FP&A People

The Qualities of FP&A Practitioners

By Karl Kern, Founder/President, Kern Analytics LLC

A definition of quality is “a distinctive characteristic possessed by someone.”  The work of FP&A practitioners focuses on thinking and learning about how financial activities – earning revenues, incurring costs, generating cash flows – affect organizations.  The thinking and learning about this relationship require a mindset that creates results.  

FP&A: Asking How

By Karl Kern, Founder/President, Kern Analytics LLC

An important characteristic of FP&A practitioners is a commitment to continuous improvement.  There are a number of ways for FP&A practitioners to commit toward improving their work.  For me, one of the ways I commit to continuous improvement is reading books.

A book that I recently read was SUPERFORECASTING by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner.  There are a number of helpful statements in the book and for me, one statement stands out as a guide for improvement.  The statement appears on page 150: “A probabilistic thinker will be less distracted by ‘why’ questions and focus on ‘how.’” This statement provides a way to improve the work of FP&A practitioners.

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.

Clinical & Statistical FP&A

By Karl Kern, Founder/President, Kern Analytics LLC

In his book THINKING, FAST AND SLOW Daniel Kahneman describes two schools of psychology within the study of decision making.  Clinical psychologists advocate the use of methods like heuristics (rules of thumb) and intuition for making decisions.

Statistical psychologists, on the other hand, advocate the use of methods like simple algorithms or formulas for making decisions.  Clinical psychologists believe their methods are better than the methods used by statistical psychologists and vice versa.  The passion that each school of psychology has for its methods led me to examine my work as an FP&A practitioner.

Ten Key Considerations for Effective FP&A Communication

By Simone da Silva Collins, Finance Manager, Polycom

Communication is a key soft skill that FP&A professionals should master. Getting it right the first time enables FP&A professionals to be more effective and efficient. Effective communication enhances their integrity and credibility.
Communication is a two way process.  This sounds a cliché but it is true. Communication is not a monologue, even when you are using the written form as I am here. There is the sender and the receiver of the message.

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.

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