Reda Shousha, FPAC, is a finance professional who is a member of the AFP Middle East and Africa FP&A Advisory Council. Originally from Egypt, Reda has been in Saudi Arabia since 2007.
After working in accounting for four or five years, Reda felt it was time for a career change. “To me, accounting has always felt like the security guard of finance, and that wasn’t a good fit for me. It’s not how I think,” he said. “I’ve always thought more strategically — how to grow the business.” He joined a mid-size company as their head of finance, and that was the beginning of his career in FP&A.
In that initial role, Reda focused on traditional finance tasks, which amounted to accounting; for example, ensuring monthly bank compliance. “I was spending 90% of my time on financial history, and barely any on the future. It didn’t feel that I was providing the company with the value a strategic business partner in finance should,” he said.
That was when he decided to start leveraging his strategic and analytical skills, and he started an MBA program. After that, Reda looked for a specialized certification focused on financial planning and analysis. “That was more important to me than any other certificates at that time,” he said.
Reda started working on the FPAC certification in 2017 and finished it at about the same time as his MBA program. He said the FPAC is a practical program that also added value to his professional profile. “It was exactly what I was looking for,” he said, “specialized and dedicated to financial planning and analysis.”
From the time Reda started it, he said he was thinking like the “business guy,” a true business partner. “Everything I studied was linked to the business,” he said. “I love the strategy portion, which is a very advanced and forward-thinking topic.”
Reda said the FPAC helped him to understand not only how to do the analysis but also why he was doing it. It taught him to think strategically for the company, how to fulfill the objective and improve the overall strategy.
Another item he appreciates about the program is the fact that one can return to the resources provided anytime. “I was just reading and doing the exercise with the spreadsheet again,” he said. “It’s not like learning from an academic program; it’s very practical in its application, which was incredibly useful to me.”
Asked if Reda would recommend the FPAC to others, he replied: “It is a fantastic qualification from which I’m able to draw and apply to my work every day. I recommend it to all my colleagues, especially those already working in FP&A.”
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