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Three Important Issues for FP&A in 2015

  • By Nilly Essaides
  • Published: 12/5/2014
According to Jason Balogh, EPM Transformation Principal at The Hackett Group, among the issues FP&A professionals will face next year are:

The role of the function. “Sometimes, FP&A can have a hands-off mentality,” Balogh said. “Now I see opportunity for FP&A function to be more actively involved.” An FP&A director agreed: “This will be particularly important next year. As we look to see how the FP&A function will guide organizations through the uncertain external global macro environment.”

Re-organizing the function. Seeking relevance can be a two-edged sword. Some participants at the recent FP&A roundtable at the AFP’s Annual Conference in November noted that business units are pulling them in all kinds of directions, asking for help with non-core issues. “Leading FP&A groups will become much more purposeful in what they do and what they don’t do,” Balogh said. This will mean reducing repetitive activities and consolidating them into an off-shore SSC where possible, as other areas of finance have already done.

Industry-specific insight. Finally, using the growth of available data and new technological tools (other than spreadsheet), FP&A will be able to perform “focused, industry specific analysis that will be more predictive, and help the business interpret data and make better decisions,” Balogh said. The advent of analytical tools and increasing onslaught of data means FP&A needs to figure out who owns the analytics function within the organization and what types of analyses need to be run to help management steer the course. “The trick is to pull the cover back and ensure that perspective, which will be different by industry,” he said. What a food and beverage company FP&A professional would do will have to be different than the analysis performed by an energy company FP&A group.

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