Last year, the International FP&A Board successfully launched its Boston chapter. This March, we held another meeting in Boston which proved to be no less fruitful than the previous.
25 senior finance practitioners gathered together at a beautiful Regus take a closer look at the subject of FP&A Analytical transformation. They represented large organisations including Bosch, Elsevier, Fidelity Investments, State Street, Talbots, Teva Pharmaceutical and many others. A mix of different industries and the combined expertise of more than two dozen professionals created a favourable atmosphere for discussion and cooperation.
- Advanced Analytics for agile and integrated FP&A
- Are we ready for predictive, prescriptive, visual and big data analytics in finance?
- Integrated Financial Planning and Analysis
- What are the key stages in FP&A analytical transformation? Review of FP&A Analytics Maturity Model. Group work
- Conclusions and recommendations
At the end of the meeting, the Board summed up all that had been discussed and drew several conclusions:
- The traditional budgeting and targets culture where up to 80% of planning and forecasting activities are based on "judgment" is the biggest barrier to FP&A transformation.
- To change outdated trends, we should rethink the ways we generate "performance targets".
- The culture is changing from the top. However, the latest analytical advances are changing the culture as well.
- One of the biggest analytical challenges lies in the identification of key external and internal business-drivers in the sea of evolving data.
- To be essential for the modern decision-making, the driver-based planning model is expected to integrate all planning processes through cascaded drivers and integrated systems.
- FP&A professionals are also required to be familiar with data science. Leading FP&A organisations already work with data-driven models.
- Data quality is often neglected and therefore continues to be a big issue.