WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE?
Accounting is a necessary input and subfunction to finance. The primary distinctions between accounting and finance relate to the treatment of funds and decision making.
If you are employed by a large firm, the financial responsibilities are probably carried out by the treasurer, controller, and financial vice president (chief financial officer). Figure 1-1 shows an organization chart of the finance structure within a company. Note that the controller and treasurer report to the vice president of finance. You should know the responsibilities of these financial officers within your own organization and how the function of each affects you.
The financial vice president is involved with financial policy making and planning. He or she has financial and managerial responsibilities, supervises all phases of financial activity, and serves as the financial adviser to the board of directors.
The effective, competent, and timely handling of controllership and treasurer functions will ensure corporate success. Table 1-2 lists the typical responsibilities of the treasurer and controller, but there is no universally accepted precise distinction between the two jobs. The functions may differ slightly between organizations because of personality and company policy, but typically controllers are concerned with internal functions whereas treasurers are responsible for external functions.
Management is involved with finance primarily in two ways. First, there is the record keeping, tracking, and controlling of the financial effects of prior and present operations, as well as obtaining funds to satisfy current and future requirements. This function is of internal nature. The external function involves outside entities.
Figure 1-1. Financial Activity Organization
Table 1-2. Responsibilities of Controller and Treasurer
|Financial reporting||Banking relationship|
|Custody of records||Investment of funds|
|Interpretation of financial data||Investor relations|
|Controlling operations||Insuring assets|
|Appraisal of results and making recommendations||Fostering relationship with creditors and investors|
|Preparation of taxes||Credit appraisal and collecting funds|
|Managing assets||Deciding on the financing mix|
|Internal auditing||Dividend disbursement|
|Protection of assets||Pension management|
|Reporting to the government|