Who should have a say over your company's finances?
A company's capacity to stay in operation and grow largely depends on their finances. Because of this, it is usually called a company's lifeline. Using this lifeline, a company can have the freedom to make business decisions that affect all their stakeholders and the company itself. With money having significant control over the company in general, you might be thinking – who has control over the money?
Let's explore the depth that each stakeholder has on the business decision-making process of company finance allocation and utilization.
Deciding on company finances
Depending on your company's structure, your leadership could be vice presidents, directors or chiefs of different departments. Your leadership team is responsible for suggestions on allocation and utilization. They and their teams' draft proposals and requests that suggest where and how to spend the company's financial resources and how it benefits the company. All initiatives coming from the leadership team are then assessed by the CFO and the F&A team for viability and execution.
CFO (Chief Financial Officer)
Your company's CFO is your expert in your financial matters. When it comes to financial decisions, your CFO is the primary voice – as he is usually the one who signs off on your expenditures, investments, etc. They are credited with being the primary voice due to their deep background in financial operations, accounting principles and financial risk management. When it comes to deciding on what to do with your company's money, you don't just have to have your CFO present, you should want them present. With their expertise, they'll be able to give recommendations that will help you get the results you want for your company.
Finance and Accounting Team
Your finance and accounting team (F&A team) consists of your finance department and reports directly to your CFO. These individuals are responsible for executing financial transactions, tracking your expenses and producing financial reports. With their expertise in finance and accounting principles and technologies, they help the CFO take care of your finances. Although the last say is the CFO's, any notable insights your F&A team are based on data and should be taken into consideration when deciding on money matters.
If your company has investors, board members or individuals who have their interests tied up with your company, it is only just that they are updated with your financial performance and be informed of the financial matters of your company and how you go about your decision-making process. Although it is not the norm for shareholders to be privy to all financial transactions and activities, shareholders should be involved in major financial decisions. This includes but is not limited to, company capital structure, expansion or downsizing decisions, asset investment and diversification and changes in company structure that affect the cashflow of the company.
Finance and Accounting Outsourcing
Some companies may decide on outsourcing some finance and accounting functions to an outsourced partner. Although not directly employed by the company, your outsourced team's purpose is purely to ensure the accuracy and reliability of your finances. Although they do not have deciding power when it comes to your finances, their recommendations and insights should be considered in the decision-making process. Their insights help in maintaining financial transparency, reduction of financial risks and enhancement of financial credibility when it comes to your company's statements and reports.
External Auditors: Independent Validation
External auditors provide an independent assessment of a company's financial statements and internal controls. Their role is to ensure the accuracy and reliability of financial information. While auditors may not have a direct say over financial decisions, their recommendations and insights should be considered in the decision-making process. This helps maintain transparency, mitigate financial risks and enhance the overall credibility of the company's financial reporting.
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