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Essay: Introduction to finance

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INTRODUCTION TO FINANCE: Finance is the integral part of business. The economic development of any country, depends upon the ‘existence of a well- organized financial system. It is the financial system, which supplies the necessary financial input for the production of goods and services, which in turn promotes the well-being, and standard of people of the country. Finance, and function of finance are the part of the economic activity. Finance is the essential, need for all type of organization viz., small, medium, large-scale industries, and agriculture and service sector. Over the 60 years of independence, the availability of finance, has been made easy through functioning of commercial banks, development banks and primary markets. But all these services and instruments are associated, with different types of costs. Hence, it had become a necessity to make use of such sources not only to recover the cost but also to increase, the wealth of investors. Contrary to this, the new economic reforms created a challenging, environment in the economy. This calls for effective utilization of funds, to yield the pre-determined returns of a firm’s success and its survival, depends upon how efficiently it is able to generate funds, as and when needed. Finance, holds the key to all activities. The Sanskrit says, ‘Arthasachivah’ which means, ‘Finance’ reigns supreme’, speaks volume for the significance of the function, of finance in any organization. According to Paul G. Hassings..,
‘Finance is the management of the monetary, affairs of a company. It includes determining what has to be paid for the money of the best terms available, and devoting the available funds to the best uses’.
‘Finance’ guides and regulates, investment decisions and expenditures. The expenditure decision may pertain, to recurring expenditure or they may be about capital budgeting. To get the best out of the available funds, is major task of finance. The finance manager, has to perform this task most efficiently if he is to be successful. The finance function, does not draw any distinction between the private sector and the public sector. It is important, even indispensable to the both sectors, even the government treats finance as a, signpost to control a measure what it has achieved or propose to achieve. It may be rightly, considered as the sinew of any business activity, and that is how its importance is recognized in any branch of science. Every business activity requires financial support, because financial viability, is the center theme of any business preposition. This point of view is well brought out by Mr. A.L. KINGSHOTT, who states.
‘Finance is the common denominator for a vast range of corporate objectives, and the major part ,of any corporate plan must be expressed in financial terms’.
Financial decision, must be viewed in the light of financial viability of its financial outcomes. It is difficult to conceive a policy decision, which does not have financial implications. Moreover, business activities are not mutually exclusive; there dependence on each other, and can be measured only in terms of finance. Any economic transaction, consists of buying and selling, which implies money transactions, but it may not involve immediate payment of money, as there may be credit terms involved. In any transaction therefore, whether it is buying or selling, the payment of money, at present or in future, is involved.
An organization communicates, its financial information to the users through financial statements and reports. Financial statement contains summarized information of the organizations – financial affairs, organized in a systematic form. These statements comprises of the income statements or profit and loss account and the position statements or the balance sheet.
To give a full view of the financial affairs, of the undertaking it is also necessary to include statement of retained earnings, a statement of changes , in the financial position and a few schedules such as schedules of fixed assets, and schedule of debtors.
Income Statement: The profit and loss account set out income as well as expenses of the same period and after matching the two, the difference that is net profit or net loss, is shown as the difference between the two sides of the account. Thus, the earning capacity and the potential of the organizations are reflected by its profit and loss account.
Balance Sheet: Also known as the position statement, displays all the total resources of a business and the owners, creditors equity in these resources. It indicates the statement of affairs of the business at a particular moment of time and thus, its nature.
Profit and Loss Appropriation account: Also known as statement of retained earnings, is generally a part of the profit and loss account. It shows, how the profit of the business for the accounting period is appropriated, towards reserve and dividend and how much of the same is carried forward, as retained earnings
Fund Flow Statement: Also known as the statement of changes in financial position, summarizes the changes in the assets, liabilities and owners’ equity between two balance sheet dates. Thus, it is a statement of flows, i.e. it means the changes have been taken in the financial position of the firm of two balance sheet dates. It summarizes the sources, and uses of the funds obtained.
Financial analysis, is the process of identifying the financial strength and weakness of the firm by properly establishing, relationships between the items of the balance sheet and profit and loss account. The purpose of financial analysis is, to disclose the information available in the financial statements so as to judge the profitability, and financial health of the organization.
The first task of the financial analyst is to select the information relevant to the decisions under consideration from the total information available in the financial statement. Secondly, to arrange the information in a way that would highlight the significant relationships.
Finally, to interpret and draw inferences, and conclusions. In brief, financial analysis, is the process if selection, relation and evaluation of profitability and financial soundness and health of the organization.
A financial analyst, analyses the financial statement by selecting the appropriate techniques according to purpose of the analysis. Financial statements may be analyzed by means of any of the following techniques:
‘ Comparative Statement analysis.
‘ Common Size Statement analysis.
‘ Trend analysis.
‘ Ratio analysis.
‘ Fund Flow Statement.
‘ Cash Flow Statement.
‘ Cost Volume Profit analysis.
Comparative Analysis means, comparison of two or more comparable alternatives, processes, products, qualifications, sets of data’s, systems, etc. In accounting, for example, changes in a financial statement’s items over, several accounting periods could be presented together to detect the emerging trends in the, firm’s operations and results.
Comparative Analysis is performed by professionals, who prepare reports using financial tools and techniques that make use of information taken from financial statements and the other reports. These reports are usually, presented to top management as one of their base in making business decision.
These decisions include the following:-
‘ Continue or discontinue in its main operation or part of its business;
‘ Make or purchase certain materials, in the manufacture of its product;
‘ Acquire or rent/lease certain, machineries and equipment in the production of its goods;
‘ Issue stocks or negotiate for a bank loan, to increase its working capital;
‘ Make decisions regarding investing and lending capital;
‘ Other decisions that allow management to make an, informed selection on various alternatives in the conduct of its business.
Comparative analysis often assesses the firm’s:-
1. Profitability ‘ Firm’s ability, to earn income and sustain growth in both short-term and long-term. A company’s degree of profitability, is usually based on the income statement, which reports on the company’s results of operations
2. Solvency ‘ Firm’s ability to pay of its obligation to creditors and third parties in the long term.
3. Liquidity – its ability to maintain a positive cash flow, while satisfying immediate obligations.
4. Stability- the firm’s ability is to remain in business in the long run, without having to sustain significant losses, in the conduct of its business. Assessing a company’s stability requires the use of the income statements and the balance sheet, as well as other, financial and non-financial indicators.
Methods of Comparative Analysis
Comparative analysts often compare on the basis of following things:
‘ Past Performance – Across historical time periods, for the same firm (the last 5 years for example),
‘ Future Performance – Using historical figures and certain, mathematical and statistical techniques, including present and future values, This extrapolation method is the main source, of errors in financial analysis as past statistics can be the poor predictors of future prospects.
‘ Comparative Performance – Comparison between the similar firms.
Comparing financial ratios is merely one way of conducting, financial analysis. Financial ratios face several theoretical challenges:
‘ They say little about the firm’s prospects, in an absolute sense. Their insights about, relative performance, require a reference point from other time periods or any similar firms.
‘ One ratio, holds little meaning. As indicators, ratios can be logically interpreted in at least two ways. One can be partially overcome this problem by combining several related ratios, to paint a more comprehensive and exact picture of the firm’s performance.
‘ Seasonal factors, may prevent year-end values from being representative. A ratio’s values may be distorted as the account balances will change from the beginning to the end of an , accounting period. Use average values, for such accounts, whenever it is possible.
‘ Financial ratios, are no more objective than the accounting methods employed. Changes in accounting policies, or choices can yield drastically different ratio values.
Financial analysts, can also use percentage analysis which involves reducing a series of the figures as a percentage of some base amounts. For example, a group of items can be expressed, as a percentage of net income. When proportionate changes in the same figure, over a given time period expressed as a percentage is known as horizontal analysis. Vertical or common-size analysis, reduces all items on a statement to a ‘common size’ as a percentage of some base value, which assists in the comparability with other companies of different sizes. As a result, all Income Statement items are divided by Sales, and all the other Balance Sheet items are divided by Total Assets.
Another method is, comparative analysis. This provides a better way to determine trends. Comparative analysis, presents the same information for two or more time periods and is, presented side-by-side to allow for easy analysis.
In financial accounting, the balance sheet or statement of financial position is a summary of the financial balances, of a sole proprietorship, a business partnership or a company. Assets, liabilities and ownership equity, are listed as of a specific date, such as to the end of its financial year. A balance sheet is often described as a “snapshot of a company’s financial condition”. The balance sheet is the only statement which applies to a single point at time of a business’ calendar year. Understanding balance sheet, is very important because it gives an idea of the financial strength of a company at any given point of time.
The various components of balance sheet are as follows:-
‘ Assets: – Anything tangible or intangible that is capable, of being owned or controlled to produce value and that is, held to have positive economic value is considered as an asset.
‘ Gross block: – The total value of all the assets that a company own’s and value is determined by the amount ,it cost to acquire these assets. It is inclusive of depreciation, that is to be charged on each asset.
‘ Net block: – If the gross block is less accumulated depreciation on assets. Net block is actually what; the asset is worth to the company.
‘ Capital Work-In-Progress: – sometimes, at the end of the financial year, there is some construction or installation going-on in the company. Which is not complete, such installation is recorded in the books as: capital work in progress because it is asset for the business.
‘ Investments: – If the company has made some, investments out of its free cash, it is recorded, under the head investments.
‘ Inventory: -The raw materials, work-in-process goods and completely finished goods that are considered to be the portion of a business assets which are ready or will be ready for sale.
‘ Receivables: – include the debtor’s of the company, i.e., it includes all those accounts which are to give money back to the company.
‘ Other Current Assets: – include all the assets, which can be converted into cash, within a very short period of time like cash in bank etc.
‘ Liabilities:- In financial accounting, a liability is defined as an obligation of an entity, arising from past transactions or events, the settlement of which may result in the transfer or use of assets, provision of services, or other yielding of economic benefits in the future.
‘ Share Capital: – Share capital or issued capital refers to as the portion of a company’s equity that has been obtained by trading stock, to a shareholder for cash or an equivalent item of capital value. Share capital usually comprises the nominal values of all shares issued, and less those repurchased by the company. It includes both ordinary shares and preference shares. If the market value of shares is greater than their nominal value (value at par), the shares are said to be at a premium, which is also called as share premium.
‘ Reserves and surpluses: – Amount appropriated out of earned surplus, retained earnings for future plan or unforeseen expenditure. It includes, the free reserves of the company which are built out of the genuine profits of the company. Together they are known as net worth of the company.
‘ Total debt: – It includes the long term and short debt of the company. Long term is for a longer duration, usually for a period more than 3 years like debentures. Short term debt, is for a lesser duration, usually for less than a year like bank finance for the working capital.
‘ Creditors: – They are those entities to which the company owes’s money.
‘ Other Liabilities and Provisions: – It includes, all the liabilities that do not fall under any of the above head and various provisions made.
Profit and Loss Statement which is also known as the Income Statement is a company’s financial statement that indicates how the revenue, which is money received from the sale of products and services, before expenses are taken out, also known as the “top line” is transformed into the net income, which is the result after all revenues and expenses have been accounted for, also known as the “bottom line”. It displays, the revenues recognized for a specific period, and the cost and expenses charged against all these revenues, including write-offs (e.g., depreciation and the amortization of various assets) and taxes. The purpose of the income statement is to show manager’s and investors whether the company made or lost money, during the period being reported.
Items in Profit & Loss Statement
Operating Expenses
‘ Revenue: -Cash inflows, or other enhancements of assets of an entity during a period from delivering, or producing goods, rendering services, or other activities that constitute the entity’s ongoing, major operations. It is usually presented as the sales minus sales discounts, returns, and allowances.
‘ Expenses: – Cash outflows, or other using-up of assets or incurrence of liabilities during a period, from delivering or producing goods, rendering services, or carrying out other activities that constitute, the entity’s ongoing major operations.
‘ General and Administrative Expenses: -Represent expenses, to manage the business; which includes salaries of officers/executives, legal and professional fees, utilities, insurance, depreciation of office building and the equipment, office rents, office supplies, etc.).
‘ Selling Expenses: -It represents, expenses needed to sell products which include salaries of sales people, commissions, and travel expenses, advertising, freight, shipping, depreciation of sales store buildings and equipment, etc.
‘ R & D Expenses: -Investigative activities, that a business chooses to conduct with intention of making a discovery that can either lead to the development of a new products or procedures, or in the improvement of existing products or procedures.
‘ Depreciation/Amortization: -It is the charge, with respect to fixed assets / intangible assets that have been capitalized, on the balance sheet for a specific accounting period. It is a systematic and rational allocation of cost, rather than the recognition of market value decrement.
Non-operating Expenses
‘ Other Revenues or Gains: -They are, revenues and gains from other than primary business activities (e.g. rent, income from patents). It also includes unusual gains, that are either unusual or infrequent, but not both (e.g. gain from sale of securities or gain from disposal of fixed assets).
‘ Other expenses or losses: – Expenses or losses which are not related to primary business operations, (e.g. foreign exchange loss).
‘ Finance costs ‘ It is the cost of borrowing from various creditors (e.g. interest expenses, bank charges).
‘ Income tax expense: – It is the sum of the amount payable to tax authorities for the current reporting period (current tax liabilities/ tax payable) and the amount of deferred tax liabilities (or assets).
Irregular Items
They are reported separately, because this way the user can better predict future cash flows. Irregular items most likely may not appear in next year. These are reported as net of taxes.
‘ Extraordinary items: -They are both, unusual (abnormal) and infrequent, for example, unexpected natural disaster, expropriation, prohibitions, under new regulations. [Note: natural disaster, might not qualify depending on location (e.g. frost damage would not qualify in Canada, but would in the tropics).
‘ Changes in accounting principles: -For example, deciding to depreciate, an investment property that has previously not been depreciated. However, changes in the estimates (e.g. estimated useful life of fixed assets) do not qualify.
‘ Discontinued operations: -These are the most common type of irregular items. Shifting business location, stopping production temporarily, or changes due to technological improvement, do not qualify as discontinued operations.
The Indian retail industry, is divided into organized and unorganized sectors. Organized retailing, refers to trading activities undertaken by licensed retailers, that is, those who are registered for sales tax, income tax, etc. These include the corporate-backed, hypermarkets and retail chains, and also the privately owned large retail businesses. Unorganized retailing, on the other hand, refers to the traditional formats of the low-cost retailing, for example, the local kirana shops, owner manned general stores, paan/beedi shops, convenience stores, hand-cart and pavement vendors, etc. India’s retail sector is wearing new clothes and with a three-year compounded annual growth rate of 46.64 per cent, retail is the fastest growing sector, in the Indian economy. Traditional markets, are making way for new formats such as departmental stores, hypermarkets, supermarkets and specialist stores. Western-style malls, have begun appearing in metros and second-rung cities alike, introducing the Indian consumer, to annul paralleled shopping experience. The Indian retail sector, is highly fragmented with 97 per cent of its business being run by the unorganized retailers, like the traditional family run stores and corner stores. The organized retail however is at a very nascent stage, though attempts are being made to increase its proportion to 9-10 per cent by the year 2015 bringing in huge opportunities for prospective new players. This sector is the largest source of employment after agriculture, and has deep penetration, into rural India generating more than 10 percent of India’s GDP.
The last few years witnessed immense growth by this sector, the key drivers being
the Changing consumer profile and demographics, increase in the number of international brands, available in the Indian market, economic implications of the Government increasing urbanization, credit availability, improvement in the infrastructure, increasing investments in technology, and real estate building a world class shopping environment for the consumers. In order to keep pace with the increasing demand, there has been, a hectic activity in terms of entry of international labels, expansion plans, and focus on technology, operations and processes .This has led, to more complex relationships involving suppliers, third party distributors and retailers, which can be dealt, with the help of an efficient supply chain. A proper supply chain will help to meet the competition head-on, manage stock availability; supplier relations, new value-added services, cost cutting and most importantly reduce the wastage levels in fresh produce.
Large Indian players: like Reliance Ambani’s, K.Rahejas, Bharti AirTel, ITC and many others are making significant investments, in this sector leading to emergence of big retailers who can bargain with suppliers to reap, economies of scale. Hence, discounting is becoming, an accepted practice. Proper infrastructure is a pre-requisite in retailing, which would help to modernize India and facilitate rapid economic growth. This would ,help in efficient delivery of goods and value-added services to the consumer making a higher, contribution to the GDP. International retailers see India as the last retailing, frontier left as the China’s retail sector is, becoming saturated. However, the Indian Government restrictions on the FDI are creating, ripples among the international players like Walmart, Tesco and many other, retail giants struggling to enter Indian markets. As of now the Government has, allowed only 51 per cent FDI in the sector to ‘one-brand’ shops like Nike, Reebok, etc. However, other international players are taking alternative routes to enter ,the Indian retail market indirectly via strategic licensing agreement, franchisee, agreement and cash and carry wholesale trading (since 100 per cent FDI is allowed, in wholesale trading).
India has one of the largest numbers, of retail outlets in the world of the 12 million retail outlets present in the, country, nearly 5 million sell food and related products. Though the market has, been dominated by unorganized players, the entry of domestic and international, organized players is set to change the scenario.
Organized retail segment has been ,growing at a blistering pace, exceeding all previous estimates. According to a, study by Deloitte Haskins and Sells, organized retail has increased its share, from 8 percent of total retail sales in 20012 to 10 percent in 2013. The, fastest growing segments have been the wholesale cash and carry stores, (150 percent) followed by supermarkets (100 percent) and hyper markets, (75-80 percent). Further, it estimates the organized segment to account for 25 per cent of the total sales by 2014.
India retail industry is the, largest industry in India, with an employment of around 8% and contributing, to over 10% of the country’s GDP. Retail industry in India is expected to rise, 25% yearly being driven by strong income growth, changing lifestyles, and, favorable demographic patterns.
It is expected that by, 2016 modern retail industry in India will be worth US$ 200-225 billion. India, retail industry is one of the fastest growing industries with revenue expected, in 2014 to amount US$350 billion and is increasing at a rate of 5% yearly. A ,further increase of 7-8% is expected in the industry of retail in India by growth in ,consumerism in urban areas, rising incomes, and a steep rise in rural consumption. It has further been predicted that the retailing industry in India will, amount to US$ 21.5 billion by 2015 from the current size of US$ 7.5 billion.
Shopping, in India has witnessed a revolution with the change in the consumer buying, behavior and the whole format of shopping also altering.
Industry, of retail in India which has become modern can be seen from the fact that there, are multi-stored malls, huge shopping centers, and sprawling complexes ,which offer food, shopping, and entertainment al under the same roof.
India retail, industry is expanding itself most aggressively; as a result a great demand for, real estate is being created. Indian retailers preferred means of expansion is ,to expand to other regions and to increase the number of their outlets in a city,. India retail industry is progressing well and for this to continue retailers as well, as the Indian government will have to make a combined effort.
Retail sector, one, of India’s largest industries, has presently emerged as one of the most dynamic, and fast paced industries of our times with several players entering the market.
India is being, seen as a potential goldmine for retail investors from over the world. India, gets 2nd position according to AT Kearney’s annual Global Retail Development, Index (GRDI). India earned $511 billion in the year of 2012 and drawing both, local as well as global players. Organized retail accounts still less than 5% of the, market is expected to grow at CAGR of 40%, from $20 billion in 2007 to $107, billion by 2013 and to $1.3 trillion by 2018, at a CAGR of 10%. India has one, of the largest numbers of retail outlets in the world. One of the 12 million retail, outlets, present in the country, nearly 5 million sell food and related products. Though, the market has been dominated by unorganized player, the entry of domestic, and international organized players is set to change the scenario.
As the contemporary, retail sector in India is reflected in sprawling shopping centers, multiplex- malls, and huge complexes offer shopping, entertainment and food all under one roof, the concept of shopping has altered in terms of format and consumer buying behavior, ushering in a revolution in shopping in India. This has also contributed to large, scale investments in real estate sector with major national and global players, investing in developing the infrastructure and construction of the retailing, business.
The retailing configuration, in India is fast developing as shopping malls are increasingly becoming familiar, in large cities. When it comes to development of retail space specially the malls, the Tier, II cities are no longer behind in the race. If development plans till 2007 is studied, it shows the projection of 220 shopping malls, with 139 malls in metros and the, remaining 81 in the Tier II cities. The government of states like Delhi and, National Capital Region (NCR) are very upbeat about permitting the use of, land for commercial development thus increasing the availability of land for, retail space; thus making NCR render to 50% of the malls in India.
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retail, chain, recently joined Bharti to operate within India. Some MNC giants already, serving from the past couple of years like SPAR group, Carrefour, Marks &, Spencer, Metro. Local retailers such as Future group, RGP group and Reliance, have all taken an early lead due to their aggressive expansion plans.
The outlook for private consumption, has become more negative and customers are becoming more cautious. The retail, sector is concentrated. Indian retail chains are meeting the stiff competition, through increased efficiency, centralizing purchases, forming international, alliances and expanding operations.
As the contemporary retail, sector in India is reflected in sprawling shopping centers, multiplex- malls, and huge complexes offer shopping, entertainment and food all under one roof, the concept, of shopping has altered in terms of format and consumer buying behavior, ushering, in a revolution in shopping in India. This has also contributed to large- scale, investment in real estate sector with major national and global players investing, in developing the infrastructure and construction of relating business.
The trends that are driving the growth of retail sector in India are:
‘ Low share of organized ,retailing
‘ Falling real estate, prices
‘ Increase in disposal, income and customer aspiration
‘ Increase in expenditure, for luxury items
Another credible factor in the, prospects of retail sector in India is the increase in the young working, population. In India, hefty pay packets, nuclear families in urban areas, along, with increasing working- women and emerging opportunities in the service sector. These key factors have been the growth drivers of the organized retail, sector in India which now boast of retailing almost all the preferences of, life- Apparel & Accessories, Appliances, Electronics, Cosmetics and Toiletries, Home & Office Products. With this the retail sector in India is witnessing, rejuvenation as traditional markets make way for new formats such as departmental, stores , hypermarkets, supermarkets and specially stores.
The retailing, configuration in India is fast developing as shopping malls are increasingly, becoming familiar in large cities. When it comes to development of retail space, specially the malls, the Tier II cities are no longer behind in the race. If development, plans till 2007 is studied it shows the projection of 220 shopping malls, with 139, malls in metros and the remaining 81 in the Tier II cities. The government of, states like Delhi and national capital region (NCR) are very upbeat about, permitting the use of land for commercial development, thus increasing, the availability of land for retail space; thus making NCR render to 50% of the, malls in India.
The Indian Retail Scene
India, is the country having the most unorganized retail market. Traditionally it is a, family’s livelihood, with their shop in the front and house at the back, while they, run the retail business. More than 99% retailers, function in less than 500 square feet of shopping space. Global retail consultants, KSA Techno park have estimated that organized retailing in India is expected to ,touch Rs 35,000 crore in the year 2013-14. The Indian retail sector is estimated at ,around Rs 90,000 crore, of which the organized sector accounts for a mere, 2 percent indicating a huge potential market opportunities that is lying in the ,waiting for the customer savvy organized retailer.
Purchasing power of Indian urban consumer is ,growing and branded merchandise in categories like Apparels, cosmetics, Shoes, Watches, are slowly ,becoming lifestyle products that are widely accepted by the urban Indian. consumer. Indian retailers need to advantage of this growth and aiming to grow, diversify and introduced new formats have to pay more attention to the brand, building process. The emphasis here is on retail as a brand rather than retailers, selling brands. The focus should be on branding the retail business itself. In their, preparation to face fierce competitive pressure, Indian retailers must come to, recognize the value of building their own stores as brands to reinforce their, marketing positioning, to communicate quality as well as value for money. The Indian, retail scene has witnessed too many players in a short time, crowding several, categories without looking at their core competencies, or having as well, thought out branding strategy.
Strategies, Trends and Opportunities
Retailing in India is gradually inching its way toward, becoming the next boom industry. The whole concept of shopping has altered, in terms of format and consumer buying behavior, ushering in a revolution in, shopping in India. Modern retail has entered India as seen in sprawling shopping, ce

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