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FP&A People

Reinventing FP&A: The Essential Skill Sets

by Dr. Amarendra Kumar, General Manager of FP&A at  Pyramid Consulting

There is evidence that FP&A interest is growing fast. Each and every day, CFOs feel the pressure building on the finance function to contribute more to business success. Within the CFO’s organization, the responsibility for tracking, assessing and reporting corporate performance normally falls to the Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) group.

In reality, FP&A specializes in analyzing and planning for the future, wearing multiple hats and identifying various improvement strategies. A valued FP&A specialist is someone who has the ability to engage with and influence the full breadth of top management – not just CFO – ensuring they have the necessary information. The specialist will explain why the business needs to go towards x, y, z markets and not the a, b, c direction they were planning.

Dr. Amarendra Kumar is currently working in Pyramid IT Consulting Inc, as a General Manager (Finance) and heading profile of Financial Planning,   Analysis & Management Reporting.

FP&A Business Partnering

by Antony Parker, AECOM

Introduction

One important skill finance professionals are never taught during their formal education is the power of personal engagement with operations and using these relationships to deliver bottom line value. There is too much focus on models, processes, procedures and systems without regard to the fact that all these have to be developed, operated and interpreted by people.

I never cease to  be amazed by the number of job ads that contain the title “Business Partner” without the candidate or employer knowing what the term means or understanding the behaviors and competencies  associated with effective business partnering. Many organizations also fail to understand the powerful linkage between partnering and organization performance.  They simply see business partnering as an attempt to convince themselves that by  following latest trends the organization will achieve success.

FP&A Trends TV Series: FP&A Organisational Transformation in Nielsen

In this episode of the FP&A Trends Video Series, Fredrik Hedlund, Europe CFO  at Nielsen, shares his insights on FP&A organisational transformation.  Nielsen Europe completely transformed FP&A in 42 countries of Europe through implementing effective FP&A organisational structure.

The Qualities of FP&A Practitioners

By Karl Kern, Founder/President, Kern Analytics LLC

A definition of quality is “a distinctive characteristic possessed by someone.”  The work of FP&A practitioners focuses on thinking and learning about how financial activities – earning revenues, incurring costs, generating cash flows – affect organizations.  The thinking and learning about this relationship require a mindset that creates results.  

FP&A: Asking How

By Karl Kern, Founder/President, Kern Analytics LLC

An important characteristic of FP&A practitioners is a commitment to continuous improvement.  There are a number of ways for FP&A practitioners to commit toward improving their work.  For me, one of the ways I commit to continuous improvement is reading books.

A book that I recently read was SUPERFORECASTING by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner.  There are a number of helpful statements in the book and for me, one statement stands out as a guide for improvement.  The statement appears on page 150: “A probabilistic thinker will be less distracted by ‘why’ questions and focus on ‘how.’” This statement provides a way to improve the work of FP&A practitioners.

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