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Making the Move from Accounting to FP&A

  • By Staff Writers
  • Published: 12/15/2016

Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) has its origins in accounting. For many years, a robust accounting function sufficed for many organizations concerned with preparing a budget, reporting the numbers, and filing SEC documentation. In recent years, organizations realized they needed staff with finance skills to improve forecasting and modeling and to work with the business; FP&A was quickly becoming its own function.

For accountants interested in making the transition to FP&A, many questions remain. AFP’s latest FP&A Guide, Orchestrating a Mind Shift: The Transition from Accounting to FP&A, looks at how accounting professionals can make the move. While there’s a lot of knowledge accountants bring to FP&A, there are also many skills they must acquire to make the switch successful. They need to learn to be comfortable with ambiguity—i.e., giving up rules and precision for being directionally right—to turn their gaze forward, and to develop strong ties with business partners.

There are various ways to learn these new skills: the FP&A certification program, going out into the business, internal training and mentoring, and learning on the job. How easy the transition is ultimately depends on the professional.

Orchestrating a Mind Shift: The Transition from Accounting to FP&A, is available here.

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