The managerial finance function Managerial finance is closely related to, but quite different from, economics and accounting. Before reading on, spend a few moments considering what might be the differences and similarities between managerial finance and economics and between managerial finance accounting. SINCE MOST BUSINESS DECISIONS ARE MEASURED IN FINANCIAL TERMS, THE FINANCIAL manager plays a key role in the operation of the firms. People in all areas of responsibility within the firm ----accounting, manufacturing, marketing, human resources, research, and so forth-----have to interact with finance staff to get their jobs done. Everyone has to justify personal requirements, negotiate operating budgets, worry about financial performance appraisals, and sell proposals at least partially on financial merits to get resources from upper management. Of course, financial staff, to make useful forecasts and decisions, must be willing and able to talk everybody else in the firm. To understand the managerial finance function, we will now look at its organizational role, its relationship to economics and accounting, the key activities of the financial manager, and the financial manager's role in total quality management (TQM).