Financial Management for Decision Makers
This book has been written for those who wish to achieve a broad understanding of financial management at either undergraduate or postgraduate/post-experience level. It is aimed primarily at students who are not majoring in financial management but who, nevertheless, are studying introductory-level financial management as part of their course in business, management, economics, computing, engineering or some other area. Students who are majoring in financial management should, however, find the book useful as an introduction to the main principles which can serve as a foundation for further study. The book should also be suitable for those who are not following a particular course but nevertheless need an understanding of financial management to help them manage their business.
As there are several excellent books on financial management already published, you may wonder why another book is needed in this area. A problem with many books is that they are too detailed and demanding to provide a suitable introduction to the subject. They are often around a thousand pages in length and contain mathematical formulae that many find daunting. This book assumes no previous knowledge of financial management (although a basic understanding of financial statements is required) and is written in an accessible style. Each topic is introduced carefully and there is a gradual building of knowledge. In addition, mathematical formulae have been kept to a minimum.
The book rests on a solid foundation of theory but the main focus throughout is its practical value. It is assumed that readers are primarily concerned with understanding financial management in order to make better financial decisions. The title of the book reflects this decision-making focus.
The book is written in an ‘open learning’ style. That is, it tries to involve you in a way not traditionally found in textbooks. Throughout each chapter there are activities and self-assessment questions for you to attempt. The purpose of these is to help check understanding of the points that are being made and to encourage you to think around particular topics. More detail concerning the nature and use of these activities and self-assessment questions is given in the ‘How to use this book’ section following this preface. The open learning style has been adopted because, I believe, it is more ‘user friendly’. Irrespective of whether you are using the book as part of a taught course or for independent study, the interactive approach employed makes it easier for you to learn.
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