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Finance (pronounced /fɪˈnænts/ or / ˈfaɪnænts/) is the science of funds management. The general areas of finance are business finance, personal finance(private finance), and public finance. Finance includes saving money and often includes lending money. The field of finance deals with the concepts of time, money, risk and how they are interrelated. It also deals with how money is spent and budgeted.
One facet of finance is through individuals and business organizations, which deposit money in a bank. The bank then lends the money out to other individuals or corporations for consumption or investment and charges interest on the loans.
Loans have become increasingly packaged for resale, meaning that an investor buys the loan (debt) from a bank or directly from a corporation. Bonds are debt instruments sold to investors for organizations such as companies, governments or charities. The investor can then hold the debt and collect the interest or sell the debt on a secondary market. Banks are the main facilitators of funding through the provision of credit, although private equity, mutual funds, hedge funds, and other organizations have become important as they invest in various forms of debt. Financial assets, known as investments, are financially managed with careful attention to financial risk management to control financial risk. Financial instruments allow many forms of securitized assets to be traded on securities exchanges such as stock exchanges, including debt such as bonds as well as equity in publicly traded corporations.
Central banks, such as the Federal Reserve System banks in the United States and Bank of England in the United Kingdom, are strong players in public finance, acting as lenders of last resort as well as strong influences on monetary and credit conditions in the economy.

Financial services
An entity whose income exceeds its expenditure can lend or invest the excess income. On the other hand, an entity whose income is less than its expenditure can raise capital by borrowing or selling equity claims, decreasing its expenses, or increasing its income. The lender can find a borrower, a financial intermediary such as a bank, or buy notes or bonds in the bond market. The lender receives interest, the borrower pays a higher interest than the lender receives, and the financial intermediary earns the difference for arranging the loan.
A bank aggregates the activities of many borrowers and lenders. A bank accepts deposits from lenders, on which it pays interest. The bank then lends these deposits to borrowers. Banks allow borrowers and lenders, of different sizes, to coordinate their activity.
Finance is used by individuals (personal finance), by governments (public finance), by businesses (corporate finance) and by a wide variety of other organizations, including schools and non-profit organizations. In general, the goals of each of the above activities are achieved through the use of appropriate financial instruments and methodologies, with consideration to their institutional setting.
Finance is one of the most important aspects of business management and includes decisions related to the use and acquisition of funds for the enterprise.
In corporate finance, a company's capital structure is the total mix of financing methods it uses to raise funds. One method is debt financing, which includes bank loans and bond sales. Another method is equity financing - the sale of stock by a company to investors. Possession of stock gives the investor ownership in the company in proportion to the number of shares the investor owns. In return for the stock, the company receives cash, which it may use to expand its business or to reduce its debt. Investors, in both bonds and stock, may be institutional investors - financial institutions such as investment banks and pension funds - or private individuals, called private investors or retail investors.

Personal finance
Questions in personal finance revolve around
    How much money will be needed by an individual (or by a family), and when?
    How can people protect themselves against unforeseen personal events, as well as those in the external economy?
    How can family assets best be transferred across generations (bequests and inheritance)?
    How does tax policy (tax subsidies or penalties) affect personal financial decisions?
    How does credit affect an individual's financial standing?
    How can one plan for a secure financial future in an environment of economic instability?
Personal financial decisions may involve paying for education, financing durable goods such as real estate and cars, buying insurance, e.g. health and property insurance, investing and saving for retirement.

Personal financial decisions may also involve paying for a loan, or debt obligations.

Corporate finance
Managerial or corporate finance is the task of providing the funds for a corporation's activities. For small business, this is referred to as SME finance (Small and Medium Enterprises). It generally involves balancing risk and profitability, while attempting to maximize an entity's wealth and the value of its stock.

Long term funds are provided by ownership equity and long-term credit, often in the form of bonds. The balance between these elements forms the company's capital structure. Short-term funding or working capital is mostly provided by banks extending a line of credit.

Another business decision concerning finance is investment, or fund management. An investment is an acquisition of an asset in the hope that it will maintain or increase its value. In investment management – in choosing a portfolio – one has to decide what, how much and when to invest. To do this, a company must:

    Identify relevant objectives and constraints: institution or individual goals, time horizon, risk aversion and tax considerations;
    Identify the appropriate strategy: active v. passive – hedging strategy
    Measure the portfolio performance

Financial management is duplicate with the financial function of the Accounting profession. However, financial accounting is more concerned with the reporting of historical financial information, while the financial decision is directed toward the future of the firm.

Main article: Financial capital

Capital, in the financial sense, is the money that gives the business the power to buy goods to be used in the production of other goods or the offering of a service. (The capital has two types of resources Equity and Debt)
The desirability of budgeting

Budget is a document which documents the plan of the business. This may include the objective of business, targets set, and results in financial terms, e.g., the target set for sale, resulting cost, growth, required investment to achieve the planned sales, and financing source for the investment. Also budget may be long term or short term. Long term budgets have a time horizon of 5–10 years giving a vision to the company; short term is an annual budget which is drawn to control and operate in that particular year.
Capital budget

This concerns proposed fixed asset requirements and how these expenditures will be financed. Capital budgets are often adjusted annually and should be part of a longer-term Capital Improvements Plan.
Cash budget

Working capital requirements of a business should be monitored at all times to ensure that there are sufficient funds available to meet short-term expenses.

The cash budget is basically a detailed plan that shows all expected sources and uses of cash. The cash budget has the following six main sections:

    Beginning Cash Balance - contains the last period's closing cash balance.
    Cash collections - includes all expected cash receipts (all sources of cash for the period considered, mainly sales)
    Cash disbursements - lists all planned cash outflows for the period, excluding interest payments on short-term loans, which appear in the financing section. All expenses that do not affect cash flow are excluded from this list (e.g. depreciation, amortization, etc.)
    Cash excess or deficiency - a function of the cash needs and cash available. Cash needs are determined by the total cash disbursements plus the minimum cash balance required by company policy. If total cash available is less than cash needs, a deficiency exists.
    Financing - discloses the planned borrowings and repayments, including interest.
    Ending Cash balance - simply reveals the planned ending cash balance.

Management of current assets
Credit policy

Credit gives the consumer the opportunity to buy, purchase or acquire goods and services, and pay for them at a later date. This has its advantages and disadvantages as follows:
Advantages of credit trade

    Usually results in more customers than cash trade.
    Can charge more for goods to cover the risk of bad debt.
    Gain goodwill and loyalty of customers.
    People can buy goods and pay for them at a later date.
    Farmers can buy seeds and implements, and pay for them only after the harvest.
    Stimulates agricultural and industrial production and commerce.
    Can be used as a promotional tool.
    Increase the sales.
    Modest rates to be filled.
    Can be a marketing tool

Disadvantages of credit trade

    Risk of bad debt.
    High administration expenses.
    People can buy more than they can afford.
    More working capital needed.
    Risk of bankruptcy.

Forms of credit

    Suppliers credit
    Credit on ordinary open account
    Installment sales
    Bills of exchange
    Credit cards
    Contractor's credit
    Factoring of debtors
    Cash credit
    Cpf credits
    Exchange of product

Factors which influence credit conditions

    Nature of the business's activities
    Financial position
    Product durability
    Length of production process
    Competition and competitors' credit conditions
    Country's economic position
    Conditions at financial institutions
    Discount for early payment
    Debtor's type of business and financial position

Credit collection
Overdue accounts

    Attach a notice of overdue account to statement.
    Send a letter asking for settlement of debt.
    Send a second or third letter if first is ineffectual.
    Threaten legal actions.

Effective credit control

    Increases sales
    Reduces bad debts
    Increases profits
    Builds customer loyalty
    Builds confidence of financial industry
    Increase company capitalisation
    Increase the customer relationship

Sources of information on creditworthiness

    Business references
    Bank references
    Credit agencies
    Chambers of commerce
    Credit application forms

Duties of the credit department

    Legal action
    Taking necessary steps to ensure settlement of account
    Knowing the credit policy and procedures for credit control
    Setting credit limits
    Ensuring that statements of account are sent out
    Ensuring that thorough checks are carried out on credit customers
    Keeping records of all amounts owing
    Ensuring that debts are settled promptly
    Timely reporting to the upper level of management for better management.


Purpose of stock control

    Ensures that enough stock is on hand to satisfy demand.
    Protects and monitors theft.
    Safeguards against having to stockpile.
    Allows for control over selling and cost price.


Main article: Cornering the market

This refers to the purchase of stock at the right time, at the right price and in the right quantities.

There are several advantages to the stockpiling, the following are some of the examples:

    Losses due to price fluctuations and stock loss kept to a minimum
    Ensures that goods reach customers timeously; better service
    Saves space and storage cost
    Investment of working capital kept to minimum
    No loss in production due to delays

There are several disadvantages to the stockpiling, the following are some of the examples:

    Danger of fire and theft
    Initial working capital investment is very large
    Losses due to price fluctuation

Rate of stock turnover

This refers to the number of times per year that the average level of stock is sold. It may be worked out by dividing the cost price of goods sold by the cost price of the average stock level.

Determining optimum stock levels

    Maximum stock level refers to the maximum stock level that may be maintained to ensure cost effectiveness.
    Minimum stock level refers to the point below which the stock level may not go.
    Standard order refers to the amount of stock generally ordered.
    Order level refers to the stock level which calls for an order to be made.

Reasons for keeping cash

    Cash is usually referred to as the "king" in finance, as it is the most liquid asset.
    The transaction motive refers to the money kept available to pay expenses.
    The precautionary motive refers to the money kept aside for unforeseen expenses.
    The speculative motive refers to the money kept aside to take advantage of suddenly arising investment opportunities.

Advantages of sufficient cash

    Current liabilities may be catered for meeting the current obligations of the company
    Cash discounts are given for cash payments.
    Production is kept moving
    Surplus cash may be invested on a short-term basis.
    The business is able to pay its accounts in a timely manner, allowing for easily obtained credit.
    Quick upfront pay.

Management of fixed assets

Depreciation is the allocation of the cost of an asset over its useful life as determined at the time of purchase. It is calculated yearly to enforce the matching principle.
[edit] Insurance
Main article: Insurance

Insurance is the undertaking of one party to indemnify another, in exchange for a premium, against a certain eventuality.

Uninsured risks

    Bad debt
    Changes in fashion
    Time lapses between ordering and delivery
    New machinery or technology
    Different prices at different places

Requirements of an insurance contract

    Insurable interest
        The insured must derive a real financial gain from that which he is insuring, or stand to lose if it is destroyed or lost.
        The item must belong to the insured.
        One person may take out insurance on the life of another if the second party owes the first money.
        Must be some person or item which can, legally, be insured.
        The insured must have a legal claim to that which he is insuring.
    Good faith
        Uberrimae fidei refers to absolute honesty and must characterise the dealings of both the insurer and the insured.




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