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AFP Introduces APAC FP&A Advisory Council

  • By Andrew Deichler
  • Published: 11/5/2020

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To bolster its expansion into the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region and support the financial planning and analysis (FP&A) profession around the world, AFP has formed the APAC FP&A Advisory Council (FPAAC). Currently comprised of 11 members, the council will meet virtually three to four times a year.

COUNCIL OBJECTIVES

The overall goal of FPAAC is to establish a networking and advisory group for FP&A practitioners from APAC organizations to discuss best practices, common challenges and innovative initiatives, as well as network with their peers. Each advisory member will be given complimentary AFP membership for one year.

“We opened the AFP regional office last year to better support finance professionals in the APAC region,” said Himashi Soriano, AFP’s Managing Director for APAC. “We are very excited to launch the advisory council to leverage insight, guidance and support for AFP’s growth in Asia and, more importantly, to elevate FP&A within the region.”

The council also provides an opportunity for APAC-based financial professionals to advise and counsel AFP on initiatives carried out by its Singapore office. The group will provide feedback on the effectiveness and efficiency of AFP’s activities both in APAC and worldwide. Members may also be asked to share their subject matter expertise to contribute to interviews, articles, research, and conference and webinar presentations.

The following individuals have been selected as members of FPAAC:

“We built FPAAC to learn more about how FP&A is conducted in this major economic zone,” said Bryan Lapidus, FP&A, AFP’s Director of the FP&A Practice. “What we got was an engaged, diverse group who share a passion for the people, the work and the future of the FP&A profession. The members range from huge multinationals to start-ups, across a variety of industries and companies. The FPAAC has become a go-to source for me to understand how companies are performing today and thinking about tomorrow’s finance.”

MEMBER GOALS

FPAAC members decided to join up for a variety of reasons that range from keeping up with their peers across APAC to advancing the FP&A profession as a whole.

Martha Sierra of the British Council sees networking with her peers as “a critical success factor” in the FP&A profession, and so joining the council was a must. “I was absolutely thrilled to get the opportunity to contribute to AFP’s future plans, growth and focus by being part of the advisory council,” she said. “I hope that through the work done in this forum we make sure AFP is widely known and recognized as the number one FP&A professional development organization.”

Peggy Ang of National Instruments also sees FPAAC as an important opportunity for APAC FP&A professionals to exchange ideas and create constructive discourse. “At a personal level, being able to interact regularly on FP&A issues or macro environment factors that have an impact on the profession helps challenge my thoughts and there’s always something new gleaned from the process,” she said. “As iron sharpens iron, talking through issues and ideas usually provides me with a more refined perspective on things and is very helpful in leading my team forward.”

Bhavesh Shah of Convatec sees it as a way to stay on the cutting edge of finance. “The primary reason to join the FP&A Advisory council is to know how digital is impacting this space in different companies,” he said. “This space is being transformed and very important to keep abreast with what’s happening.”

Kevin Wong of Blue Bottle Coffee believes that AFP has the potential to expand the FP&A profession in APAC, and the council is the key to that. “I have been working in FP&A for the last seven years or so; I have learned a lot and had an opportunity to work closely with business operators and managers,” he said. “I always felt that I lacked the proper training for the role, even though I came from a management accounting background. I think AFP is in a position to help create this community in the coming months with like-minded professionals and create programs that can help elevate the FP&A profession skillset in Asia.”

AFP is your source for FP&A expertise. AFP members have access to the FP&A Maturity Model, a roadmap to help organizations develop a baseline for their FP&A practice. AFP also administers the Certified Corporate FP&A Professional designation, which serves as a benchmark of competency in the FP&A profession.

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