The financial implications

It is a challenging task because changes in the fi rm’s operations and shift s in Canadian and global fi nancial markets mean that the best answers for each fi rm are changing, sometimes quite rapidly. Globalization of markets and advanced communications and computer technology, as well as increased volatility of interest rates and foreign exchange rates, have raised the stakes in fi nancial management decisions. We discuss these major trends and how they are changing the fi nancial manager’s job aft er we introduce you to some of the basics of corporate fi nancial decisions.

Th e fi nancial management function is usually associated with a top offi cer of the fi rm, such as a vice president of fi nance or some other chief fi nancial offi cer (CFO). Figure 1.1 is a simpli- fi ed organization chart that highlights the fi nance activity in a large fi rm. Th e CFO reports to the president, who is the chief operating offi cer (COO) in charge of day-to-day operations. Th e COO reports to the chairman, who is usually chief executive offi cer (CEO). However, as businesses become more complex, there is a growing pattern among large companies to separate the roles of Chairman and CEO. Th e CEO has overall responsibility to the board. As shown, the vice presi- dent of fi nance coordinates the activities of the treasurer and the controller. Th e controller’s offi ce handles cost and fi nancial accounting, tax payments, and management information systems. Th e treasurer’s offi ce is responsible for managing the fi rm’s cash, its fi nancial planning, and its capital expenditures. Th ese treasury activities are all related to the three general questions raised earlier, and the chapters ahead deal primarily with these issues. Our study thus bears mostly on activities usually associated with the treasurer’s offi ce.

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