There is a wide range of options and specialties to consider when planning your career in accounting and finance. Financial planning and analysis is one of the available options. Read on to learn more about what the job of a financial and analysis manager entails.
What is financial planning and analysis?
Firstly, financial planning and analysis is a system used to derive business insights from collected data that can help improve a company’s financial health and business strategy. Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) managers manage the planning, budgeting, forecasting, and analyzing data that improve a company’s major decisions.
In addition, a financial and analysis manager supervises an FP&A team in collecting financial data, operational data, and data from external sources, like market trends. What’s more, the FP&A team gets important insights using FP&A tools for in-depth analysis from the data collected. The results derived from the insight will be used for better and more profitable decision-making.
FP&A Job Description
An FP&A manager works closely with the controller, usually in charge of the company’s accounting and financial reporting. Another business unit they relate to constantly is the treasury which manages the company’s cash, debt, and equity. What’s more, they are in charge of providing liquidity, capital structure, and financing. However, the financial planning and analysis team, in charge of forecasting and budgeting, reports to the Chief Financial Officer directly as a strategic advisor.
FP&A differs from accounting because it produces data to derive insights to predict future outcomes. Meanwhile, accounting collates historical records that give insights into a company’s financial health.
FP&A Tools and Skills
Financial planning and analysis managers work with an array of financial tools to get their job done. Below is a list of tools that professionals in financial planning and analysis must be comfortable working with:
- Diverse and complex data sets
- Spreadsheets: to analyze and visualize data
- Data manipulation tools: to derive insights and produce reports
- ERP systems: for automated reporting
- FP&A managers must also have good communication and teamwork skills
Asides from being comfortable with the above tools, the FP&A manager must have the following skills:
- Business partnering skills
- Communication skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Expert knowledge of the company’s goals
- Analytical skills
Financial and Analysis Manager Responsibilities
The Financial and analysis manager oversees the FP&A team in the following activities:
- They create essential company reports, including the board reports, management reports. What’s more, they deal with profit-and-loss statements and cash flow statements. They also work with other departments to collect relevant data analyzed to give a specific financial report.
- FP&A analysts assess a company’s investments and, based on the business’s working capital, helps to make more profitable investments.
- They also survey financial statements to determine which product or service has the highest profit. This is useful when making conclusions concerning the company’s financial health.
- The FP&A team often dig into financial reports to design models on how to allocate money. The budget is designed by the team and forwarded to the CFO.
- FP&A managers also lead their team to create models like worst-case scenarios to forecast how drastic changes in several factors can affect a company’s financial position.
FP&A Annual Salary
In addition, according to Glassdoor.com, a financial planning and analysis manager makes about $121,180 annually in the United States. This can vary based on location and experience.
Financial Planning and Analysis Certification
To get certified as a financial planning and analysis manager, you should have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in the following:
- Business administration
- Business Analytics
You can find programs that offer financial analysis and financial planning certifications at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. What’s more, these programs include hands-on learning labs and internships suited for professionals in financial planning and analysis. The topics commonly covered are:
- Corporate finance
- Business statistics
- Investment management
- Financial reporting
- Risk management
- Business analytics
- Equity and fixed income valuation
- Professional ethics
You can also apply to become a Certified Corporate FP&A Professional (FPAC) at a university that accredits financial planning and analysis.
A career in financial planning and analysis is high-paying and can be fulfilling. If the skills and requirements listed above are what you possess, you can take up the responsibilities. We say, go for it. Get certified and become a financial planning and analysis manager.