All companies will have to spend time analyzing their finances and using the information to plan for the future. It is important that they know what the future holds and understand if they are likely to make a profit, and remain stable in the near future. FP&A managers have an important role as any mistakes can cause a lot of problems with the future running of the firm.
Managers will be working in-house so will have access to all the information they need. This is vital as often senior managers will want reports quickly to allow them to make quick decisions, If the facts they are given are incorrect, major plans could be instigated or shelved and the entire existence of the company can be put into doubt.
Annual budgets also fall under the control of this department and the role of the fp&a can be wide ranging including
- Management of cash flow
- Variance analysis
- Liaising with treasury staff
- Explaining expenditure
Who Would Fit the Role?
There are a few characteristics that will be advantageous if you are considering this type of role. An inquisitive mind will be a must, as well as being able to analyze any data you are given. A stickler for detail going to love the role as will someone who is self-motivated and not fazed by the data to be scrutinized. Finally, there is the ability to communicate what they have learned.
What Does the Role Entail?
There will be a lot of hours worked as well as a lot of data to read. The slightest mistake can be catastrophic as it could lead to delays and financial hardship. It can involve complex analysis as well as interpretation of data received and while this will be a chore for some, it is impossible to emphasize how important the role is.
Who Can Help?
Having the correct software will be an amazing advantage and Anaplan will fit the bill as it allows complex financial planning across the organization. It will allow the future to be seen clearly and it will be easier to see how the company could expand.
As spreadsheets will be clear and readily available and this means that there is no need to struggle to find the details that are needed. Having a system that allows such accurate data will let planning cycles become shorter and there should be confidence that the information will be up to date meaning that sensible decisions can be made. Everyone who should be involved can be involved as all departments can be linked.
This is the app that managers will want to use as it will let them control the way money is being spent and understand the reasons for things happening the way they are. All of this information in easy to access and an overall view is given rather than just a snapshot.
It can be a harsh reminder of how easily things can go wrong when the prospect of loss is clearly in front of your eyes and for this reason anyone working in fp&a must always pay attention.
What Can Be Viewed?
- The impact of decisions that are being made.
- How cash flow can be changed before a final decision is made on an idea.
As well as analyzing, scenarios, they can be created so that the good ones can be judged potentially successful rather than putting them into action and finding out that they will not work. Seeing the risks or opportunities on paper before they are taken will save both money and time.