After graduating from The German University in Cairo, Egypt, Sarah Badawy, FPAC, strode right into the field of financial planning and analysis with her very first job as Budgeting and Planning Deputy Section Head for Bank Audi. She spent two years there before moving on to Senior Financial Analyst for The Roots Holding Company, where she served for just over a year before accepting the position of Senior Pricing and Financial Analyst with her present company of Al-Mansour Automotive Company.
Sarah worked her way up in the company over the next four years, from Pricing and Financial Analysis Lead to her current position as Pricing and Operations Financial Analyst Section Head. In this role, she is responsible for pricing the vehicles, spare parts, after-sales services, used vehicles and rental business. To do this, she conducts research on market trends and competitors’ pricing, analyzes the data to determine the appropriate pricing strategy, and then collaborates with other departments, such as sales after-sales and trade-in, to ensure consistency and profitability across the organization’s business units.
The rest of Sarah’s responsibilities fall under the umbrella of performance, as she is responsible for reporting on the performance of various business units within the company. Achieving this requires the use of data analysis to identify areas for improvement and make recommendations. It is also her purview to analyze special projects, using her expertise in pricing and data analysis to provide insights and support to decision-makers.
“Overall, my job requires a high level of analytical skills and attention to detail, as well as strong communication and collaboration skills to work effectively with colleagues across the organization,” said Sarah.
Planning for the future
“As an FP&A professional within the automotive industry, I’m very passionate about expanding my business acumen and gaining a deeper understanding of the industry,” said Sarah. She feels this will enable her to make better-informed financial decisions. Having recognized the importance of data-driven decision-making in today's business landscape, Sarah also plans to expand her knowledge of business analytics.
“With this knowledge and skill set, I’ll be well-positioned to provide valuable insights and strategic recommendations to my organization, driving growth and profitability,” she said.
Sarah stated that developing one’s skills in data analytics and financial modeling is very important given the direction the FP&A field is headed. The application of data analytics helps organizations stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in the marketplace. “Data analytics is a vital and required skill in today's business world,” she said. “It allows us to analyze large datasets and gain valuable insights into customer behavior, market trends and other factors that can influence decision-making.”
Financial modeling can also have a significant impact on decision-making, which is why Sarah said that is the other skill she wants to become an expert in. Building the skill will allow her to “… create accurate forecasts and projections that will help identify potential risks and opportunities, and make informed decisions that drive growth and profitability,” she said. Which, in turn, will have a meaningful impact on her career as an FP&A professional.
The only certification focused on FP&A
It was Sarah’s manager who first told her about AFP’s FPAC program. “AFP’s FPAC program is a globally recognized professional credential that demonstrates my mastery of the skills and knowledge required of an FP&A professional,” she said.
She went on to say that earning the FPAC credential provided her with a deep understanding of financial planning and analysis concepts and gave her the foundation from which to acquire the practical skills and tools needed in her current job.
“This has undoubtedly boosted my confidence in my ability to perform my job duties and has given me a competitive edge in my field among FP&A professionals,” said Sarah. Further, “As I advance in my career, the FPAC credential will serve as a testament to my expertise and dedication to the profession.”
It was a resounding yes when asked if Sarah would recommend the FPAC to others pursuing a career in FP&A. Sarah said, “With its rich content and valuable knowledge, earning the FPAC credential is an excellent investment in your career and can help open up new opportunities for growth and success."
Are you ready to open up new opportunities for growth and success in your FP&A career? Get started with AFP’s FPAC program today.