decisions. Exactly how financial reporting is done depends in part on the model selected. With either model, many types of financial reports can be generated but a considerable amount of attention is given to the quantitative financial statements, which are one type of reportFeature Articles, but usually the major report. These quantitative financial statements are found in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.