This article is about a basic understanding of main value creation concepts and how those impact the work of FP&A. We take a look at value creation from a financial lens – the DuPont analysis framework for calculating return on investment (ROI).
Just to have some fun I will take the position that some accountants and FP&A specialists are primitive Homo Accounticus. In the evolutionary ladder they can become bean growers. They can add value beyond just reporting to assisting their organization to gain insights and make better decisions.
To most FP&A professionals and accountants there is confusion and a lack of consensus on how to allocate costs to products and service lines. I refer to this as “a mystery in a box to accountants”. To solve this mystery here are three lectures to accounting students from a skilled and experienced accountant – me – that explains the problem and how to solve it. For those who have already graduated from college and may even have a CPA, I encourage you to sit in the back of the lecture hall and audit these classes.
Most professionals working in the FP&A discipline have degrees in finance or accounting and previously worked as accountants or auditors. The transition from such backend core finance functions to a highly business focused partnering function is one that requires certain shifts in mind-set as well as skillset. Below is a discussion attempting to highlight some of the key ones.
Generally, certified accountants have not had a reputation for deep involvement with operations, marketing, and sales management nor being a strategic advisor to their executive team, although articles by the media, consulting firms, and IT analysts have been claiming this is a trend and direction for them.
Traditional budgeting process normally starts with forecasting sales levels, cost of goods sold then all operation expenses until reaching to the proforma income statement without understanding how changes in costs (both variable and fixed) & sales will affect profits in future periods. But modern FP&A professionals started to implement CVP analysis during the annual profit plan to study the interaction of sales with variable & fixed costs on the profits received.