Ten Challenges Facing FP&A In 2021

by | Aug 20, 2020 | Finance, ValQ

The CFO has named FP&A a top priority for transformation. She simply wants a higher ROI from FP&A considering the significant technology investments made in the department in the past decade. The demand is clear but how to make it happen less so. FP&A is not short of challenges, but few are showing a path to solving them. That is all changing now!

The challenges we will outline do not cover everything that needs to be solved in FP&A. They do, however, cover a wide space within planning & budgeting, agility, collaboration, simulations, visualization stakeholder centricity, planning systems, and more. We will show you practical tips and tools to help you on your journey. We believe by the end of the year you will be much better equipped to satisfy your CFO. Shall we get started?

The ten challenges

FP&A can improve in all areas of its domain. We must devote ourselves to a continuous evolution of how we work and constantly improve our outputs. Solving these ten challenges will give you a push in the right direction.

  1. Planning and budgeting take too much time (and resources)
  2. We spend too much time on small details that add little value
  3. We are not agile in our response to market and business changes
  4. We do not collaborate effectively (neither online nor offline)
  5. We lack mature “what-if” and scenario planning capabilities
  6. FP&A processes and outputs are designed for Finance not for the business
  7. Planning systems are expensive and only affordable by large companies
  8. We are stuck in the same old budgeting and planning dogmas
  9. Visualization of data must be democratized and have its “iPhone moment”
  10. We are limited in our ability to do quick re-forecasting for custom periods

Practical and simple solutions

Too often in transformations, we go overboard in projects, structures, and ways to solve the different challenges. However, that rarely works, and we will apply another approach where we share practical and simple solutions that you can apply right away.

This will help you make your CFO happy but perhaps more importantly also your business stakeholders. After all they are the ones accountable for delivering improved business results by setting the right strategic direction for the company. In solving the challenges, we must never forget the purpose of FP&A i.e. “to set the right strategic direction for the company”.

FP&A cannot succeed in a vacuum but depend on enabling others to succeed. In the past, our ways of working and transforming FP&A have been too introspective. It is time that we involve our stakeholders significantly more in coming up with the right answers and solutions to these challenges.

If you have any good cases to share or stories to tell, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Successfully solving these challenges is critical to the future of FP&A! Are you ready to get to work and solve the challenges?

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This blog is presented by ValQ in collaboration with Anders Liu-Lindberg, Business Partnering Institute.

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