• Know Before You Grow: FP&A’s Role in Growth Strategy

    Jul 19, 2017
    FP&A’s role is to help deploy company capital to its most useful state through the planning and forecasting process, investment analysis and business partnering. In doing so, we often talk about the need to balance the requirements of capital sources (investors), managers and customers, and how FP&A needs to be aware of how these expectations will differ by company.
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  • Digital Finance Academy: A Key Resource for Data Driven Financial Professionals

    Jun 20, 2017
    Digital transformation is a business requirement. It can no longer be viewed as a buzz term being thrown around in trade journals. As data continues to travel at previously unseen speeds and efficiency, financial professionals must be better equipped to translate that data into actionable, strategic information—hence digital transformation.
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  • FP&A Hiring: Think Outside the Box

    Jun 08, 2017
    Einstein is credited with saying, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” The same may be said of selecting the right FP&A person. So what does it take to be a great FP&A professional?
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  • Why Psychological Safety Is Key for FP&A

    May 24, 2017
    We need to spend the time and money to make our teams comfortable enough to speak out, take risks, and feel respected. To achieve positive outcomes, we need to set our finance and cross-functional colleagues at ease. Creating psychological safety on your various teams will help you to be more productive.
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  • 7 Ways FP&A Can Help Navigate Declining Businesses

    Apr 06, 2017
    USA Today recently asked, “Is 2017 the death of retail as we know it?” Forbes answered with, “Department Stores are in a death spiral.” Undoubtedly, this is a tough period for retail, as former icons Macy’s, J. C. Penney, Sears, Kmart collectively plan to close more than 3,000 stores. While using retail as an example, the broader question is, What should FP&A do differently when working in an business category that is in structural decline?
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  • 5 Reasons FP&A Should Be a Better Business Partner

    Nov 30, 2016
    Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) professionals and experts say the role of the finance team as a partner to the business adds the most value to enterprise performance.
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  • AFP’s New Maturity Model: Practical & Actionable

    Nov 30, 2016
    There are a bunch of financial planning and analysis (FP&A) maturity models out there. But there’s not one like the Maturity Model AFP launched at the end of October.
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  • FP&A's New Frontier: Algorithmic Forecasting

    Oct 19, 2016
    Having clearer insight into what lies ahead is what sets top performing organizations apart from the also-rans. The greater the volatility in the business environment, the fiercer the competition, the more important it is for financial planning and analysis (FP&A) to come up with better ways to see around the corner.
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  • Integrated Planning Part 2: Linking Up Disparate Data Streams

    Oct 14, 2016
    This is the second part of a two-part post on integrated planning. Part one focused on how integrated planning helps companies make smarter decisions. Part two focuses on the technology implications.
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  • Integrated Planning Part 1: Synching Financial and Operational Views

    Sep 29, 2016
    This is the first of a two-part post on integrated planning. Part 1 focuses on how companies use integrated planning to make smarter business decisions; part 2 delves deeper into the technology implications.
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  • FP&A: Reverse Engineering the Budget

    Sep 16, 2016
    In the ideal world, budgets and strategy should be tightly aligned. The annual budget should translate the company’s strategic targets into financial terms.
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  • Introducing the “C” in FPA&C

    Aug 03, 2016
    It may be too early to expand an acronym that’s still in fluid form and not fully defined. However, there’s a case to be made to add a “C” to FP&A. As the role of financial planning and analysis (FP&A) expands, and the importance of soft skills rises, there should be some official recognition that technical skills only go so far. If executives cannot tell their story and influence decisions, they are not doing their jobs.
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  • ZBB: Don’t Take the Big-Bang Approach

    Jul 26, 2016
    A June 30 Harvard Business Review article titled, “Zero-Based Budgeting is not a Wonder Diet for Companies,” by Daniel Mahler makes an important point. ZBB is making a comeback, but a lot of companies have been disappointed with its results and the fleeting savings it’s produced because they’ve approached it in a piecemeal fashion. Instead, companies should go big to achieve full benefits.
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  • How FP&A Can Plan For and During a Crisis

    Jul 07, 2016
    Imagine the unimaginable. An event like a legal scandal or a massive product recall hits your company. Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) shifts into crisis mode. Everyone wants answers—fast. FP&A will certainly have to be very flexible. The challenge is how to balance that reactive wave of requests with some of FP&A’s own proactive scenario planning so as to be more supportive of management decisions.
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  • Building the Finance ‘A-Team’ of the Future

    Jun 07, 2016
    As the business and financial environments become more volatile, FP&A professionals must become comfortable with being uncomfortable. They need to make recommendations to management sometimes based on limited data and be more agile in their responses to business change.
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  • The Role of FP&A Post Spinoff

    Jun 01, 2016
    So far this year, the market absorbed nearly $26 billion of new spinoffs, according to a May 31, 2016 article in the WSJ. That tops the previous high in 2007 and more than doubles last year’s total.Investors, frustrated by years of zero returns, are trying to squeeze every possible return out of their stockholdings. That’s particularly true for activist investors who are putting extra pressure on management to boost performance by monetizing every valuable asset.
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  • Building an Analytics “Hub”

    May 06, 2016
    Senior management and business partners increasingly rely on financial planning and analysis (FP&A) to provide them with the analytical engine to power better decisions across the enterprise. In practical terms, that means finance needs to have the right tools and the right information.
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  • FP&A Leadership within the Business Units

    Apr 21, 2016
    Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) is working harder than ever to collaborate with the business to drive faster and smarter decisions. By working closely with operations, FP&A can identify key business drivers, help pinpoint savings and growth opportunities and ensure business leaders execute the plan. Looking outside of finance is a big theme in the profession, and it’s a constant theme at AFP roundtables across the country and in my conversations with dozens of FP&A leaders.
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  • 10 Ways to Enhance FP&A and Business Collaboration

    Mar 17, 2016
    Increasingly, finance executives find that they add the most value when they work closely with their business partners to help them make smarter decisions. However, this relationship is not always automatic or seamless. Some financial planning and analysis (FP&A) leaders report that they need to work hard on creating a strong partnership with operational and departmental heads.
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  • Why These Three Four Companies Use Driver Based Modeling

    Feb 05, 2016
    Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) faces a fast-changing business environment, as well as constant push from senior management to improve the planning process. To address CFOs’ demands, more FP&A teams are incorporating driver-based modeling (DBM) into their methodology. Those are the findings of the latest AFP FP&A Guide, Driver Based Modeling and How It Works.
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