When I think of a financial manager, accountant quickly comes to mind. The role of accountant and financial manager are similar in several ways and often times they work closely together on various projects. The role of an Accountant is to ensure that their organization is run efficiently, make sure their records are accurate, and that their taxes are paid properly and on time. Accountants perform a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting activities for their clients. They record and analyze the financial information of the companies for which they work. Other responsibilities include budgeting, performance evaluation, cost management, and asset management.
"The role of the financial manager has expanded beyond traditional responsibilities related to company's finances. A financial manager, through his / her understanding of the company's financial health, the current market, and the goals of the company, helps set direction and guides decision making." Financial managers perform several different task related to finance for their organization they normally oversee the preparation of financial reports, direct investment activities, and implement cash management strategies. Depending on the type of organization of industry financial managers can hold different titles i. e. controller, finance officer, credit manager, cash manager, and risk and insurance manager.
o Controller- directs the preparation of financial reports that summarize and forecast the organization's financial position, such as income statements, balance sheets, and analyses of future earnings or expenses. Controllers also are in charge of preparing special reports required by regulatory authorities. Often, controllers oversee the accounting, audit, and budget departments. o Finance Officer- directs the organization's financial goals, objectives, and budgets.
They oversee the investment of funds and manage associated risks, supervise cash management activities, execute capital-raising strategies to support a firm's expansion, and deal with mergers and acquisitions. o Credit Manager- oversee the firm's issuance of credit. They establish credit-rating criteria, determine credit ceilings, and monitor the collections of past-due accounts. Managers specializing in international finance develop financial and accounting systems for the banking transactions of multinational organizations. o Cash manager- monitors and control the flow of cash receipts and disbursements to meet the business and investment needs of the firm. For example, cash flow projections are needed to determine whether loans must be obtained to meet cash requirements or whether surplus cash should be invested in interest-bearing instruments.
o Risk and insurance manager- oversee programs to minimize risks and losses that might arise from financial transactions and business operations undertaken by the institution. They also manage the organization's insurance budget. Financial managers are involved in the investment decisions for their organization they arrange the flow of assets from investors to the company and back to the investors to create a return on investments. They are the responsible party for making decisions on how to obtain financing for their company. " Besides raising money from investors they also manage relationships between banks and other financial institutions, which entail the lending and borrowing of money for the purpose of investing in real assets. These relationships are vital to manage so that the company can have access to funds not only to grow there business, but also to invest in other businesses for a return." The Accountant records information that will go in the financial transactions and then it is reported to the financial manager who in turn delivers the information to investors, lenders, the CEO.
"If the accountant does not record or produce reports accurately this could lead to the misrepresentation of financial statements, and create potential losses or liabilities for the company." Financial managers and accountants work together to achieve the financial goals of their organization. The financial manager examines data prepared by the accountant and he makes recommendations to management regarding strategies for improving the company's financial strength. Both roles play a part in the planning, budgeting, and acquiring of assets necessary to create a return on investments. It's important for financial managers to understand the principles of accounting to be able to make better business decisions and accountants should have a basic understanding of the principles of finance.