FP&A Analyst job description and profile
FP&A Analysts are the eyes and ears of enterprising CFOs. Their unique understanding of financial markets and commercial movements means they are vital in securing the financial health, and future, of their firm.
As we described in our Qualifications and Skills page for FP&A Analysts, financial professionals in this line of work have to be decision makers, be commercially minded and always have one eye on stakeholders. Although the work FP&A Analysts do revolves around financial modelling, prediction and risk assessment, they have to think like accountants, and have the same core training under their belts to successfully do the job.
Here are some of the main job responsibilities for an FP&A Analyst:
Trading packs, analysis and reporting
FP&As will be expected to consistently turn their eye to reporting as a pillar of their predictive analysis. Trading “packs” are best described as concise collections of figures over set periods of times (weeks/months/quarters) that analyse financial performance, all with the aim of providing key insights into financial goings on. FP&As need to be communicatively confident, as the reporting audience could be anyone from other financial department heads to non-financial senior management. The language employed to your ends has to be adaptable to your intended audience.
Brand/trend/commercial insights and analysis
FP&As almost play a dual job role – that of insightful and targeted financial analysis and trend forecaster.
This is all with the aim of providing CFO’s and business decision makers with actionable information. Considering the financial manager’s role – that of making decisions relating to security, budgeting, risk management, payroll, investment and senior financial reporting – a FP&A is a vital eye on the ground. This is especially important with regards to wider financial trends, legislation, changes and movements, and how they may impact on business.
Successful FP&As are very adept at financial modelling. Whether it’s through clear 3 statement modelling, or M&A models and sensitivity analysis, FP&As are expected to be futurists. Modelling is the core of your analysis, similar to what equity researchers and corporate development professionals do. However, FP&As are expected to have a wider knowledge base, including an understanding of:
- Business valuing,
- Selling or divesting assets,
- Capital allocation,
- Management accounting,
- Ratio analysis,
- Raising capital
Stakeholder management and risk management
The value of an FP&A’s work is most keenly felt at the end user point, and that is when analysis sits in the hands of the intended stakeholder. Understanding wider stakeholder goals, risks and needs, will to a degree drive the direction of analysis and commercial research and knowledge.
Risk management, then, becomes an essential tenet of the role. Although analysis takes stock of trends, futures and market movements and where best to invest/divest or adjust business practice, this has to occur under the financial umbrella of risk management. Trust, teamwork and communication are absolutely essential skills needed to deliver concise financial risk assessment, especially to non-financial stakeholders.
Find out more about life as an FP&A Analyst and other details by following the below links:
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