Financial Management: Meaning and Objectives24/03/2020
Financial Management means planning, organizing, directing and controlling the financial activities such as procurement and utilization of funds of the enterprise. It means applying general management principles to financial resources of the enterprise.
In simple terms objective of Financial Management is to maximize the value of firm, however it is much more complex than that. The management of the firm involves many stakeholders, including owners, creditors, and various participants in the financial market.
For any business, it is important that the finance it procures is invested in a manner that the returns from the investment are higher than the cost of finance. In a nutshell, financial management:
- Endeavors to reduce the cost of finance
- Ensures sufficient availability of funds
- Deals with the planning, organizing, and controlling of financial activities like the procurement and utilization of funds
“Financial management is the activity concerned with planning, raising, controlling and administering of funds used in the business.” :Guthman and Dougal
“Financial management is that area of business management devoted to a judicious use of capital and a careful selection of the source of capital in order to enable a spending unit to move in the direction of reaching the goals.” :J.F. Brandley
“Financial management is the operational activity of a business that is responsible for obtaining and effectively utilizing the funds necessary for efficient operations.”- Massie
Objective of Financial Management
The objectives of financial management are given below:
Main aim of any kind of economic activity is earning profit. A business concern is also functioning mainly for the purpose of earning profit. Profit is the measuring techniques to understand the business efficiency of the concern.
The finance manager tries to earn maximum profits for the company in the short-term and the long-term. He cannot guarantee profits in the long term because of business uncertainties. However, a company can earn maximum profits even in the long-term, if:
- The Finance manager takes proper financial decisions
- He uses the finance of the company properly
Wealth maximization (shareholders’ value maximization) is also a main objective of financial management. Wealth maximization means to earn maximum wealth for the shareholders. So, the finance manager tries to give a maximum dividend to the shareholders. He also tries to increase the market value of the shares. The market value of the shares is directly related to the performance of the company. Better the performance, higher is the market value of shares and vice-versa. So, the finance manager must try to maximize shareholder’s value
Proper estimation of total financial requirements
Proper estimation of total financial requirements is a very important objective of financial management. The finance manager must estimate the total financial requirements of the company. He must find out how much finance is required to start and run the company. He must find out the fixed capital and working capital requirements of the company. His estimation must be correct. If not, there will be shortage or surplus of finance. Estimating the financial requirements is a very difficult job. The finance manager must consider many factors, such as the type of technology used by company, number of employees employed, scale of operations, legal requirements, etc.
Mobilization (collection) of finance is an important objective of financial management. After estimating the financial requirements, the finance manager must decide about the sources of finance. He can collect finance from many sources such as shares, debentures, bank loans, etc. There must be a proper balance between owned finance and borrowed finance. The company must borrow money at a low rate of interest.
Proper utilization of finance
Proper utilization of finance is an important objective of financial management. The finance manager must make optimum utilization of finance. He must use the finance profitable. He must not waste the finance of the company. He must not invest the company’s finance in unprofitable projects. He must not block the company’s finance in inventories. He must have a short credit period.
Maintaining proper cash flow
Maintaining proper cash flow is a short-term objective of financial management. The company must have a proper cash flow to pay the day-to-day expenses such as purchase of raw materials, payment of wages and salaries, rent, electricity bills, etc. If the company has a good cash flow, it can take advantage of many opportunities such as getting cash discounts on purchases, large-scale purchasing, giving credit to customers, etc. A healthy cash flow improves the chances of survival and success of the company.
Survival of company
Survival is the most important objective of financial management. The company must survive in this competitive business world. The finance manager must be very careful while making financial decisions. One wrong decision can make the company sick, and it will close down.
One of the objectives of financial management is to create reserves. The company must not distribute the full profit as a dividend to the shareholders. It must keep a part of it profit as reserves. Reserves can be used for future growth and expansion. It can also be used to face contingencies in the future.
Financial management must try to have proper coordination between the finance department and other departments of the company.
Financial management must try to create goodwill for the company. It must improve the image and reputation of the company. Goodwill helps the company to survive in the short-term and succeed in the long-term. It also helps the company during bad times.
Financial management also tries to increase the efficiency of all the departments of the company. Proper distribution of finance to all the departments will increase the efficiency of the entire company.
Financial management also tries to create a financial discipline. Financial discipline means:
- To invest finance only in productive areas. This will bring high returns (profits) to the company.
- To avoid wastage and misuse of finance.
Reduce cost of capital
Financial management tries to reduce the cost of capital. That is, it tries to borrow money at a low rate of interest. The finance manager must plan the capital structure in such a way that the cost of capital it minimized.
Reduce operating risks
Financial management also tries to reduce the operating risks. There are many risks and uncertainties in a business. The finance manager must take steps to reduce these risks. He must avoid high-risk projects. He must also take proper insurance.
Prepare capital structure
Financial management also prepares the capital structure. It decides the ratio between owned finance and borrowed finance. It brings a proper balance between the different sources of capital. This balance is necessary for liquidity, economy, flexibility and stability.