Compare and contrast the role of a financial manager with the role of an accountant

Essay by carolm22University, Master's June 2005

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Doing business in today's economy is a very challenging endeavor where one needs to balance various aspects of the business not all being profit related such as good citizenship and being environmental friendly with others that are profit related and subject to a fierce competition from a multitude of global players having various geographical competitive advantages.

In this context, the financials of a business is at the center of any organization's activities and the accountants and financial managers are the people making sure they are in line with the organization's goals and all organizational functions are synchronized for best results.

To compare and contrast the role a financial manager with that of an accountant, we must first briefly describe them.

An accountant performs the function of registering the data of all organizational activities that can be reduced to transactions and periodically preparing the four financial statements: The Balance Sheet, The Statement of Cash Flows,

The Income Statement and The Statement of Changes in Owner's Equity.

The financial manager function requires to use the information prepared by the accountants and based upon other consideration such as the changes in technologies, society, politics and natural events make predictions and decisions to best sustain the organization's profit related goals and at the same time maintain an acceptable position with regard to the not profit related goals.

All these activities need to be flexible and to accommodate changes by a multitude of factors some time known and predicable and some times not. With all this sad, it is transparent that the financial manager is a consumer of accounting output that is the financial statements, and based upon this information decisions for future actions are taken. These actions, when implemented generate results and the outcome of these results is...