FP&A Education

How to Become an FP&A Professional

By Simone da Silva Collins, Finance Manager, Polycom

Have you thought of becoming an FP&A professional?

When I was studying for my accounting qualification, I assumed I would become a traditional accountant. I did not know then how wrong this assumption would prove to be. This article gives an insight to my path in becoming an FP&A professional and short guide on how to become one.

Simone da Silva Collins is an FP&A professional working in Polycom, an industry leader in unified collaboration solutions.

She provides business partnering to various departments of Polycom in EMEA. She was previously the Group Finance Analyst supporting the Executive Team at Intec (now part of CSG), a provider of Business Support System (BSS) software and related services, primarily for the telecommunications industry. She also worked for Telewest (now part of Virgin Media) for over 7 years providing commercial and financial support to the Interconnect team.

Simone is originally from Macau in SE Asia. She gained her Masters at Manchester Business School. She has also recently achieved FP&A accreditation.

Adding Value to Entrepreneurs through FP&A

By Karl Kern, Founder/President, Kern Analytics LLC

This blog post looks at the ways of how FP&A can help entrepreneurs to accomplish their goals.  

The action that entrepreneurs take is described through financial reports.  Financial reports establish a communication process that reveals what entrepreneurs want to do and how they will do it.  Financial reports also establish a learning process that provides insight into the ability to achieve objectives.  
These processes are linked to the value proposition that entrepreneurs present.  What entrepreneurs present is a value proposition that creates wins for stakeholders.


Dynamic FP&A: How to Design Data Driven Planning Architecture

by Michael Coveney, author of "Budgeting, Planning, and Forecasting in Uncertain Times"

Data driven planning  is fast becoming an essential requirement for organisations operating in today’s volatile, global business environment.  It requires organisations to rethink the way it manages its business processes, the way strategy is implemented and monitors, and it needs a modern architecture that transforms planning into a continuous data driven process.

Relying on outdated management processes makes no sense and will cause organisations to fail in their quest.  Similarly, inflexible, silo-based planning systems will slow down organisational decision-making and prevent organisations from reacting to critical external events.

It’s time to change.  To let go of ineffective management practices and to embrace common sense, supported by architectures designed for today’s business environment.

Acquiring FP&A Skills from Unique Experiences

By Karl Kern, Founder/President, Kern Analytics LLC

This blog post  addresses the acquisition of FP&A skills.

People who want to become financial planning and analysis (FP&A) practitioners obtain advice on how to achieve this goal.  One piece of advice is to acquire education by taking courses in subjects like accounting, economics, and finance.  Another piece of advice is to acquire experience by working in companies that have specialized FP&A departments.  These pieces of advice are examples of traditional paths to follow. 

Reinventing FP&A: The Essential Skill Sets

by Dr. Amarendra Kumar, General Manager of FP&A at  Pyramid Consulting

There is evidence that FP&A interest is growing fast. Each and every day, CFOs feel the pressure building on the finance function to contribute more to business success. Within the CFO’s organization, the responsibility for tracking, assessing and reporting corporate performance normally falls to the Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) group.

In reality, FP&A specializes in analyzing and planning for the future, wearing multiple hats and identifying various improvement strategies. A valued FP&A specialist is someone who has the ability to engage with and influence the full breadth of top management – not just CFO – ensuring they have the necessary information. The specialist will explain why the business needs to go towards x, y, z markets and not the a, b, c direction they were planning.

Dr. Amarendra Kumar is currently working in Pyramid IT Consulting Inc, as a General Manager (Finance) and heading profile of Financial Planning,   Analysis & Management Reporting.