FP&A Club Report: Rolling Forecast Reaches Amsterdam

Participants who attended the second FP&A Club meeting at Amsterdam’s Sofitel Legend The Grand Hotel included senior finance professionals from ABM AMRO Bank, Deloitte, law firm Clifford Chance, telecom groups KPN and VimpelCom, diversified technology group Philips, clothing brands group PVH, employment services provider Randstad, business centres multinational Regus, office supplies chain Staples, private trading group SHV, management consultancy and technology services firm Accenture and Mead Johnson Nutrition. The event was proudly sponsored by business financial planning specialist Tidemark.

This was my seventh presentation on the topic of
rolling forecast best practices
, which I’ve previously given to diversified groups in Russia, Ukraine, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the UK. The concept of a rolling forecast regularly attracts considerable excitement and interest from audiences. We always learn a lot from one other, both from our success stories and where the outcome has been less successful.

Although the members of our
FP&A clubs
include representatives of different business cultures and industries, it is evident that the issues arising from rolling forecasts and the opportunities they represent are global. The main conclusion from the Amsterdam event was that the rolling forecast is a philosophy and there are a number of factors that contribute towards its successful implementation. As outlined in this earlier article, they include business culture, people, models and systems, design, process, alignment and collaboration.

The discussion took place at the time when many companies are in the process of finalising their annual plans and budgets. It was therefore very encouraging that our participants found time in their busy calendars to attend the FP&A Club, to learn, network and to brainstorm. About one in three of those who attended already implement rolling forecasts; the remainder is assessing the opportunity that they offer and wanted to understand the key factors for success before starting the process.

The networking element of the FP&A Club is always an integral part and highly popular, so once again professional discussions continued well after the evening’s formal presentation had concluded. Colleagues were discussing hot FP&A subjects, sharing ideas and enjoying this professional educational and networking forum until a late hour.

The Club meetings, in whichever city they are held, are powerful and inspirational events, when representatives of the same profession work together towards recognising and communicating best practices in planning and forecasting. I’ve seen so many passionate professionals: it is no wonder why this profession is on the rise and becoming more strategic and influential.

As usual, I updated the group with the latest news on
FP&A certification
and we already have qualified FP&As in Amsterdam. Several attendees informed me of their plans to sit the exams in the near future.

Participants are also looking forward to join the
FP&A Leadership Summit
on the May 19-20 next year that will be held at Amsterdam’s Sofitel Legend The Grand – this special, historic hotel at the heart of a beautiful city.

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