The 1st Seattle FP&A Board: Global FP&A Trends and Challenges

April 10, 2018

Seattle FP&A Board, trends

In April, the International FP&A Board successfully opened its 4th USA and 17th global chapter in Seattle, Washington.

32 senior finance practitioners gathered in a beautiful Regus boardroom to share their FP&A ideas and experiences with each other. They represented companies such as Amazon, Expedia, L'Oréal, Microsoft, Nordstrom, T-Mobile and etc. During the meeting, Board members discussed several global FP&A trends and challenges.

The Meeting Agenda

  • Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A). Key definitions and developments.
  • Interactive discussion on latest trends in analytics, planning, modelling and systems.
  • FP&A Analytics Maturity Model. Group work.
  • Conclusions and recommendations.

Among the trends and challenges raised by the Board were the following:

  • Managing margins
  • Business  partnership
  • Integrated planning
  • Forecast accuracy
  • Measuring success
  • Real-time data/one version of the truth
  • Sustainability
  • Speed-Accuracy-Content

New technology (including Machine Learning and AI in FP&A) was also regarded as a key challenge. Most finance departments are not as effective and fast as they could be. Companies are facing the necessity to incorporate BI as the amount of data is constantly increasing. The issue with data is tricky not only due to its volume but also due to the question of how to present it to the business community. As a consequence, finance practitioners are now required to be familiar with modern FP&A tools.

Furthermore, Board members discussed the FP&A Analytics Maturity Model which was developed by the London FP&A Board and adjusted by many International FP&A Board chapters. The analytical transformation of a company from the developing state to the leading one usually takes 9 steps.

  1. Developing Analytical Culture
  2. Improving Data Quality
  3. Collaboration
  4. Using Key Business Drivers
  5. Implementing Driver-Based Model
  6. Implementation of System
  7. Automation of Routine
  8. Using Scenario Planning
  9. Quick and Effective Decision Making

The FP&A Trends website gives a lot of information about these trends.

We are very grateful to all our Seattle FP&A Board members for their passion and collaboration. 

Many thanks to our global sponsors and partners CCH® Tagetik and The Regus Group for their great support!