In Pursuit of Profit
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“Finance” is a broad term every business leader has heard, but it can mean many different things.
Businesses have banking relationships, investments they need to track, fundraising and financial analysis needs. Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A), the work performed by Financial Analysts, is a complex specialty within Finance that all successful businesses need in some degree. There are multiple FP&A components of which every business requires a different combination. This complexity makes hiring to satisfy your FP&A needs difficult. To make matters harder, many accounting and FP&A functions can overlap.
So how do you know if you need to hire a dedicated Financial Analyst or a hybrid accountant? It helps to first understand the components of Corporate FP&A, the value each adds, and how much time each activity should take.
A guest post from our partners at CFO Selections.
With an increased focus on financial planning and analysis (FP&A) in recent years, many companies have begun asking, “Do accountants do financial planning?”
For cash-strapped startups and small businesses the temptation to simply add to their accountant’s workload is strong. However, this is not a wise decision. While overloading any one role presents problems on its own, entrusting accountants with FP&A poses its own unique risks.
The differences between accounting and FP&A necessitate that it be handled by separate personnel with unique skillsets and performance objectives. Understanding what FP&A entails and what is at stake can help organizations make smart decisions about who should handle this critical responsibility.
Automation improves ROI, enables scalability, increases collaboration, and develops organizational resiliency. And if that was not enough of a reason to go down the path of exploring your automation options, these days technology is cheaper, more robust, and easier to use than ever before. As a result, it is more ubiquitous across all industries, especially in technical professions like finance and accounting.
CPA and technologist, Aaron Benson explains, “I think that technology has finally infiltrated every aspect of what we do within the profession, and to be competitive and to move forward, you have to use technology.” In his interview at the 2019 AICPA ENGAGE Conference he further goes on to explain, “Most people use like 20–30% of the software they [could] use and leave everything else on the table.”