34 mins, 2011
Clips explain and illustrate key topics in finance using a variety of case study examples.
- Financial Objectives
- Financial Strategy
- Return On Capital Employed
- Financial Targets
CLIP 1: FINANCIAL OBJECTIVES: INTRODUCTION (7 mins)
To achieve their long-term aims, businesses set themselves objectives - stepping stones to their aims. Manufacturing boss Stephen Maynard's key objective is growth. ROCE - return on capital employed - is a vital calculation. Maynard sets specific financial targets for his business - but they rarely go as planned. Another of his objectives is to keep costs down - but does he sometimes go too far? And how do ethical considerations affect his objectives?
CLIP 2: OBJECTIVES IN CONFICT (7 mins)
What happens when there is conflict over objectives inside a business? Blakeway Ltd's objective is to maximise profits. But is there a conflict between what the shareholders want - short-term profits - and the long-term interests of the business? Meanwhile, in small business Logical Friends, accountant Bee sees controlling spending as a key objective. She also wants to protect their assets - in the shape of the houses the business owns. But MD Harry's key objective is growth and he wants to sell the houses. There is a confrontation and sparks fly.
CLIP 3: FINANCIAL OBJECTIVES AT ACME WHISTLES (6 mins)
When Simon Topman joined British manufacturer Acme Whistles he brought a new, more rigorous approach to its finances. "Everything we do has a financial objective to it," he says, "everything!" Financial objectives come with financial targets - for example they aim to achieve not less than 10% on turnover, 12% on capital employed. Fall below their targets and they take corrective action. But not everything it does is in line with its financial objectives - some things, says Simon, are just "nice to do."
CLIP 4: FINANCIAL STRATEGY (7 mins)
A firm's financial strategy is how it organises its finances to meet its financial objectives. Inevitably a major part of a firm's financial strategy is how it funds itself to meet its objectives. Does it need short-term or long-term finance? Does it opt for external or internal funding? You need to keep costs down on the one hand, but invest on the other. The clip compares and contrasts the financial strategies of the fast-growing Tossed salad bar chain with electronics manufacturer Blakeway Ltd.
CLIP 5: DEPRECIATION (7 mins)
A company buys an expensive piece of machinery - in accounting terms, a fixed asset, but also a cost to the business. The machinery loses value over time and the company's accounts spreads its cost over this period. This is called depreciation. This simple guide explains the two main ways depreciation is calculated - straight line and declining balance depreciation.