Financial Managers Responsibilities In Management Of Finances Commerce Essay

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A financial manager is responsible for the money of the business and making sure that the business does not run at a loss, but instead ensures that the business spends their capital as efficiently as possible and makes records of every transaction or purchase that takes place within the business. They are the ones who write up a budget every month on the basis on how much each department in the business can spend. According Cronjie et al (2003) a financial manager is responsible for obtaining funds through acquiring assets which is know as investments. They are also responsible for the administration and reporting of the financial matters.

It is very important that a business have a financial manager. Without one, a business would have no record of their expenses or profit after each month which could result in them over spending or in fact, under spending which could have negative consequences for the organisation.

As the financial manager I have seen that the purchasing department has been spending R10 000 per month over budget instead of the R20 000 they had as part of the budget in regard to the recession that has hit us. Due to this I called in the purchasing department for a meeting and explained to them that due to the recession it's important to spend wisely and use more economical suppliers and to be mindful of the decreased budget. I explained that by the end of the next financial month I would check expenditure and anticipate an improvement.

2) Human resource manager:

A human resource manager tries to establish a best fit between the employees, the job that they perform, the environment in which they work in as well as also of course the organisation they work for. This is necessary so that the organisation and the employees can both meet their desired goals. There are four objectives that a Human Resource manager is responsible for. They need to attract the right kind of candidates for the job position to apply for, then retaining the best suited people for the job. Once they have found a suitable person for the position, the Human Resource manager is then responsible for developing the employee ensuring that they have the right skills and knowledge that is required for the job position. Lastly they need to ensure that the employee stay interested and excited about their work through motivating them. (Human Resources Management Module Manual, 2010)

Having a Human Resource manger is critical in a business. Without one an organisation would find it difficult to find the right kind of candidates to fill the job positions in their business. They would have no one to train the staff or help develop them in their careers or aspirations.

Woolworth's has asked me to do a evaluation of all the new 5 staff members who started this year and see how they are doing and coping in their new jobs. I called all 5 in individually and spoke to them. All 4 staff members were happy in their new job except for one of them named Jack. He felt that he was not trained well enough for the job and dreaded every second of it, but he had to work to support his family. As the Human Resource manager, I worked out a plan with John's permission, I sent him on a few training courses which I thought would be helpful in equipping him with the skills necessary to perform his job successfully. Every 2 weeks I would check up on John and see if he was feeling any more confident and happy in the work place, and thankfully he did. Every month I still go and check on him and keep reminding him that if he keeps working as hard as he is, he will soon be employee of the month. Therefore I followed the POLC (Planning, Organising, Leading and Controlling)

3) Marketing Manager:

A Marketing manager is responsible in ensuring that the business markets itself in the best effective way in order to reach their desired target market. "Responsible for promotional activities, creating messages to the target market and reaching one (1) of three (3) aims of marketing, which is informing, reminding or reinforcing" (Business Management 1A Student Manuel, 2011:86) A market manager is also responsible to ensure that the business meets the needs of the customers which result in customer satisfaction, meaning the customer is more likely to come back to make another purchase and may even promote/market the organisation through word of mouth. "A philosophy of business, permeating the whole organisation, that holds, that the key to organisational success is meeting customers' needs and wants more effectively and more closely then competitors" (Marketing for the Small Business Module manual, 2010:13)

It has been reported to me that the stock of Women's summer clothing has not been selling very well. I have held a meeting with the manager of the retail sale apartment to find out why the clothing has not been selling. He reported to me that the clothing is very fashionable but is a little bit more expensive compared to the other major competitors. The clothing is however of a better quality. I decided that instead of dropping the price of the clothes and therefore selling at a loss. I would allocate part of my marketing budget to a promotion of the clothing. The focus of the promotion will be that it pays to buy quality. I will place the adverts in the weekend newspapers as most of our clients buy during the weekend. I will also arrange a "high class" fashion parade of the clothing in each of out store on Saturday mornings where elegant models will show off the clothing well.

4 General manager:

A general manager is responsible for the management processes in the organisation as a whole. "General Management embraces the overall function through which top management develops strategies and formulates policies for the whole organisation" (Smit & Cronjie, 1997:15). A general manager also has the responsibility of hiring and firing of employees, as well as promoting them in the business.

A general manager is very important in any organisation. Without one there would be no one to over see the business and make sure that the business is working towards the same strategic plans and direction of the organisation.

The top management of 'Look and Listen' has decided that due to the economic recession, they want to retrench 3 employees who work on the floor as salespeople. As the general manager, I would go to the manager who works on the floor and get a record of each of the employees work rate in regard to the amount of sales that they have made during the last 3 months. I would look and analyse all 10 employees and retrench the 3 with the lowest work rates in terms of making the least amount of sales for the last 3 months.

5 Purchasing manager:

A purchasing manager is responsible in regard to purchasing the appropriate products and materials that the business requires to function smoothly. Examples of things that a purchasing manager would need to keep the inventory up to date and make a record of the amount of raw materials used by the business monthly or annually as well as equipment and tools, and ensure that the business does not run out of it. "The purchasing manager has to be in contact with suppliers, must be aware of new products and know the prices at which goods can be bought" (Smit & Cronjie, 1997:15).

Woolworths called me in and explained to me that due to the economic recession, we as the business need to cut down on our spending and therefore have asked me to spend more economically and carefully. After the meeting I decided to look over the purchasing department's financial records and see where I could cut down on costs. It was quite difficult to identify an area to cut costs down until I looked over the amount Woolworths paid to its suppliers for our inventory. Our suppliers had increased their price by more then double this year compared to last year. I was extremely shocked that I did not identify this concern earlier. After identifying the problem, I started looking for new possible suppliers and after a bit of research, I found a more economical but just as efficient supplier. So I ended our contract with our present supplier which was coming to an end that current month and started purchasing from our new and more economical supplier.

6. PR (Public Relations) manager:

It the Public Relations manager's responsible to ensure that the organisation has a good/positive image within and outside the organisation. "Within the organisation, a manager has contact with other managers and individuals, and outside it, a manager is responsible for building sound relationships with other organisations, suppliers, bankers and clients"

Having a Public Relations manager is very critical in an organisation. A business without one would find it difficult to maintain good relationships and image with their customers and suppliers if they did not have a Public Relations Manager to maintain as well as even grow the good relations within and outside the organisation. Forming good relations result in for example the customer coming back to repurchase or the supplier giving you a better price in regard to purchasing of inventory. Having good relations result in loyalty so it's very important that a business have their own PR manager.

It was reported to me that the Premiers wife slipped on a slippery area in one of our stores and sprained her ankle. The newspapers have been making enquiries as to how the accident happened. I have decided to deal with the potentially bad publicity by pointing out to the press the fact that our stores are regularly assessed for safety standards and that we have not in the last 5 years had any accidents in our stores. We will also send a very large bouquet of flowers to the Premiers wife and ask her if we can as a gesture of apology make a donation in her name to her favourite charity.

7. Production manager:

The responsibility of the production manager is, he/she needs to ensure that the raw materials get produced into the final product for the market. They need to ensure that the products are produced on time and that the standards are at the highest level.

It is very important for a business to have a production manager because without one. The business would not be able to maintain stock if they don't have a production manager ensuring that enough products are produced and ready to enter the market to be sold.

I have noticed over the last 14 days that one of the ten identical production machines keeps breaking down. As the machine is the same age as all of the others and as all the machines are maintained by the same mechanic I suspect that the operators is either sabotaging the machine or miss using it. I plan to move that operator to another machine and to see whether the problems re occurs. If the other machine also "keeps breaking" then I intend to station an observer to see how the machine is used.

8 Administration/IT manager:

This kind of manager would be responsible for sorting out information within the business. "Gathering, adapting, storing and distributing information within the company is the responsibility of the administrative manager" (Business Management 1A Student Manuel. 2011, 28)

An Administration manager is very important in a business because they are the one who distribute important information to the rest of the organisation as well as keep important information that can be used at a later stage if the business requires it.

I have noticed that the number of emails which managers are receiving is reaching un manageable proportions. As many of the emails are merely copied to the recipients. I intend to implement an educational program to urge staff members to only copy other staff members with mail if strictly necessary.

1.2: In my answer I am going to be listing and discussing 15 different skills that Managers need to perform their duties properly. I will also provide an example on how to apply the skills. I shall be applying POLC (Planning, Organising, Leading and Controlling) process to my explanations.

1) Conceptual skills:

The top manager needs conceptual skills which involves planning and organising. They need to be able to focus on the organisation as a whole. "Good managers must be ready to assess what is going on both inside and outside their business and be ready for action" (IET, 2011).

As the manager of my shoe store, I would need to set goals for my business and when they need to be achieved by. I will also have to evaluate what is happening in my business as well as in market (external) environment and see if the market environment is changing or if it is showing signs of changing in the next couple of months and if so, how can my business adapt and take full advantage of this situation. I will also have to see what my competitors like Nike and Reebok are doing and try to keep one step ahead of them in terms of having a competitive advantage.

2) Human (interpersonal) skills:

This skill allows middle management to handle interpersonal interaction successfully. The manager needs to have a holistic view of the individuals in the business. They are also very critical in regard to communication getting processed from the top management to lower manager and in general. "In performing the informational role, managers must keep employees informed of all things that affect their work, and must provide information to their organisations (and often, outside their organisation) about what the work group is doing" (IET, 2011). With the manager having interpersonal skills, they are able to influence teams or group behaviours and negotiate with them, and if necessary can set consequences for the employees too.

Top management has decided that they want to increase the production of shoes by 50% by the 31 January 2012 meaning 2000 shoes more. It is my job as the middle manager who has interpersonal skills to make sure that the message is sent down to lower management so they can start producing 2000 more shoes by the end of 31 January 2011.

3) Technical skills:

This involves lower management actually having technical knowledge about how things work in the business. "A manager's technical skills refer to his or her ability to implement the management process" (Business Management 1A Student Manuel, 2011:29)

I am the lower manager of Pick n Pay. Last week as I was doing my daily inspection to ensure that everything is running smoothly on the floor, I noticed that one of the new employees were struggling to get the till their open, so I approached them and showed them how to open the till.

4) Communication:

According to the (Business Management 1A Student Manuel, 2011) it is very important that the manager has good communication skills. If the manager cannot communicate his messages well, his employees may misinterpret the message which could cause negative consequences for the organisation. This skill also allows the manager to be able to negotiate as well as interact effectively in formal as well as informal communication.

Example needed:

5) Planning and Administration:

This skills involving the manager being able to decide which tasks need to be completed and what kind of plan to put in place to achieve it. "Involves the decision of which tasks are to be done, how they will be done and resources needed to do them, monitoring the process and the tasks being completed" (Business Management 1A Student Manuel, 2011:30)

I realize that in the next 3 days. I will need to produce a detailed quotation for a potentially large order. Some of the orders are goods which we don't supply but which we can source. I have 3 staff members who can help me with this task so I call them all together. I explain what our challenge is and make it clear to them that by the morning of the 3rd day I need all the pricing for each individual item and also an estimation of availability. I divide the task between my 3 assistants. The first assistant is tasked to get the pricing and availability on our own products. The other two staff members between them are instructed to identify the goods in the order which we don't have and then to split the list equally between and obtain at least 2 prices and availability details of different suppliers.

6) Teamwork:

A manager needs to be able to managed people working in groups because often tasks require people to work together in a group environment.

Example needed

7) Strategic Action:

This involves the manager being able to incorporate the vision as well as the mission of the company when working towards the goals of the organisation. "The strategic action skill requires a manager to understand the industry they function in, the organisation and the taking of strategic actions where required" (Business Management 1A Student Manuel, 2011:30)

Example needed

8) Global Awareness:

This type of skill ensures that the manager is able to deal with diversity and cultural differences. "Ensuring that there is an understanding for, as well as sensitivity towards these cultures" (Business Management 1A Student Manuel, 2011:30)

Example needed

9) Self Management:

This involves the manager be able to create a good balance between work and play. According to Business Management 1A Student Manuel (2011) they also should be aware of trying to better themselves in regard to personal development. They should also apply good ethical behaviour in their lives.

As the Marketing manager for Woolworths, I have been working continuously for 1 year and am starting to feel really burnt out and tired, so I have come to the conclusion that it's is time to take my 2 weeks leave and for my family and I to take a vocation overseas so I can recharge my batteries and come back in 2 weeks fresh and reenergized for work.

10. Crisis Management:

This involves the manager being able to stay in control and sort out crisis's as they happen in the business environment or try to prevent possible crisis's occurring.

Example needed:

11. Do Reward those who do well in their jobs:

Reward your employees if they successfully complete a task. "if you want the performance to repeat, then recognize and award it! This is a powerful employee motivator". (How to motivate employees now, 2011)

I am the manager of 'Look and Listen' and I have noticed that Jack who works on the floor as a salesman always ensures that the customers always leave the store with a smile on their face and of course a new product in their packet. So I have decided to make John the employee of the month and hope to encourage the rest of my staff to follow in his example.

12. Don't Let the Workplace be ruled by Politics and the Good Old Boys:

As the manager you must be fair when it comes to giving promotions to employees. You should base it on the work performance of the employee and not favouritism. According to (How to motivate employees now, 2011) by letting politics and favouritism be the deciding factor in regard to promoting employees, it can completely destroy the motivation of the employees in the work place and result in poor commitment and effort on the part of the employees. "All employees want to think that they can develop skills and acquire knowledge and work hard to give themselves a" fair" chance at a better future with the company.  You take that away when you give promotions to "friends" rather than the most qualified. (How to motivate employees now, 2011)

As the manager of 'Musica' I had a real challenge when it came to giving a promotion to one of the staff members. I had a really good friend of mine who has been working for me for 5 years and was struggling financially due to gambling, but at the same time one of the new employees really stood out to me, they had made the most sales and had also given 100% effort through out the month. But as hard as it was to see the look on my friends face when he realized that he was not going to get the promotion, I knew I did the right thing by giving the promotion to the most deserving employee of the month.

13. Set a Good Example:

According to (How to motivate employees now, 2011) to expect your staff to give 110% effort in their work, you first need to show them how it is done by leading by example and putting in 110% yourself. And by doing this, your employees will feel inspired and motivated to do the same. "Put in an honest day's work yourself.  Don't just talk the talk - walk the walk.  Leadership by example is very powerful". (How to motivate employees now, 2011) Example needed

14. Keep an open door policy:

According to (How to motivate employees now, 2011) to try to create an open environment where your employees feel confident to be able to enter your office and know that you will give your utmost attention in what they have to say or share with you, your not just helping your employee express themselves but your very likely to be able to improve the morale of employees as well as possibly mind new ways of motivating them. This of course can only be done once you have heard and understand the problems of the employees.

I have been working in Musica for 3 months as the general manager, and I could never understand why the staff looked so unhappy when I walked through the store to my own office. Anyway last week John came into my office and expressed to me that he and some of the other staff member working on the floor find that the shop would get really hot and wondered if he could bring a fan to work. I said he could. But after thinking for a while, I came to the conclusion that if I buy a Air con for the shop, it might make it more bearable for the staff. After a week of it being installed, I walked into the shop and found that my employees were actually smiling and brought a good atmosphere to the shop.

15. Hold your employees accountable:

According to (How to motivate employees now, 2011) if you want your employees to work diligently and always put 100 percent into their work. You need to ensure that all your employees do this and that you don't let any of them slack off without appropriate consequences. If you let it carry on, it could have real negative effects on the rest of the staff who normally give their all. "Your good employees will have no reason to go the extra mile especially if they have to do it to make up for someone who is coasting, getting away with it, and being paid the same amount of money "(How to motivate employees now, 2011 Example needed

Question 2:

In my answer I am going to be describing the characteristics of the following 3 types of leadership, followed with an example of how to apply it to a real life business situation and why this style of leadership is important.

1) Charismatic Leadership

According to Business Management 1A Student Manuel (2011) a charismatic leader can be defined as a person that has a attractive personality that people around them are instantly attracted towards. These kinds of leaders have the ability through their strengths and strong personality traits to influence people into following them in their cause. "Followers of such leaders think that these leaders are heroic with superhuman abilities" (Business Management 1A Student Manuel, 2011:77) Most charismatic leaders share similar traits in their personality being they have a strong focus on the vision for the future, are not afraid to take risks in order to succeed in their goal. They are confident in themselves and their abilities. Have an amazing gift to whip a crowd into frenzy when addressing them. "They are talented speakers who communicate their vision and passion and energy" (Business Management 1A Student Manuel, 2011:77) These types of leaders have their supporters close to their hearts. "They show concern for their people and they look after their people's needs. They create a comfortable and friendly atmosphere for their followers by listening to them and making them feel that they have a voice in the decision making" (Dems, 2010)

An example of a charismatic political leader is Mr. Nelson Mandela. He would be classified as a charismatic leader because he could silence a noisy crowd through just his presence while they waited in anticipation for what he had to say. But at the same time, he could get a crowd into awe through his passion and energy that he radiated off himself when he addressed a crowd and spoke about the vision that he had for the future of South Africa.

According to Ask Men (2011) an example of a famous charismatic business leader is Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, is considered a charismatic leader based on his principles of executing a bold vision, having boundless energy and being passionate about his work and employees.

2) Transformational leadership:

A transformational leader focuses on trying for create an environment where people don't just look out for themselves but instead to lookout for each other too and supportive and help each other when the opportunities arise themselves. They also focus on getting everyone on the same page in regard to sharing/working towards the same goal or vision of an organisation. Transformational and charismatic leaders are similar in some ways being, "Sharing some of the characteristics of the charismatic leader in that their personal power and energy are directed at getting commitment from the followers" (Business Management 1A Student Manuel, 2011:80) These kind of leaders are open minded and are willing to take positive criticism in order to be better leaders. According to the Business Management 1A Student Manuel (2011) transformational leaders are not afraid to lead by example and apply their ideas in their own lives.

A business would find it very difficult to get one hundred percent commitment without having a transformational leader who

An example of transformational leader would be Mahatma Gandhi. Reason being he was first leader to be able to create an environment of non- violence in India. "Mahatma Gandhi was in no way the originator of the principle of non-violence. But he was the first to apply it in the political field on a huge scale" (Pigeon Project, 2008). Mahatma Gandhi did not just tell his followers what to do but also showed them through apply his ideologies to his personal life. "There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for" (Pigeon Project, 2008).

Hay (date unknown) explains how Richard Branson is thought of as a transformational leader in business due to his ability to create major change in both followers and the organization with which he is associated.

3) Transactional Leadership:

According to the (Business Management 1A Student Manuel, 2011) transactional leaders create the expectations for what the employees are required to achieve and what incentives they can receive if they complete their tasks successfully. These kind of leaders however also have consequences set out for employees if they don't achieve their outcomes. They don't often expect more effort form the employees then originally expected. "The transactional leader often uses management by exception, working on the principle that if something is operating to defined (and hence expected) performance then it does not need attention" (Business Management 1A Student Manuel, 2011:81)

It is important for a business to have a transactional leader because without one. The employees would not have a structure in which they can measure themselves and see if they are achieving their individual goals for the business.

An example of a transactional leader would again be Richard Branson who gives his company "a competitive advantage and the best way to run a company, which then will become the nature of the brand, manifesting itself in the way its people behave and in the other Virgin brand attributes, from innovative customer experiences to cheeky advertising" (Smith, 2008).

(Small Business Town, 2007) - developing leadership and management skills

(Carmichael, 2011) 15 critical leadership skills

(How to motivate employees now, 2011) 7 leadership skills

(Smit & Cronjie, 1997:page no)