FP&A analysts are the voice of reason for decision makers in an organization. The FP&A teams usually consist of highly intelligent and capable individuals that analyze a serious amount of data and metrics.
FP&A analysts are excellent problem solvers and are forward thinkers. They are the unsung heroes of an organization. They constantly perform quantitative and qualitative analysis on various aspects of the business so that they can come up with a sound advice for the decision makers and assist in strategy formulation.
Companies looking for FP&A analysts apart from being expected to perform planning and reporting for finance are also expected to wrangle with Excel spreadsheets. There is almost always that expectation that an FP&A analyst must be comfortable not only in analyzing but also in fixing a myriad of problems.
Unfortunately, organizations that have not invested in a modern cloud-based planning and cloud-based reporting solution have to put up with a debilitating amount of errors associated with Excel spreadsheets.
The reality is that many FP&A analysts actually spend more time trying to find the sources of the errors, fixing broken links and macros or wrong formula more than they spend time on actual analysis of data. This is the downside of relying on too much Excel spreadsheets for financial planning and analysis.
Regardless of some FP&A analysts dreading financial planning and reporting in Excel spreadsheets, this exercise is crucial for the business and cannot be done away with.
Here are some of the reasons why financial planning and reporting in finance (despite its clunkiness) is still important.
- Financial planning and reporting in finance assesses the overall financial situation of the company by using key financial ratios like interest ratio, equity ratio or current ratio.
- Assess whether or not the company´s current assets and investments are the best possible ways of letting their excess working capital work.
- Financial planning and reporting in finance determines which are the company´s most and least profitable products for improved prioritization and product direction
- Looks into departmental efficiency given the allotted resources
- Financial planning and reporting in finance aims to explain the differences between what was expected and what came to be (budgets vs actuals)
- Prepare reports for the consumption of the company´s leaders in order to support their decision making and strategy formulation
- Spot risks and opportunities for growth in the horizon for the business
Simply put, financial planning and analysis is that process that aims to provide an evidence-based advice on how to most effectively make the most out of the company´s limited resources in order to turbocharge growth and improve profit margins without exposing the business to any unnecessary risk.
However, it must be said that financial planning and reporting in finance, need not be problematic and dreadful. There is a better way than just expecting the usual wrangling of spreadsheets.
Modern, cloud-based planning and reporting software
Performance Canvas Financials is a complete, modern, and cloud-based planning and reporting software that helps FP&A analysts spend more time analyzing than battling with spreadsheets.
It is a solution that affords an organization a streamlined and automated financial planning and analysis process through the use of technology that delivers best practices in planning and reporting packaged through out-of-the-box finance modules in a single, easy-to-install, setup, use and maintain solution.
Performance Canvas Financials believes that a good FP&A solution does not need to be difficult to implement. Instead, its empowerment of the analysts must begin by not demanding too much time for install and setup and it must be a solution that is familiar to the analysts so that product acceptance can be effortlessly achieved.
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