Finance is pervasive in the decision structure of modern enterprise. As you progress in your career, you may never have to direct an ad campaign or calculate the Deferred Tax Liability reported on the balance sheet. But, you will almost certainly be responsible for meeting (or setting) financial goals, optimizing investment returns, and, ultimately, creating value. At its core, finance is simply the word we use for the analytics that support decision-making.
As a beginning finance student, it is easy to get caught up in the details of cash flow estimation or decision metrics. After all, finance is fun and makes you sound smart to people who don’t understand it. But, keep in mind that finance should always be a slave to the firm’s strategic imperatives. As the scope of your influence increases, don’t forget that the analytic approaches reviewed in this course are an input to wisdom. You can’t make good decisions without superior financial analysis, but the most critical decision may be what to analyze in the first place.