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Different Planning Methods for FP&A

by Michael Coveney, co-author of "Budgeting, Planning, and Forecasting in Uncertain Times"

 

Planning involves many kinds of methods that help managers make decisions. It goes without saying that any planning system must be able to handle both financial and KPI information, it must be able to model the different business structures (products, departments, customer groupings) and possess good reporting and charting capabilities. It should also be able to report data from both a financial viewpoint as well as a strategy view through dashboards and strategy maps, as well as be multi-user that allows secure access to people with different roles.

We will look at the different methods an organization can use to set direction. 

 

Evolving FP&A: What are the Key Planning Activities?

by Michael Coveney, co-author of "Budgeting, Planning, and Forecasting in Uncertain Times"

Believe it or not, organizations do not collapse if they don’t have a plan or a budget! If a business is already established then two things will impact future results, irrespective of what is planned:

Organic growth. The momentum of current activities will continue to generate costs and sales. The value of these is fairly easy to forecast in the immediate future but as time goes on the upper and lower limits could be diverse.

Dynamic FP&A: The Role of Planning

by Michael Coveney, co-author of "Budgeting, Planning, and Forecasting in Uncertain Times"

We live in an unpredictable world where the future is uncertain. If it was then we would all make a fortune by making strategic ‘bets’ on certain outcomes – we would know what products and services to back, what level of stock and staffing to have, and when and where to market our capabilities for maximum effect.

But the world is not like that. When we use the word ‘unpredictable’ or ‘volatile’, what we are really saying is that the mechanisms we use for predicting the future are inaccurate. Things happen that we either didn’t foresee, or that impacted differently from what we expected. Most of these ‘things’ are typically external and beyond our control. For example, a competitor changing their price, a company introducing a disruptive technology, the impact of natural events such as the weather, a change in government policy, a significant change in the local economy, or a combination of any of these. However, senior executives are expected to navigate their organizations through all of these challenges. They are charged with ensuring that limited resources are allocated to the right products and services for maximum return. That the organization is moving towards long-term strategic goals and to provide a reasoned explanation as to when, where and how it expects to get there.

Acquiring FP&A Skills from Unique Experiences

By Karl Kern, Founder/President, Kern Analytics LLC

This blog post  addresses the acquisition of FP&A skills.

People who want to become financial planning and analysis (FP&A) practitioners obtain advice on how to achieve this goal.  One piece of advice is to acquire education by taking courses in subjects like accounting, economics, and finance.  Another piece of advice is to acquire experience by working in companies that have specialized FP&A departments.  These pieces of advice are examples of traditional paths to follow. 

London FP&A Board: Rolling Forecast – The Maersk Group Case Study

By Neil Ainger, published first at GTNews

The financial planning and analysis (FP&A Board) Board of senior practitioners recently met in London, UK, to discuss the pros and cons of rolling forecasts, how best to introduce it, and to hear a case study from Maersk Group about how the shipping, transport, and oil firm has benefitted.

“We’ve abolished the annual budget completely and only use rolling forecasting (RF) now,” said Matthijs Schot, head of performance & analysis at AP Moller Maersk, as he shared his company’s implementation four years ago of an RF process and the lessons they’ve learnt.

Speaking to the 20 members of the financial planning and analysis (FP&A) Board gathered at the Holborn, central London offices of the sponsor Michael Page Finance on 18 May, with the other sponsor Metapraxis also in attendance, Schot added that: “Maersk is a very asset-heavy company so has a strong need for forecasting”. After all, it takes a lot to build a huge cargo vessel or oil terminal so effective predictions of costs, future revenues and market movements are essential.

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