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What does a Business Financial Advisor do?

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  • Written By: Alexis W.
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2016
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A business financial advisor provides guidance and advice for a corporate entity or organization. Similar to a personal financial advisor, a business financial advisor helps the business decide what to do with its money and assets. The business advisor simply does so on a larger scale than a personal advisor, since most companies have more money and assets to manage than private individuals.

Some businesses have in-house or full-time financial advisors. In such cases, the business financial advisor will work full time with that particular company. He will often have a high degree of responsibility, working directly with the executives, including the chief executive officer and chief financial officer, to help a business determine what financial decisions to make. In large companies, there may be multiple financial advisors for different departments, who work with different department heads.

Small businesses may not be able to hire a full-time financial advisor or may not have need for such a position. As a result, some financial advisors work on an independent basis. They may be self-employed and recruit clients or work for consulting firms or wealth management firms. These business financial advisors are called into a company on an as-needed basis to provide financial advice and guidance. They may work with several different companies and are paid an hourly rate, sometimes supplemented by commissions depending on the situation and the nature of the relationship.

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Regardless of which type of work a business financial advisor does, he generally has some common responsibilities. First, he must help a company set and assess financial goals. For example, he can help a company set profit targets for how much money it needs to make to remain financially viable. He can also help with asset allocation, investment allocation, or evaluating funding and profit projections for a given product. The extent of his responsibility will depend in large part on the type of business he is working with, the size of the business, and the amount of assets a business has to work with.

It is common for a business financial advisor to help a company determine where its financial problems are originating from and to help a company identify areas for improvement in its financial picture and balance sheets. He may also help prepare business plans or disclosures of financial information. In all cases, a financial advisor must be well versed in principles of mathematics, economics, accounting, and investments.

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candyquilt
Post 3

This sounds like a huge responsibility. Can you imagine what will happen if the advisor gives wrong advice or it backfires and makes things worse? I'm sure he won't have a job after that.

No wonder financial advisors usually have Master's degrees and a lot of practical experience. There is little room for mistake, especially considering that the advice could in some cases make or break a business.

stoneMason
Post 2

@ddljohn-- That's an interesting and funny comment. It's a clever observation. I have been working for a few years now as a financial advisor and I agree that a lot of these positions do intersect a lot in terms of duties and responsibilities. But there are also places where they differ. And keep in mind that the duties also has to the with the employer and what their needs are.

Generally, a financial advisor is expected just to advise the company on their financial status and decisions. So a financial advisor is not going to be involved in accounting, processing invoices or signing paychecks. But he will be collecting and looking at data to determine how the business is

doing and then will formulate recommendations to solve problems or increase profit.

In large companies, the financial advisor may not even do any research or data collection. There might be analysts who do that for him and the advisor simply interprets it and gives advice.

ddljohn
Post 1

I don't know why there are so many different titles for jobs in the finance world. Financial advisors, financial analysts, financial consultants, financial managers and the list goes on. I don't understand what makes each position different. It honestly seems like these are all different names for the same job. Why can't we keep it simple and stick to a single title?

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