Wednesday, February 22, 2017

FP&A Team,Processes and Tools

FP&A Summit by Innovation Enterprise was held in San Diego, Feb 14- 15th. Finance and FP&A Leaders shared their experiences and presented topics on key matters such as FP&A Processes, Recruitment, Team development and Industry insights.

Below are my key takeaways:

1.    Recruitment
a.    Good quality FP&A resources are hard to find. Start recruitment early, making it your #1 priority. Candidates needs to have a solid background in Accounting and in Finance, most importantly with a growth mindset.
b.    People follow leaders - Your past colleagues/subordinates will likely follow you. Ask them ‘How can you add value?’
c.    Quality – Initially, long hours of work are needed for accomplishment, but the quality of work is what matters most in the long-term. Instead of asking ‘Can you work long hours?’ ask them ‘Describe your day at work?’. This will help you to understand ‘What are they producing at the end of the day?’ Open ended questions will provide qualitative feedback on the candidate rather than closed questions that provide minimal response.

2.    Team Composition
a.    Teams should understand the industry, and also challenge the norms or ‘status-quo’ at the same time. Hire a good mix of people from varied industries to provide the most complete range of responses, opinions and solutions.

3.    Development, Goal Setting and Performance Review
a.    ‘What got you here, won't get you there’, identify the attributes which are required to achieve the agreed goals in the long-term.
b.    If you are managing international team, explain in detail what you need. This helps you to align the expectations, and reduces the cultural gap.

4.    Tools and Solution Implementation
a.    Most of them have a tool in place for FP&A, while others are still using spreadsheets.
b.    Although tools were positioned in Gartner ‘Leaders’ quadrant, some were not happy with them. Common complaints were - solution was inflexible; they are still dependent on the consultant to make changes. Tools do not matter, what matters is ‘solution flexibility, scalability, and self-reliant?’
c.    Some also had negative experiences with consultants, others loved them. Spend more time understanding the experience of the consultants, ‘Are consultants experienced with accounting/finance systems? Do they have similar industry implementation experience?’ to ascertain if they are the right fit together.

Hope this helps you. If you like it or have comments please post here.

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