Corporate finance is the area of finance dealing with monetary decisions that business enterprises make and the tools and analysis used to make these decisions. The primary goal of corporate finance is to maximize shareholder value.
Although it is in principle different from managerial finance which studies the financial decisions of all firms, rather than corporations alone, the main concepts in the study of corporate finance are applicable to the financial problems of all kinds of firms.
The discipline can be divided into long-term and short-term decisions and techniques. Capital investment decisions are long-term choices about which projects receive investment, whether to finance that investment with equity or debt, and when or whether to pay dividends to shareholders. On the other hand, short term decisions deal with the short-term balance of current assets and current liabilities; the focus here is on managing cash, inventories, and short-term borrowing and lending such as the terms on credit extended to customers.
The terms corporate finance and corporate financier are also associated with investment banking. The typical role of an investment bank is to evaluate the company's financial needs and raise the appropriate type of capital that best fits those needs. Thus, the terms corporate finance and corporate financierary may be associated with transactions in which capital is raised in order to create, develop, grow or acquire businesses.
In general usage, a financial plan is a series of steps or goals used by an individual or business, the progressive and cumulative attainment of which are designed to accomplish a final financial goal or set of circumstances, e.g. elimination of debt, retirement preparedness, etc. This often includes a budget which organizes an individual's finances and sometimes includes a series of steps or specific goals for spending and saving future income. This plan allocates future income to various types of expenses, such as rent or utilities, and also reserves some income for short-term and long-term savings.