The future of the financial planning and analysis (FP&A) profession is expanding around the world, particularly in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. The Association for Financial Professionals created AFP FinNext Asia – a complimentary conference event in partnership with FP&A Trends – to bring customized, exclusive content for FP&A practitioners in the APAC region. The event will discuss new trends and innovative solutions, and explore relevant topics including workshops on high-performance culture, digital transformation, and scenario modeling.
The AFP FinNext Asia Planning Task Force recently convened to select sessions that are the most relevant, timely and useful to the FP&A practitioner. During the meeting, Bryan Lapidus, FPAC, director of FP&A Practice at AFP, asked some of the Task Force members their thoughts on the state of FP&A around the world.
Douglas Yeung: “I think FP&A is in a situation where a lot of the changes we have been talking about for years are even more compelling today. For example, take something as common as changing the budgeting process; the use of better technology and concerns about sustainability are all changes that people have been talking about for a while, but there was no strong ‘push’ to make the changes. However, in the past year, it seems like willingness and ability to try everything is accelerated to accommodate the changes we are living through. I think we were slightly in our own internal world, and this forced us to look outwards and see how we can actually support the business. Everyone is now forced to think differently.”
Martha Sierra: With the coronavirus pandemic, “FP&A has been challenged and changed. We have a more essential role in what businesses are doing and planning to do in the future. We are now more than ever the critical friends and partners who are working with businesses about how to project the business continuity.
The FP&A skillset has also been tested more than ever before through the different challenges, timeframes and expectations. When we are put in these situations with working under pressure, we give it our best. What we have managed to do in the last year and a half is something we have not achieved in many years; this situation pushed us to the limit, and we did it. However, the current situation of the world has also made us realize where our gaps are and where our skillset needs more work. The state of FP&A is dictating what our skillsets in the future should develop into.”
Keyur Shah: “We are at a good crossroad where the business is transforming with the pandemic, and now every company is accelerating their digital journey. As a result, the state of FP&A is also transforming. There are also a lot of other trends we are seeing; we are capturing more data and bringing it together in one place to generate insight and create value for the business.
The crossroad is that data is exploding, and we have to decide how to take advantage everything. There are a lot of new technologies coming, whether it be automation or predictive machine learning models. Utilizing these new techniques is how we will transform. As a function, how we manage this will govern our path moving away from generating and just providing hindsight into more foresight."
The complimentary AFP FinNext Asia event takes place on a virtual platform from 15 – 17 June 2021. Over the course of the event, attendees will watch education sessions, network with fellow FP&A peers, learn from top industry experts, find new solution providers in the Virtual Exhibit Hall and more. Register here.