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Survey: 78% of FP&A Professionals Plan to Improve Technology and Data Skills Over the Next Year

Optimism about technology, increases in professional development, and recognition of the field as a specialization headline results from the 2024 AFP FP&A Benchmarking Survey.

January 23, 2024Bethesda, Md. — The majority of FP&A professionals worldwide are optimistic about advances in technology, automation and AI, according to results from the 2024 AFP FP&A Benchmarking Survey: People Strategies and Development, underwritten by Workday. In fact, 78% of respondents stated they would be pursuing the advancement of their knowledge and skills in technology and data over the next 12 months.

This data shows that finance views technology as an opportunity to improve their work lives. Respondents also believe that their human ingenuity cannot be replaced by technology and that they are prepared to adapt to the changing work environment.

Other key findings from the 2024 AFP FP&A Benchmarking Survey include:

  • Companies have increased their support of professional development for FP&A professionals. Three factors are likely driving this trend: FP&A has become a known, defined entity; the demand for FP&A talent remains high; and employers are recognizing the need for reskilling.
  • The evolution of the FP&A function has resulted in increased specialization. While FP&A originated as an extension of the accounting team, the discipline has matured into a distinct entity, complete with its own recruitment designations, conferences, certifications and skill specifications.
  • What companies are most interested in gaining from an increase in FP&A staff depends on the company’s size, for the most part. The majority of smaller companies (< $500 million annual revenue) are looking for an increase in financial analysis, while a majority of the largest companies (> $5 billion annual revenue) seek greater digital transformation.

“The results of this year’s FP&A Benchmarking Survey reflect a growing recognition of the invaluable contributions of FP&A professionals,” said Jim Kaitz, President and CEO of AFP. “The forward-looking nature of FP&A is underscored by the willingness of FP&A professionals to embrace emerging technologies as a tool that will enable them to work more effectively.”

“I share the optimism reflected in the survey results that technology will help uplevel FP&A professionals,” said Kae Arima, vice president of finance, Workday. “At Workday, we believe AI will augment – not replace – human workers. By embracing innovative technologies like AI to manage tasks ripe for automation, FP&A will increasingly become a more strategic partner to the business.”

The 2024 AFP FP&A Benchmarking Survey was conducted in the third quarter of 2023 and received responses from 691 FP&A/finance practitioners from organizations of varying sizes, representing a broad range of industries and global geographic regions.

Full survey results are available on the 2024 AFP FP&A Benchmarking Survey page. Please direct all press inquiries to Melissa Rawak, AFP Managing Director, at [email protected].

About AFP®

Headquartered outside of Washington, D.C., and located regionally in Singapore, the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) is the professional society committed to advancing the success of treasury and finance members and their organizations. Established and administered by AFP, the Certified Treasury Professional and Certified Corporate FP&A Professional credentials set standards of excellence in treasury and finance. Each year, AFP hosts the largest networking conference worldwide for about 6,000 corporate financial professionals.

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