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Aspiring Business Partner: FP&A is Falling Short of CFO Expectations
CFOs and finance teams have recognized the need to transform FP&A for some time. Yet despite years of redesigning processes and investing in new technologies, many have not achieved their expected results. Our experience working with CFOs and finance groups reveals five challenges companies encounter when trying to transform their FP&A.

04/07/2021

CTP: The Shifting Landscape of Treasury
AFP recently caught up with Aziz Samji, CTP, senior consultant of Capital Markets and Corporate Liquidity at Financial National Information Services Inc., to discuss his decision to earn the CTP, and how it has affected his life and career journey.

04/05/2021

Federal Reserve Panel Discussion on Libor Transition Concludes, We Need Standardization Fast
The Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) recently hosted the first in a series of webinars regarding the Libor transition. The SOFR Symposium: The Final Year, focused on progress in transitioning away from Libor, and on areas such as the loan market where progress has been slower.

03/30/2021

5 Questions for Kayla Davis on Becoming the Head of M&A
Kayla Davis’ new role as vice president of mergers and acquisitions at ABM Industries, a leader in the facility management space and a Fortune 500 company, has provided her with a fresh perspective. The newest member of AFP’s North American FP&A Advisory Council and the AFP 2021 Planning Task Force, read about Davis' background and how FP&A plays a role in planning.

03/30/2021

Embracing Multiple Points of View: A Probabilistic Approach to Forecasting
People often trust precise forecasts more than vague forecasts because precision is associated with knowledge and expertise. But what if data science and analytics trap organizations in a deductive approach to planning and managing the business?

03/30/2021

Implementation of the ‘X’ Factor in Your Organization
Last year, Gartner coined the term xP&A, proclaiming that it is the natural evolution of planning. The aim of xP&A is to apply FP&A tools to any department within the organization that produces business plans, and layer in automated forecasting, thereby increasing the velocity of forecasting and simultaneously deriving forecasts from teams that are close to information sources.

03/25/2021

Five Core Skills for Intentional Learning and the Career Advantage
For intentional learners, learning is not work. It does not require extra effort. Instead, it is unconscious, reflexive – a mindset from which they operate all the time. In today’s world, where all professionals are expected to refresh and upgrade their skill set on an ongoing basis, intentional learners have the career advantage. Fortunately, we all have the ability to become intentional learners.

03/22/2021

How Virtual Accounts Create Efficiency
With organizations more focused on cash than ever before, finance is under pressure to operate as efficiently as possible. Making best use of the available technology is naturally seen as one way to do so. In an environment in which there is constant innovation, with different fintech companies promoting their individual solutions, it can be difficult for finance professionals to identify the best technology for their organization.

03/22/2021

Nine Rules to Manage Performance Metrics: Tips from FP&A Experts
Anything with a number has a measure, but a metric drives a business decision. How do organizations use metrics to drive the right business decisions, and how do they manage the proliferation of metrics when we have the capacity to measure and store everything? In today’s shifting financial environment, companies need to ensure their metrics guide the best outcomes – outcomes that align with the organization’s goals.

03/22/2021

Implementing AI to Automate Cash Forecasting – Highlights, Challenges and Benefits
Despite it being the top buzzword in technology today, there is still a lot of confusion about artificial intelligence (AI). In simple terms, artificial intelligence is an umbrella term for approximately a dozen related technologies all attempting to gain insights from analyzing data or performing tasks based on data that aren’t ideally suited to humans. They include machine learning, deep learning, and robotic process automation.

03/17/2021

RTP Rides Payment Trends But Faces Hurdles
Market demand is pointing today’s payment rails toward immediate payments. Although The Clearing House’s RTP Network is furthest along that path and picking up speed, it faces a major challenge, as well as a future competitor.

03/16/2021

CTP: Growing Our Understanding of Treasury Across the Region
A global symbol of excellence, the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) designation sets the standard in the treasury profession. Earning the CTP signifies that you have demonstrated the knowledge and skills required to effectively execute critical functions related to corporate liquidity, capital and risk management. AFP recently caught up with Marcell Wiradinata, CTP, a manager of treasury in East Java, Indonesia, to discuss his decision to earn the CTP, and how it has affected his life and career journey.

03/16/2021

FP&A Indicator: Outlook Brightens on Spending Growth
AFP has launched the FP&A Indicator, a quarterly survey designed to take the pulse of the business community as seen from the point of view of the FP&A department. The survey was developed by members of the AFP FP&A Advisory Council.

03/15/2021

FP&A: Developing Bold, Externally Focused, Curious and Business-Minded Finance Professionals
Last year, AFP announced the formation of its APAC FP&A Advisory Council (FPAAC). The networking and advisory group meets three to four times a year to discuss best practices, common challenges and innovative initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region. We’ll be profiling individual members of the council every month. This month we spoke with Weng Hong Yong, FPAC, executive director, City Mental Health Alliance.

03/15/2021

FCA Makes Clear the End of USD Libor With Announcement of Set Dates
Two dates have become critical in the face of Friday’s announcement from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The following are the dates that panel bank submissions for all Libor settings will cease, after which representative Libor rates will no longer be available.

03/09/2021

AFP FinNext 2021 Virtual: Discover the Future of FP&A with Top Industry Experts
Finance is a constantly changing, unpredictable environment. It’s crucial that financial planning and analysis (FP&A) professionals stay on top of the latest trends in the industry, and one way to ensure they perform at their peak is to gather fresh and innovative ideas.

03/09/2021

Tips for Harnessing the Power of Digital Body Language
While remote collaboration and digital learning can be successful in the COVID-19 era, it can also be challenging to understand tone, body language and other non-verbal cues that provide meaningful context to communication. Even before the pandemic, virtual communication was prevalent with emails and conference calls.

03/03/2021

Building Actionable Resilience: The Real Options Approach
All organizations have some amount of resilience, the ability to mobilize resources to absorb negative impacts. Forward-thinking organizations will plan their resilience in advance, perhaps even making investments in “contingent capabilities,” responses that activate only in specific circumstances to carry the organization through the risk impact and back to normal performance.

03/02/2021

Many Firms, Banks Still Slow to Adopt Cybersecurity Preparedness into Scorecards
As cybercrime has increased in volume and intensity, many organizations have come to rely on cybersecurity scorecards to help evaluate the security preparedness of both themselves and the third-party firms they have relations with. Obviously, that includes banks and financial institutions.

03/01/2021

RTP Accelerates Network Expansion to Regional Banks
Spreading its coverage, the RTP network — the real-time payment system from The Clearing House (TCH) — now reaches 57% of U.S. demand-deposit accounts (DDAs), including those at regional and community banks, at a time when immediate payments have become increasingly important.

03/01/2021

The Importance of Good Communication Skills in the Finance Profession, Especially Now
AFP recently caught up with John Sanchez, communication consultant with The FPA Group, and upcoming instructor of the AFP FinNext 2021 Virtual pre-conference workshop, Communicating Effectively in an Age of Disruption, to get his take on the current state of communication in the finance profession — and what we can do to improve.

03/01/2021

AFP Participation in International Roundtable Provides Members with a Voice on a Global Stage
The Association for Financial Professionals’ (AFP) director of Treasury and Payments Services, Tom Hunt, recently participated in the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Virtual Roundtable on Libor Transition and Benchmark Reforms. In attendance were 58 finance executives representing approximately 15 countries and the European Union. The president of the FSB, John Williams, CEO of the NY Fed, and Andrew Bailey, governor, Bank of England, ran the roundtable. The AFP was the largest U.S. treasury association in attendance.

02/23/2021

Scenario Planning with Steve Player
Scenario planning addresses the key question: What do we do? It enables you to respond to changes that cause your existing plans and forecast to be radically revised in order to deal with a new and different operating environment requiring rapid response. Examples of this could include events that radically change the demand for services, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, or the emergence of new business models that create disruption such as Airbnb, Lyft, or Uber.

02/22/2021

FP&A: Sustainability Practices and Talent Development
Last year, AFP announced the formation of its APAC FP&A Advisory Council (FPAAC). The networking and advisory group meets three to four times a year to discuss best practices, common challenges and innovative initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region. We’ll be profiling individual members of the council every month. This month we spoke with Keyur Shah, senior finance director, FP&A COE, APAC, Johnson & Johnson.

02/22/2021

Treasury Pros Must Get Data-Proficient to Remain Relevant, Competitive
Treasury professionals have been told for years that the keys to career success are to know the business, to embrace technology, and to master so-called soft, or people, skills. But an entire new set of skills has been added to the must-have list, all centered on data management, data analytics and software automation.

02/16/2021

ARRC Issues SOFR Recommendations for Intercompany Loans
In its ongoing effort to facilitate the transition to a new benchmark for floating-rate financial transactions, the Alternative Reference Rates committee (ARRC) recently recommended a method for using the secured overnight funding rate (SOFR) for intercompany loans. Treasury executives should discuss the language and how to address the issue most effectively with colleagues across their companies’ finance departments, if they haven’t already.

02/16/2021

Nacha Mulls Same-Day ACH Limit Increases to $1 Million and Above
After receiving enthusiastic responses to last year's same-day ACH limit increase, the National Automated Clearing House Association (Nacha) has proposed layering in major limit increases over the next three years that would enable corporates to speed up a wide variety of debits and credits.

02/08/2021

Negotiating Bank Fees: Two Strategies Share Upfront Approach
“Do not hesitate to ask your banks for information about their fees — and even ways to lower them. They’ll respect you for it.” This was the advice imparted by experts leading an AFP 2020 Virtual Experience session addressing strategies to ensure fees are competitive and how to reduce them.

02/02/2021

Even with the Extension, Corporates Struggle with Libor Transition
Support for Libor was set to end after 2021, but in November, the benchmark’s administrator proposed an 18-month extension to complete the array of complexities to transition legacy transactions. While the extension will give market participants more time to transition legacy transactions to a replacement reference rate, regulators still want new loans to reference a replacement starting in 2021, requiring significant business and operational issues to be addressed while many corporates are still in the early stages of the transition.

02/01/2021

Six Ways Scenario Planning Stretches Organizational Vision
FP&A’s response to a world of changing information and uncertainty is to maintain multiple points of view. We need to incorporate intelligence quickly (rapid reforecasting), remain focused on long-term strategy, and stretch the organizational mindset for the possibility of varied future outcomes, aka scenario planning.

02/01/2021

The Future of Finance is Tied to 3 Core Themes
After the AFP FinNext Virtual Conference Planning Task Force met in January to select the sessions, a few of the members sat back to reflect on the larger trends evident in the multitudes of proposals. What they found were three core themes that reinforced the need for finance to hold multiple points of view simultaneously.

01/27/2021

FPAC Now Stands for FP&A Certified
As of January 25, the acronym FPAC will officially be used to denote the Association for Financial Professional’s Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis Professional credential.

01/25/2021

AFP Announces New Members to the North American FP&A Advisory Council for 2021
We are pleased to announce the members of AFP’s 2021 Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) Advisory Council. These members represent a broad cross section of industries, size, and ownership structure, and are selected based on their contributions to the FP&A practice, expertise in specific areas, and desire to contribute to the advancement of their peers.

01/25/2021

Financial Modeling Best Practices
Our last article discussed model governance and risk management, the background to successful development. If we think about building a model as a product development process, we can apply best practices from decades of research and the current trends.

01/19/2021

Building a career in digital finance post COVID-19
Writing about career prospects for 2020 seems out of place at a time when professionals are worried about their jobs as much as companies are distressed about staying in business. But as history has shown us – there is a cycle to everything – and this period of relentless challenges will eventually come to an end, and professionals and businesses will begin anew.

01/19/2021

Surviving the pandemic aftermath: an FP&A perspective
Unlike a typical financial downturn, the impact of COVID-19 pandemic has been far more difficult to predict. In this environment, with traditional business models and old market assumptions no longer working, companies are turning to financial planning and analysis (FP&A) professionals to help them navigate the turbulent waters and prepare for the aftermath. But are they ready?

01/19/2021

Harnessing the Value of ISO 20022
With the ISO 20022 standard now seeing widespread adoption, financial messaging has never been more relevant in cross-border transactions.

01/06/2021

Introducing AFP’s New Board Members
AFP is proud to introduce the new Chairman and Vice Chairmen of its Board of Directors, as well as some new members.

01/06/2021

Insurance Roundtable: Treasurers Weather the Pandemic Crisis
During the AFP 2020 Insurance Industry Roundtable, sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, treasury professionals discussed their response plans to the COVID-19 pandemic.

01/05/2021

Investing in Resiliency: Q&A with a Finance Thought Leader
Mat McBride, finance leader for Microsoft’s Cloud and Gross Margin, recently sat down with us for a virtual conversation. We asked him about the challenges currently faced by CFOs, CPOs, and other financial decision makers, the concerns of customers and investors, and building resiliency.

01/05/2021

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