A business financial manager helps a business regulate its financial decisions. This can involve helping a business set business plans and goals to allocate its assets. It can also involve helping a business comply with accounting requirements, determine areas where spending and costs are too high, and determine what areas are profitable and should be exploited.
Generally, a business financial manager will have a degree in finance, accounting, economics, statistics, or a related field. Most commonly, business financial managers also attend an advanced degree program, such as an MBA program. During their academics, they learn how to read balance sheets, the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), as well as other useful information such as the stages of a product life cycle or how to calculate profit/loss on a given product or project.
Upon completing his education and entering the workforce, the business financial manager will generally work with the executives and managers of a company to get an overview of the company's financial picture and goals. He may also interface with the accounting department and/or accounts receivable department to get an idea of the company's financial situation and profitability.
A part of the duties of a business financial manager may involve helping a company write a business plan or prospectus either for the business as a whole or for a given project or series of projects. In such cases, the business will lay out the goals and aims of a particular endeavor. The business financial manager will fill in financial information related to that proposed project or endeavor so investors or banks can get an idea of how the finances of the project will work.
Some business finance managers actually manage the company's assets, signing off on checks and other expenditures. Others just give guidance as to how money should be spent and where it should be allocated or saved. The specific role and function a manager plays in handling the finances of a company will depend on how large the company is and on how much money it has at its disposal.
Some companies will hire a full-time business finance manager to handle their accounts and to advise them on financial decisions. Others will outsource and use management consulting firms or financial advisers who work on a consultant basis. Outsourcing this task can be a good way for smaller companies to save money.