Corporate finance is an area of finance that deals with sources of funding, the capital structure of corporations, the actions that managers take to increase the Value investing of the firm to the shareholders, and the tools and analysis used to allocate financial resources. The primary goal of corporate finance is to maximize or increase shareholder value.
Correspondingly, corporate finance comprises two main sub-disciplines. Capital budgeting is concerned with the setting of criteria about which value-adding projects should receive investment funding, and whether to finance that investment with equity or debt capital. Working capital management is the management of the company’s monetary funds that deal with the short-term operating balance of current assets and current liabilities; the focus here is on managing cash, inventories, and short-term borrowing and lending (such as the terms on credit extended to customers).
Although it is in principle different from managerial finance which studies the financial management of all firms, rather than corporations alone, the main concepts in the study of corporate finance are applicable to the financial problems of all kinds of firms.
The terms corporate finance and corporate financier are also associated with investment banking. The typical role of an investment bank is to evaluate the company’s financial needs and raise the appropriate type of capital that best fits those needs. Thus, the terms “corporate finance” and “corporate financier” may be associated with transactions in which capital is raised in order to create, develop, grow or acquire businesses. Recent legal and regulatory developments in the U.S. will likely alter the makeup of the group of arrangers and financiers willing to arrange and provide financing for certain highly leveraged transactions.
Financial management overlaps with the financial function of the accounting profession. However, financial accounting is the reporting of historical financial information, while financial management is concerned with the allocation of capital resources to increase a firm’s value to the shareholders.