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One of the highest-ranking executives in a large organization, such as a corporation or a nonprofit institution, is the vice president of finance. Executives are responsibility for the guidance and management of the organization, with the vice president of finance focusing on matters related to money and the organization's budget, with duties related to oversight of these areas.
Vice presidents of finance are responsible for general leadership related to the financial mission of the institution for which they work. This can include the setting of tasks, the motivation of employees and the definition and clarification of goals, as well as day-to-day operations such as the hiring and supervision of employees. Vice presidents of finance are expected to work closely with other top-ranking executives in their institution.
Vice presidents of finance are also expected to monitor the financial health of the organization, including keeping careful tabs on its regular transactions, investments and any business deals that affect the bottom line. They should also be well-versed in the company's financial statements, as well as in the internal budget.
Vice presidents of finance are also responsible for composing and issuing the financial reports given out by the company to investors, regulatory agencies and other stakeholders. Many of these documents require that one or more top-ranking executives sign their names, testifying to its accuracy.
As part of the monitoring of the organization's finances, vice presidents of finance must conduct regular audits of expenditures, assets and liabilities, making sure the recorded figures are verifiable and accurate.
One of the more amorphous duties of the vice president of finance is planning for the company's financial future. This can take various forms, including drawing up short- and long-term plans, as well as coordinating with other top executives about the company's direction.
Although some organizations have executives dedicated to risk management, it is the vice president of finance who is generally responsible for oversight of the risks the organization is taking. This can include outlining possible financial risks and weighing the comparative benefit of certain potential courses of action.
Build External Relationships
Vice presidents of finance, by virtue of being one of the top executives, are expected to represent the organization and build outside relationships with stakeholders with a financial interest in the organization's health. These can include banks, stockholders and members of the community.
When an organization, be it a business or a not-for-profit enterprise, needs additional capital, it is generally the vice president of finance who will supervise the raising of funds. This can include working out methods of attracting investors or donations and deciding how the money will be spent.
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Michael Wolfe has been writing and editing since 2005, with a background including both business and creative writing. He has worked as a reporter for a community newspaper in New York City and a federal policy newsletter in Washington, D.C. Wolfe holds a B.A. in art history and is a resident of Brooklyn, N.Y.