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Planning the 2016 AFP Annual Conference: Everybody Helps

  • By Staff Writers
  • Published: 4/12/2016

palmtreesAFP recently spoke with three members of its 2016 AFP Annual Conference Planning Task Force on why they got involved. They also discussed some of the proposals they encountered while determining the program for the upcoming event.

John Paris, Assistant Treasurer for Rogers Corporation: I got involved just due to the amount of excitement around all of the topics that we’re looking at. It’s the people that are involved, different companies. It’s a very exciting proposition. You hear different sides of treasury and how different corporations manage their accounts, the processes, and that's been wonderful.

Selfishly, it gets me involved to understand the whole gamut of what's out there, what the risks are, what the benefits are of choosing one option or one process or operation over another. It’s the networking, being able to really contact someone who’s a pro at whatever it is that they’re doing.

Cassandra James, FP&A, Manager, FP&A, The Cheesecake Factory: AFP reached out to me; I have been involved volunteering for AFP in the past. I helped to create some test questions for the FP&A certification exam, so they asked if I'd be interested in volunteering on the task force for the conference and thought it would be a great opportunity to give some input on the conference and ensure that the speakers that are coming are dynamic and interesting and that the topics are ones that I’d like to see covered.

So far it has been pretty close to what I've expected. We’ve just been looking through the submissions and trying to come up with new ideas for things that we think maybe are not covered, and making sure that we have a very balanced agenda for the conference and looking to make sure that topics that we're very interested in have submissions and if not, to ensure that there are topics covered that we’re looking for.

I'm really looking forward to meeting other people who practice FP&A at the conference. It’s such a specialized function that when you get to meet other people who do what I do, it’s interesting to hear about the way that they’re analyzing an issue or the way that they're hiring their staff or just talking to other people and finding out what they’ve been successful with and things that maybe have not worked so well.

Jeff Altman, Executive Director, FP&A Operations, Verizon Communications Inc.: I started getting involved with AFP when I was in treasury a few years ago. When the FP&A track was developed, I was invited to participate in the planning committee and I found it’s a really great opportunity to help bring the practitioner’s view and the real-life experiences into the conference to make it a more useable and more influential opportunity for the industry as a whole.

For the conference, we’re targeting to have 18 or so FP&A sessions. We anticipate at least two-thirds, maybe three-quarters of those will be from the ones that have been submitted, and then we'll fill in the gap with a few other areas that are maybe a conglomeration of a couple of different submissions bringing together a panel of speakers as opposed to one or two individual speakers, and also other ideas that folks have mentioned but we haven’t received the submission form.

Don't miss the 2016 AFP Annual Conference, October 23-26 in Orlando, Fla. Register here.

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