( Ed. Note: FP&A Newsletter asked Travis Lockhart, manager of financial planning and analysis with IMC and one of the first applicants to pass the beta FP&A Certification exam, to give his thoughts on the process. The full list of certified FP&A professionals can be found here.)
About the exam
I definitely believe that the FP&A Certification makes me more marketable, in addition to providing a great benefit for my company. I was very excited to learn of this exam and eventually earn a membership in the inaugural class of FP&A Certification holders.
The FP&A exam is, of course, specific to FP&A—something that no other exam has yet accomplished—and the content is very relevant to the everyday job of FP&A professionals. I’d also like to think that FP&A exists, or can exist, at any company, which provides for a large variety of employment options and opportunities. The FP&A profession is great, too, because it is all around the organization—and that keeps the work dynamic and fun.
Successfully passing the FP&A exam definitely provided a sense of validation for my skills. I believe that the FP&A Learning System will also be useful by acting as a standard for the profession—a consistent resource to reference for those who speak the same language, or for those who desire to.
I also strongly believe that this certification is an up-and-coming hallmark for the FP&A profession, and will ultimately serve as the relevant standard of excellence.
About the FP&A Certification
Those responsible for financial planning and analysis need to be able to understand the business impacts of decisions and to use this information in a strategic manner. As is often the case with finance, the story is not all about the numbers, but much more. You need to transform data into something you can work with, develop insights to tell a story (so you need to have a mindset for analysis), and then you need to be able to effectively communicate that story in an understandable way to leadership.
FP&A professionals analyze information and trends, evaluate opportunities, and communicate projections with business leaders to ultimately help businesses grow and succeed.
The FP&A Learning System teaches you to gather and transform data, to analyze and project this information, and to effectively communicate findings, in addition to providing an understanding of relevant underlying concepts. The FP&A Certification also focuses on a commitment to education and staying current in the industry, per the professional development requirements.
Travis Lockhart, FP&A, CTP, is manager of financial planning and analysis, IMC.