The decision to include a chapter on financial management as the first in a series of essential skills chapters in this book was a deliberate one. The healthy finances of any organization, whether a for-profit company, a nonprofit human service agency, or a government entity, are the building blocks upon which an organization can successfully carry out its mission. Moreover, without adequate oversight and prudent manage - ment of finances, an organization of any type may not properly allocate its resources and, ultimately, the organization may need to close its doors due to fiscal mismanagement. This logic also holds true for individual programs in addition to entire organizations-if the money is not man - aged appropriately, it is difficult for a program to be effective. Perhaps most importantly, for many social work managers financial management is not something that comes easily, and therefore this chapter is meant to serve as an introduction to understanding and managing the finances of a social work program or organization in order to alleviate some of the common frustrations.