These uncertain times demand increasingly agile and analytical Financial Planning & Analysis. How do we build FP&A teams that succeed in the world of ‘unknown of unknowns’?
Corporate Performance Management (CPM) has long consisted in breaking the company’s strategy down into operational objectives and indicators, measuring the achievement of these objectives against operational entities' budget or forecast and take action on that basis. This approach was effective in a stable business environment, with slow and controlled changes.
The New Normal means that planning is no longer an extrapolation of the past. Similarly, business drivers that worked last year may no longer be relevant for the future. The reality is that organizations face multiple possible futures. Each one can be triggered by a crisis or an unforeseen event that will require the company to adjust or even change course.
So how should FP&A adapt to this New Normal?
Although the world remains locked in battle with Covid-19, we are starting to emerge from survival mode and to consider our post-pandemic future. This means figuring out what's here to stay from the past 18 months, and what needs to change. One thing is certain, though: we are not going to continue where we left off in 2019 and 2020.
In anticipation of turning the pandemic corner, companies are contemplating the return to the office or some form of the “Next Normal” working model. So how will your FP&A team find optimal ways of working in this new and evolving landscape?
Organisations are operating in the world of ‘unknown unknowns’. As they strive to adapt, Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) has become increasingly important. FP&A teams must be agile and analytical. They have had to develop whole new ‘playbooks’ in order to overcome challenging changes, taking on roles that are not typical for traditional management accounting.