Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) is an increasingly valuable skill in the finance profession. Chief financial officers (CFOs), chief executive officers (CEOs) and even boards rely on FP&A professionals to help guide their organisations. Despite its popularity and growing importance, the FP&A profession lacks a uniform set of principles and standards of practice. As a result, FP&A professionals and employers are grappling with undefined job performance competencies and standards of practice, varied organisational reporting structures and inconsistent visibility.
To better define the skills needed for the FP&A profession, the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) will introduce a certification for FP&A professionals by the end of this year. In the meantime, to better define the challenges the FP&A profession faces, the AFP and Kforce Finance & Accounting have co-authored a white paper,
Financial Planning and Analysis: The Benefits of Certification for FP&A Professionals
“As we continue to receive great interest in our FP&A certification, we are quite fairly being asked about the process for determining the need and the scope of this certification,” said Brian Kalish, AFP’s director, finance practice Lead. “To address this inquiry, we teamed-up with our partners at Kforce to explain the genesis of the certification, to explain the research that went into determining the scope of the certification, and the timeline going forward.”
Kalish has enjoyed extensive contact with the FP&A community over the past few years, and founded a
for FP&A professionals. The monthly publication now boasts over 10,000 subscribers in every state and over 110 countries. “As I interact with the FP&A community both here and abroad, I continue to be overwhelmed by the level of enthusiasm for the certification and all of our efforts on the FP&A front,” he said. “The number of volunteers, the number of session proposals for our annual conference, and the number of one-on-one meetings we have scheduled continues to amaze.”
David Gorbach, senior director of FP&A at PMI Mortgage Insurance, likens the current state of FP&A to the old apprenticeship system. “People get hired and learn a particular skill for a particular company in a particular situation rather than having a standardised approach,” he said. “[The latter] would allow them to follow a defined course of study and then use that to get into FP&A and continue on in their career development.”
Learn more about the FP&A certification process here
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