Strategic Financial Management


DEFINITION of 'Strategic Financial Management '

Managing an organization's financial resources so as to achieve its business objectives and maximize its value. Strategic financial management involves a defined sequence of steps that encompasses the full range of a company's finances, from setting out objectives and identifying resources, analyzing data and making financial decisions, to tracking the variance between actual and budgeted results and identifying the reasons for this variance. The term "strategic" means that this approach to financial management has a long-term horizon.

BREAKING DOWN 'Strategic Financial Management '

At the most fundamental level, financial management is concerned with managing an organization's assets, liabilities, revenues, profitability and cash flow. Strategic financial management goes a step further in ensuring that the organization remains on track to attain its short-term and long-term goals, while maximizing value for its shareholders.

Strategic financial management also means that short-term goals may occasionally need to be sacrificed to meet longer-term objectives. A typical example is when a loss-making company trims its asset base through factory closures or headcount reduction in order to reduce operating expenses. While such actions have a detrimental effect on near-term results because of restructuring costs and other one-time items, it positions the company to achieve profitability in the longer term.

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