Financial Planning & Data Analytics (FP&A)
Meaningful, accurate reporting. Data integrity and reliability. Timely value. In these competitive times, they are now becoming table stakes, not luxuries. This goes far beyond using Excel. Read on, below.
Financial Planning and Data Analytics (FP&A)
What is FP&A and why does it matter?
This discipline, FP&A, represents the efforts to develop intelligent, meaningful reporting and analysis – for both look-back and forward-looking perspectives – as well being relative to finance and other business functions. The results of this discipline include traditional financial and managerial reporting, data analysis (illustrative and traditional rows/columns), and planning models.
It matters for many reasons – but at the basic level, solid reporting, analysis, robust budgeting and forecasting are vital to business management in making decisions and allowing leaders to evaluate progress and performance against their strategic plan.
Information supporting FP&A comes from many sources – that’s the beauty
Traditionally, we think of data and reporting as emanating from the software we use every day to do our work. Think: accounting, ERP, CRM and other systems. That’s in large part true, but the beauty of current-day FP&A is that this discipline seeks to develop and produce meaningful reporting and analysis that incorporates data from these systems as well as information from external sources that allow the data to become more relevant to the world we operate in.
Looking to maximize the use of information to help your business?
Let’s first dispel the worry you might be having: do I need to upgrade my ERP, accounting, or CRM software to get better reporting and analysis? NO. Although upgrading your software is often tied to a rethinking of your data structures (we do this for our clients in our Digital Transformation service offerings), more often than not we are able to help our clients KEEP the SOFTWARE they HAVE – while adding a new, very specific-tasked software toolset that brings relevant information together from any number of existing systems and locations, including those external to the business (e.g.; market data and business affiliates’ systems).
By using information available to you and not retooling your entire systems infrastructure, you can more rapidly get to the more exciting part: determining what information you need to manage your business, and developing the analysis and reporting you want, when you need to see it. That’s where we come in.
We’re independent – not selling you software
Besides our natural role as experienced FP&A guides, we also are in a position to help you evaluate and select the right combination of FP&A tools and implementation vendors to fit the needs we help you develop. With knowledge of the marketplace and with influence in negotiating pricing and scopes of work, we’re strong advocates for our clients during this process. And, we can oversee and guide the eventual implementation of the process. Email us if you’d like to delve into this exciting area, further.