What is Finance (or, Finance Department)?
A Finance Department is responsible for managing a company's long-term and day-to-day monetary operations and strategy. Its size and function varies based upon total employee head count, total revenue, industry, and overall business strategy. Finance groups provide sound fiscal processes, policies, planning and strategy. Common activities this group is responsible for include incoming and outgoing payments (Accounts Payable/Receivable), budgeting and cash forecasting, financial planning and analysis (FP&A), asset management (fixed and liquid), tax management, general accounting, and cash management (treasury). Some Finance Departments may also be responsible for payroll, internal audit, compliance, risk management and expense management, though such tasks are often outsourced to a third party service provider.
A typical finance function is composed of several common sub-functions, or teams, that work together to process incoming and outgoing payments (Accounts Payable/Receivable), create and analyze budgets, manage assets (fixed and liquid), manage company taxes, provide general accounting, and manage the company's cash (treasury). Browse our Finance organization chart page to learn about the roles and responsibilities of each major function. Then, download our org chart template (PDF, Visio, PPT) to plan and support finance operations improvement efforts.
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Check out our finance best practices page to view selected descriptions of work methods that have been proven to produce better results (as compared to other, similar methods). Want more? Download our Finance best practices guide, which provides a healthy selection of valuable best practices that can be incorporated to improve finance operations. There might not be only one "best" way to perform every task. However, there is always a "better" way.