In Part 1 of this article, we explained the data challenges faced by FP&A as well as how the expectations of the FP&A user community has evolved through the generations. In this article, we will explain how the boundaries have changed and the implementation framework.
Any activity or business process executed in the various departments across the enterprise has an impact on the financials. At a macro level, the interaction of the Finance organization with the rest of the enterprise can be bucketed into three categories:
Advanced analytics is fast becoming a core enterprise competency. Organizations slow to develop it risk falling behind competitors. Companies need quick and reliable insight into the current and future performance of their processes as well as the evolving needs of customers. Advanced analytics is no longer the purview of companies like Google or Amazon. It’s a critical competitive differentiator.
According to Google's Chief Economist, Dr. Hal Varian, "The ability to take data—to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it— that’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades."
To paraphrase the concept of Occam's razor, simpler explanations are generally better than more complex explanations. In a sense, the answer is in the question, "How do we make the complex easier to understand?" Keep the explanations simple.
I had the pleasure of attending the 7th London FP&A circle. The Circle is the educational branch of the International FP&A Board which shares the latest professional trends and developments with the UK FP&A community. It is open to both senior and mid-level finance practitioners.