The study of finance is about our fundamental well being, and how we are able to live our lives. A nation with an energetic and healthy economy is one that can provide its members choices about how they live their lives as well as provide stability and freedom. The system that ensures we can trade a piece of paper for goods or service does not happen by chance, but is the fruit of thoughtful study of what makes an economy and its businesses and markets work.

Financial decisions are key in a money-based economy with both opportunities and risks. Almost every firm, government agency, and organization has one or more financial managers who oversee the preparation and analysis of financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop risk management strategies. As computers are increasingly used to record and organize data, many financial managers are spending more time developing strategies and implementing the long-term goals of their organizations.