22 February 2024

What is Financial Management? A Guide

a lady looking at a laptop, reading about financial management.

If you want a healthy business, financial management is absolutely critical. What is it, and how can you make sure you’re using it to the best effect in your organization?

Understanding the Basics of Financial Management

Financial management involves applying management principles to financial operations. This can encompass aspects like financial planning, organizing, and controlling data in a manner that enables you to unlock insights based on data. 

Maintaining a reserve of funds for the organization is a prime example of financial management. So is ensuring shareholders are satisfied and generating investment opportunities. A financial management department will cover a variety of roles, including: 

  • Investing any capital 
  • Utilizing profits as efficiently as possible 
  • Determining the minimum funds a company needs to secure to remain viable and prosperous 
  • Keeping financial control, utilizing tools such as financial forecasting and risk management 

Key Principles and Goals of Financial Management

There are several strategic financial management practices to keep in mind that will assist you in meeting the core principles and objectives of the role. Any goals established should be specific and transparent, with the ability to adapt to any changes that may arise. 

The primary aims of financial management are to achieve stability and growth, which will aid the business in its survival and prosperity. However, it also focuses on maximizing profits, enhancing financial decision-making, reducing risks, optimizing processes, and creating effective budgets. 

The Importance and Benefits of Financial Management

Effective financial management offers a multitude of benefits. For instance, ensuring compliance with regulations not only maintains your good reputation but also shields you from potential legal issues.  

Transparency in financial information is crucial for the long-term health of the organization and also reduces the risk of fraud, making shareholders and potential investors much more at ease. 

Moreover, when your finances are more controlled, it becomes much easier to manage all aspects of the business. Without solid budgeting, organizations of any size can face difficulties and struggle to remain solvent. Financial management helps to prevent this. 

Financial Management Strategies and Best Practices

To ensure your financial management strategy is as effective as possible, consider these key best practices. These tips will give you a solid understanding of what financial management entails for you, while also allowing you to adapt your plans as needed. 

Integrate with Your Business Plan

Every organization should have a business plan, and this should be taken into account in every function, especially in financial management. For example, if the business aims to prioritize financial sustainability over sheer profit, this should be reflected in your priorities. 

Get Paid on Time

No matter how comprehensive your forecasting is, if a customer fails to pay on time, it can cause significant issues. An efficient, ideally digital, invoicing system will help streamline this process. Disaster planning, such as not relying solely on the loyalty of one major customer, can also be beneficial as it provides resilience against unexpected changes. 

Face Tax Deadlines Head-on

Taxes are unavoidable, and failure to meet deadlines can result in substantial fines and legal consequences. It's crucial to fulfill your tax obligations in every country you operate in. A bit of advance planning can protect you and save money. 

Keep Your Records Organized

In line with that, you need to be ready for audits, tax payments, and generally staying informed about your finances. Well-maintained records simplify this, ensuring you have a clear view of your available capital. 

Manage your Overheads

Every organization has certain fixed expenses, but there are others that can be reduced and optimized. For instance, consider the necessity of heating your office or even maintaining a physical office space. What about equipment costs? Effective financial management will assess these variable costs and devise plans to manage them. 

Be Prepared for Problems

No strategy is immune to challenges, and this is particularly true for financial management. Sudden economic changes can significantly impact your well-laid plans. Therefore, it's important to be flexible and agile enough to pivot quickly when necessary. 

Financial Management Tools for Every Organisation

Managing your financial data is much simpler with the right tools. That's where Finance from MHR comes in. 

We provide a suite of financial planning, reporting, and forecasting tools to streamline various financial management tasks, including Microsoft Dynamics and advanced CPM tools. Rather than depending on outdated legacy systems, you'll have a centralized source of valuable information that can expedite numerous processes. 

Best of all? This integrates seamlessly with our HR and payroll platforms, providing accurate real-time data and minimizing the time spent searching for the correct data trapped in silos.

Want to learn more?

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Emma Reid

Content writer at MHR

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