The Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) teams play a crucial role in companies by being responsible for both budgeting, in line with corporate strategy, and for analyzing what is happening month by month in all areas of the business.
Before getting into the more specific functions of this department, we are going to make a summary of the work of who is who in the financial area of the company.
The role of the CFO is to improve the company’s EBITDA through the implementation of strategic decisions, which are almost always oriented to sell more and / or spend less 😊
For this, the CFO has important leadership functions of its financial team and the rest of the departments, as well as the external relations of the company with investors, and large clients or suppliers.
The controller is the one who controls the financial accounting of the company. Its function is fundamental to ensure that the activity of the company is recorded by the law.
From a practical point of view, they are in charge of the team accounting for all the activity, the monthly closings, regulatory compliance, and many times the preparation and presentation of taxes.
As you will see we do not mention the word projection, your job is to make sure that the actual data is correct. They usually work with accounting systems that account for each transaction and generate the ledger or ledger.
They dominate the information account by account, and contrary to what you may think they do not require as deep knowledge of Modeling as the FP&A team since they depend on powerful systems and management of large databases, but they do require the domain of Excel.
This team works with external auditors, the CFO of the company, possible inspections, and obviously, they know the company’s operations in great detail.
The Treasury Department manages the cash, and normally the debt (amortizations), and the equity of the company.
Key tasks include managing the company’s liquidity and financial investments, optimizing the company’s capital structure, and monitoring the company’s debt and equity issues.
FP&A is the acronym for Financial Planning and Analysis or Financial Planning. The FP&A team belongs to the financial team of a company, and has the main function of analyzing the current results of the company, and preparing short and medium-term projections, to implement the strategic objectives of the company and help the high managers to decision making.
As you can imagine, it is a team that manages a large amount of information, since it summarizes the financial information of each cost center and / or division of the company, so the domain of Excel and systems is essential (and a part important day to day). Given the operation of this department, in addition to Excel and modeling, it is very advantageous to know other programs such as VBA, Python, C + among others, to automate tasks.
This team, unlike the controller, has less knowledge account by account, and a more global vision of each department, so its analysis capacity is greater. Let’s say the controller produces the data, and the FP&A parses it.
This analysis serves to inform and advise the management team on decisions such as how to improve performance, minimize risk, or explore new opportunities both within the company and in the external environment.
Precisely because of its function, the FP&A team is usually involved in specific projects, for example, M&A processes, identification of possible acquisition objectives, divestments, integration of new divisions, process optimization, reporting systems, etc.