FP&A Analyst Job Description and Profile

Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A)

Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) analysts are the eyes and ears of enterprising CFOs. Their unique understanding of financial markets and commercial movements is vital. They are essential to securing their firm’s economic health and future.

A financial analyst provides financial planning analysis. They assess businesses’ financial health and profitability. They gather economic and business indicators and produce forecasts.

Managerial Accounting

The FP&A team must ensure that forecasts are correct in managerial accounting. The group’s primary function is planning, producing budgets, and periodically forecasting. They do this to help management make decisions.

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FP&A Job Description

  • Understand financial planning and analysis. Financial Planning and Analysis, or FP&A, are groups of financial organisations. Senior executives provide a financial plan for the business’s profit and exploitation. These forecasts guide management in evaluating the company’s strategy. Aside from facilitating communications, the direction can access external stakeholders.
  • Financial performance: trading packs, analysis and reporting. FP&As consistently ignore reporting as a pillar of their predictive analysis. Trading “packs” are concise collections of figures over set periods (weeks, months, or quarters). They analyse financial performance and provide critical insights.
  • Reporting. FP&As must be confident communicators. The reporting audience could be anyone from other financial department heads. It could also be 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 play a dual role. They provide insightful and targeted financial analysis. They also forecast trends to provide CFOs and business decision-makers with actionable information.

An FP&A is vital for the financial manager’s role. It is used to make decisions about security, budgeting, risk management, payroll, and investment. It is also used for senior financial reporting.

Such work is vital to understanding broader financial trends, legislation, changes and movements and how they may impact business.

Financial Models

FP&A focuses, in particular, on transforming the firm’s strategy into an annual operational and capital budget.

  • Forecast operational and profitability performance. The system uses financial modelling to forecast operational and profitability performance. It sets monthly targets for key performance indicators (KPIs). Successful FP&As are very adept at financial modelling.
  • FP&As are futurists. Whether through explicit 3-statement modelling or M&A models and sensitivity analysis, FP&As are futurists. Modelling is at the core of your analysis. It’s like what equity researchers and corporate development professionals do. Yet, FP&As have to have a broader knowledge base, including an understanding of the following: The course covers acquisitions, business valuing and selling or divesting assets. It also covers capital allocation, management accounting, and ratio analysis. Finally, the course covers budgeting and raising capital.

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  • Scenario planning. Another type of financial modelling is scenario planning. In this process, FP&A employees map the best-case and predicted worst-case scenarios. They use different sales and order volumes.

Predictive Capacity

A study by AFP/APS found that FP&A teams with “extremely effective” predictive capacity had higher predictive power than those without. This projected income will aid the plan to make capital expenditures more efficient.

Stakeholder Management and Risk Management

The value of an FP&A’s work is at the end user point, and that is when analysis sits in the hands of the intended stakeholder. Understanding broader stakeholder goals, risks, and needs will, to a degree, drive the direction of the analysis. It will also drive the direction of commercial research and knowledge. Risk management, then, becomes an essential tenet of the role. Analysis takes stock of trends, futures, and market movements. It guides investment decisions and business practices. Yet, this must occur within the financial framework of risk management.

Trust, Teamwork and Communication

Trust, teamwork, and communication are essential. This is especially true when delivering concise financial risk assessments to non-financial stakeholders.

Financial Health

The Budgeting and Forecasting Process. FP&A teams increasingly work on rolling forecasts in parallel with a traditional budget. They also use rolling forecasts as a replacement for financial planning. This organisation’s main duty is to connect senior managers’ long-term strategic plans with the real world. Senior management writes and implements strategic plans in a top-down document. The document establishes strategic objectives over two years.

Performance Planning

The task of the FPA is to develop the operating plan necessary for achieving management’s strategic goal. Often called performance planning, business processes are known as corporate management.

Building an Effective FP&A Team

All businesses have accountants. Yet, not all have a dedicated person for FP&A. In small companies, the role may be part of a person’s job, like that of a supervisor. In larger organisations, dozens of FP&A staff may be employed. An organisation generally adds FP&A roles as it becomes more complicated. This happens with many locations, divisions, or international operations. Some have highly productive teams feeding strategic reports frequently to the C-level.

FP&A Qualifications and Skills

Financial experts in this field of work must be decision-makers, as we discussed on our page on qualifications and skills for FP&A analysts. They also need to be commercially minded and always have one eye on stakeholders.


FP&A analysts’ work revolves around financial modelling, prediction, and risk assessment. They have to think like accountants and have the same core training to do the job successfully.

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What Is the FP&A Role in a Company?

FPAs are becoming essential for businesses, providing crucial performance analysis. They play a significant part in business success. They ensure qualified candidates become highly sought-after.

Data Reconciliation and Consolidation

The field is proliferating. The ability to manage financial information and strategy is essential. Usually, FP&A tasks require extensive data reconciliation and consolidation, as well as variance analysis.

Business Insight

It, too, requires business insight so the management team can plan effective strategies.

To learn more about a career in FP&A, please visit our resources page or search for financial and planning analyst roles here.

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