Financial Management Assignment help

Managerial financeis the branch of the finance that concerns itself with the managerial significance of finance techniques. It is focused on assessment rather than technique. The difference between a managerial and a technical approach can be seen in the questions one might ask of annual reports. One concerned with technique would be primarily interested in measurement. They would ask: are moneys being assigned to the right categories? Were generally accepted accounting principles GAAP followed?

One concerned with management though would want to know what the figures mean.

  • They might compare the returns to other businesses in their industry and ask: are we performing better or worse than our peers? If so, what is the source of the problem? Do we have the same profit margins? If not why? Do we have the same expenses? Are we paying more for something than our peers?
  • They may look at changes in asset balances looking for red flags that indicate problems with bill collection or bad debt.
  • They will analyze working capital to anticipate future cash flow problems.

Managerial finance is an interdisciplinary approach that borrows from both managerial accounting and corporate finance. Sound financial management creates value and organizational agility through the allocation of scarce resources amongst competing business opportunities. It is an aid to the implementation and monitoring of business strategies and helps achieve business objectives.

The Role of Managerial Accounting

To interpret financial results in the manner described above, managers use Financial analysis techniques. Managers also need to look at how resources are allocated within an organization. They need to know what each activity costs and why. These questions require managerial accounting techniques such as activity based costing. Managers also need to anticipate future expenses. To get a better understanding of the accuracy of the budgeting process, they may use variable budgeting.

The Role of Corporate Finance

Managerial finance is also interested in determining the best way to use money to improve future opportunities to earn money and minimize the impact of financial shocks. To accomplish these goals managerial finance uses the following techniques borrowed from Corporate finance:

valuation is the process of estimating the potential market value of a financial asset or liability. Valuations can be done on assets (for example, investments in marketable securities such as stocks, options, business enterprises, or intangible assets such as patents and trademarks) or on liabilities (e.g., Bonds issued by a company). Valuations are required in many contexts including investment analysis, capital budgeting, merger and acquisition transactions, financial reporting, taxable events to determine the proper tax liability, and in litigation.

Valuation of financial assets is done using one or more of these types of models:

  • Discounted Cash Flows determine the value by estimating the expected future earnings from owning the asset discounted to their present value.
  • Relative value models determine the value based on the market prices of similar assets.
  • Option pricing models are used for certain types of financial assets (e.g., warrants, put options, call options, employee stock options, investments with embedded options such as a callable bond) and are a complex present value model. The most common option pricing models are the Black-Scholes-Merton models and lattice models.

Common terms for the value of an asset or liability are fair market value, fair value, and intrinsic value. The meanings of these terms differ. The most common sets market price. For instance, when an analyst believes a stock's intrinsic value is greater than its market price, the analyst makes a "buy" recommendation and vice versa. Moreover, an asset's intrinsic value may be subject to personal opinion and vary among analysts.

The capital structure refers to the way a corporation finances its assets through some combination of equity, debt, or hybrid securities. A firm's capital structure is then the composition or 'structure' of its liabilities. For example, a firm that sells $20 billion in equity and $80 billion in debt is said to be 20% equity-financed and 80% debt-financed. The firm's ratio of debt to total financing, 80% in this example, is referred to as the firm's leverage. In reality, capital structure may be highly complex and include dozens of sources. Gearing Ratio is the proportion of the capital employed of the firm which come from outside of the business finance, e.g. by taking a short term loan etc.

The Modigliani-Miller theorem, proposed by Franco Modigliani and Merton Miller, forms the basis for modern thinking on capital structure, though it is generally viewed as a purely theoretical result since it assumes away many important factors in the capital structure decision. The theorem states that, in a perfect market, how a firm is financed is irrelevant to its value. This result provides the base with which to examine real world reasons why capital structure is relevant, that is, a company's value is affected by the capital structure it employs. Some other reasons include bankruptcy costs, agency costs, taxes, and information asymmetry.

The Hedge is a position established in one market in an attempt to offset exposure to price changes or fluctuations in some opposite position with the goal of minimizing one's exposure to unwanted risk. There are many specific financial vehicles to accomplish this including insurance policies, forward contracts, swaps, options, many types of over-the-counter and derivative products, and perhaps most popularly, futures contracts. Public futures markets were established in the 19th century to allow transparent, standardized, and efficient hedging of agricultural commodity prices; they have since expanded to include futures contracts for hedging the values of energy, precious metals, foreign currency, and interest rate fluctuations

Modern portfolio theory (MPT) is a theory of investment which attempts to maximize portfolio expected return for a given amount of portfolio risk, or equivalently minimize risk for a given level of expected return, by carefully choosing the proportions of various assets. Although MPT is widely used in practice in the financial industry and several of its creators won a Nobel memorial prize for the theory, in recent years the basic assumptions of MPT have been widely challenged by fields such as behavioral economics. MPT is a mathematical formulation of the concept of diversification in investing, with the aim of selecting a collection of investment assets that has collectively lower risk than any individual asset. That this is possible can be seen intuitively because different types of assets often change in value in opposite ways. For example, as prices in the stock market tend to move independently from prices in the bond market, a collection of both types of assets can therefore have lower overall risk than either individually. But diversification lowers risk even if assets' returns are not negatively correlated—indeed, even if they are positively correlated.

More technically, MPT models an asset's return as a normally distributed function (or more generally as an elliptically distributed random variable), defines risk as the standard deviation of return, and models a portfolio as a weighted combination of assets so that the return of a portfolio is the weighted combination of the assets' returns. By combining different assets whose returns are not perfectly positively correlated, MPT seeks to reduce the total variance of the portfolio return. MPT also assumes that investors are rational and markets are efficient. MPT was developed in the 1950s through the early 1970s and was considered an important advance in the mathematical modeling of finance. Since then, many theoretical and practical criticisms have been leveled against it. These include the fact that financial returns do not follow a Gaussian distribution or indeed any symmetric distribution, and that correlations between asset classes are not fixed but can vary depending on external events (especially in crises). Further, there is growing evidence that investors are not rational and markets are not efficient.

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