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Articles

FP&A at the AFP Annual Conference

  • By Staff Writers
  • Published: 9/28/2015

FPAsearchThe financial planning and analysis (FP&A) track at the 2015 AFP Annual Conference features an impressive lineup for FP&A professionals, including exclusive events and educational sessions. Topics include data visualization, big data, key performance indicators (KPIs), forecasting, analytics, rolling forecasts, capital expenditures/shareholder value and finance partnerships.

 


Exclusive Events

FP&A Luncheon
Sponsored by Tidemark


Hear from featured speaker, Rahaf Harfoush at this luncheon for FP&A practitioners. Invitation only event. Registered attendees who qualify for this event will receive an invitation via email September 2015.

FP&A Roundtable
Sponsored by Peloton

Join us for a moderated group discussion addressing the hottest topics in the FP&A world. Invitation only event. Registered attendees who qualify for this event will receive an invitation via email September 2015. This event is limited to corporate practitioners.

FP&A Reception

Network with other corporate treasury and finance practitioners involved in payments strategy or payments operations. Invitation only event. Registered attendees who qualify for this event will receive an invitation via email September 2015.

Educational Sessions

Optimizing your balance sheet performance through Treasury and FP&A collaboration


Treasury departments drive optimization of a company's dividend capacity - often a function of various local risk and funding requirements - while FP&A departments work with the business to globally optimize financial and economic results. Institutions can optimize the performance of their balance sheet by bringing these views together: The persisting low yield environment emphasizes trade-offs between economic results. The session discusses - at the case example of Swiss Reinsurance - a framework for an integrated, sustainable management of all types of results; and respective instruments such as strategic portfolio planning, new business steering, in-force management, and tactical optimization.

Eliminate Spreadsheet Overload

A recent survey found that audiences of financial presentations want fewer spreadsheets and more visuals. The goal: actionable facts and visuals for C-Suite decision makers. This session explains a decision model for finding an effective and appropriate visual. Even presentation novices can use this method and all the visuals are available in Excel or PowerPoint. Attendees learn to spend less time revising presentations and can look forward to fewer questions from senior executives, as their options for decisions are crystal clear.
 
Beyond Spreadsheets: 5-Keys to Unstoppable Planning Performance

FP&A professionals have heard for eons about ‘continuous planning’ nirvana, yet tactical realities often prevent it. Hear from Capco Financial Services on their move from annual spreadsheet planning involving hundreds of contributors to a responsive, cumulative approach, with continuous, faster planning across G&A, Operations, and Demand. Learn to make planning adaptable to change, involve more contributors, and achieve greater accuracy, and velocity. Attendees takeaway real, actionable means to make planning performance unstoppable.

Human Capital: Measures Value and Performance

In years past, there was a strong correlation between companies’ net assets on their balance sheet and their market value, but is this relationship still true in today’s global economy? Does it make sense in a continually growing “service” economy to measure the value contributed by human capital and to disclose how it is being deployed and rewarded? Can meaningful metrics be developed? Discuss these issues and many more in a very informative and interactive fashion with the session leaders and the audience.

The True Shape of Actuals, Budgets, Variances and KPIs

For most firms, financial reports range between messy spreadsheets and inappropriate charts. Countless reports and presentations are created throughout organizations a daily, all formatted and presented differently, which makes it unclear to managers. Solution? International Business Communication Standards (IBCS) consistently define shapes and colors of actuals and budgets, variances, different KPIs, etc. The “traffic signs for management” are a set of best practices that went viral in Europe and have solved business communication problems in numerous organizations. This session is a case study from Coca-Cola Içecek.
 
Building World Class Forecasting and Budgeting Processes

According to Bob Lutz, the former COO of Chrysler, “The budget is a tool of repression rather than innovation.” This dramatic statement captures the sentiment of budgeting and forecasting within many organizations. However, the budget process can be a foundation for empowerment and innovation. By implementing specific “world class” practices, finance teams can create greater financial agility and success. This presentation highlights innovative steps and tools to transform the forecasting process. Topics will include aligning forecasting with strategy, involving non-finance colleagues in the forecasting process, rolling forecasts, monthly review and planning, and long-term forecasting.
 
Analytics: Managing the Business Story

Analytics appears to be the latest miracle cure for managers wanting to improve corporate performance. Analytics technology is often in the realms of fantasy, which can’t be realized unless managers first understand how it should be used. The session looks at the changes in analytics over the past few years and how it can be used to understand performance, both current and future. This session covers what should be analyzed, the components of an analytic solution, and a range of analytic models that cover most industries.

KPIs 101: Are You Driving the Right Behavior?

It’s an age old conundrum, what gets measured gets improved…and gamed. This session will look at a few case examples of how well-meaning KPIs have had unintended effects on overall performance, how that inadvertent sub optimization can hinder a business or department meet their true goals and then will explore theory and examples of what to consider in creating new metrics. These smarter metrics will aid you and your organization drive the behavioral that you meant to encourage all along.
 
Capital Expenditure Analyses: How to Add Value

This session overviews key elements in capital expenditure analysis, and major considerations affecting the valuation. Often times, practitioners prepare an analysis to evaluate expenditures prior to the actual investment, but do not do any “post” analysis to see how it’s performing, or how they can use the results to improve operations and prepare better analyses. Practitioners at GROWMARK have been preparing PACE analyses for several years in order to provide more accurate projections, report results to management, and to revisit intended changes in operations.
 
Driving FP&A Strategy via Balanced KPIs

This session introduces the concepts of balanced score card and Key Performance Indicators establishing the holistic approach to financial strategy execution. It takes an evolutionary approach to organizational strategy development to measure and manage KPIs in a focused manner keeping in mind common pitfalls. FP&A driven budgeting, forecasting and analysis integrated with KPIs for real-time decision making are all explored. This session introduces the web-based open source technology Ruby-on-Rails. Devoid of licensing and capable of integrating into any financial technology environment, it can drive efficient enterprise-wide analytics.
 
Budgeting and Forecasting in the Cloud

In August of 2014 AccentCare initiated a project to replace excel driven budget process and selected a cloud solution for budgeting and planning. This session highlights how AccentCare in Partnership with Huron Consulting implemented a cloud budgeting and planning solution in just 8 weeks in order to provide a centralized platform for the 2015 budget year. The session explains the cloud solution chosen, the selection criteria, how the team built the solution in 8 weeks, and the challenges and benefits.
 
Rolling Forecasts that Paul Revere Would Herald

The Massachusetts Medical Society strives to remain relevant in the continually changing healthcare environment. Keeping management current on all material and volatile aspects of what’s “coming” to inform future performance is the key purpose and benefit of the Society’s rolling forecast management process. Financial Planning and Management (FPM) works closely with organization leadership to clarify the complementary roles of its annual budget and rolling forecast processes. This presentation tells the story of FPM’s successful ride through institutional culture, data model design, application development, and communication.
 
The Future of Finance and Accounting

Finance today is in the middle of a transformation – but it’s not obvious to everyone. Businesses must update their technology and human resources practices. Technology is the game changer but talent will be the differentiator and competitive edge. Smaller finance teams drive strategic direction and provide expanded information services. This session explores the role of finance in an era of constant redefinition. Success for future finance leaders will be about identifying how finance will change, what role you can play and what skills you need to thrive.
 
Big Data Finance Can Move the Needle

The cloud and big data are growing areas of interest for financial professionals. Traditional systems are a liability for financial leaders, particularly when their peers are exploring newer technologies that make their teams more efficient. Hear how Shelter Insurance Companies moved financials and integrated big data into FP&A via the cloud. This discussion explains the evaluation process, the risks involved, and what ROI you can expect. In just four days, Shelter Insurance had 158 users on the system and completely transformed the planning process.
 
Driving Business Analytics at Scripps Networks Interactive

Scripps, a media content company, competes in a dynamic and changing industry requiring it to be nimble and responsive. Previously saddled with processes that forced high levels of manual data manipulation, this environment obscured visibility to key information and impacted the tracking and valuation of core business assets. In 2014, Scripps embarked on a journey to drive analytics through the deployment of enabling technology including cloud services and adoption methodologies. The “Project Bedrock” solution firmly established the foundation for data accuracy and enhanced planning and modeling capabilities.
 
Howdy, Partner: Building Business Partnerships with Operations

FP&A professionals often work with operations in budgeting, capital spending and monthly reporting among others. That doesn’t mean they roll out the red carpet to work with the finance team. Learn ways to persuade operations that a strong partnership with finance will identify new business opportunities, streamline operations and improve profitability. Led by two seasoned CFOs, learn the behaviors and competencies needed to “tear down that wall” and become an effective partner with your operations counterparts.

More information on the 2015 AFP Annual Conference is available here.

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