The increasing levels of business partnering and integration, new opportunities in functions outside finance are becoming possible. Having personally witnessed some successful cross-functional movements by FP&A professionals, I am a strong believer in the capability as well as the value of such movements.
COVID-19 and potentially other black swan have taught us the importance of recruiting & having great synergistic team, ensuring their welfare, making sure we assess the skill sets required for the changing world and leveraging technology to ensure best performance.
Is FP&A a generalist or a specialist? I believe it can be a mixture of both.
Throughout my career, I have interviewed hundreds of candidates for dozens of roles, most of which were in FP&A. After evaluating the performance of these professionals personally, I was able to assess the qualities that either led them to their success or not, and it boiled down to three relatively straightforward criteria.
Scenario planning came to the forefront and even these had to be quick, flexible, and adaptable. Our six panel members took us through how they had to adapt and change system and processes for the “New Normal”.
2020 has been a turbulent year and few departments have felt this as much as FP&A. We have been looked to as saviours of the company, guardians of cash, and stewards of planning, re-planning, and some more planning. It should also give cause to reflections on how we can improve and be ready for what comes next.