In this series of blogs, we are looking at the changes that need to occur within an FP&A department in order to cope with the impact of today’s analytic technologies. This blog covers the role of the FP&A Architect.
In this series of blogs, I am looking at areas where FP&A departments must improve if they are to support organisation decision-making in this technology-driven age. In this blog, I’ll cover the new staffing roles that are essential.
The current debate around Return To Office (RTO) likely heralds the biggest shift in the workplace since the emergence of the assembly line in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Is this relevant for an FP&A audience though? I’d argue it is fundamentally relevant for a number of reasons, not least because it is one of the biggest impacts of Covid-19 on the global business environment. This is a debate that, from a financial planning and analysis perspective, we cannot sit out.
At the end of the day, FP&A isn’t a technical department. Its role is to develop the operating and financial plan and help the organisation to achieve set goals. It is therefore very important to receive technical support and advice from qualified professionals. This support will be much more helpful if it considers finance and planning specifics. In other words, the technology specialist should be a part of Finance or, even better, the Planning department itself. This role can be called a “Finance Technology Officer” or FTO.
The financial manager must accept that if the plan goes well and is considered excellent, credit goes to the boss. If it goes badly, then the no-decision manager blames the financial manager. The no-decision boss will present the plan as though it is their own and will never reveal that it was prepared by someone else.
This paper, based on our interviews with 25 top FP&A practitioners and thought leaders along with case studies from the largest global network of FP&A people, captures the best practices and new ideas coming out of this fast-growing area.