‘If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes’, said Albert Einstein.
Knowing your numbers is a good starting point for an FP&A professional. But it is also required to know how to present the findings to others.
Today’s finance and accounting professionals face ever-growing challenges when it comes to data. The simplest analyses can be complicated by the wrong data or bad data and too much data can even be a problem. Effectively sourcing, managing, and using data are key skills.
By deploying integrated FP&A organisations see greater performance improvements compared with traditional FP&A processes. This is enabled through combining strategic planning, business planning and forecasting and operations planning and forecasting.
When talking about performance, FP&A should be putting things into perspective by considering industry, competitors, consumer trends, legislation and the overall economy.
A recent Accenture study showed that 79% of large company executives think that companies that don’t manage big data properly will get left behind. But, data alone is not what businesses are after. They’re after what they think data can do for them. They’re really after the insights they can glean from data that will help them improve their decision making and the actions they take to move their businesses forward.