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10 Must-Read FP&A Stories from 2017

Companies are clearly having a hard time planning. A survey from Gartner of 99 CFOs and finance leaders taken April 14-19 revealed that 42% of CFOs have not incorporated a second wave outbreak of COVID-19 in the financial scenarios they are building for the remainder of 2020, a finding dubbed “surprising,” by Alexander Bant, practice vice president, research, for the Gartner Finance.  Many public companies have also withdrawn guidance due to lack of visibility.

Last week, we posted our Top Ten Most Popular Blogs of 2017. Today, we present our choices for the top 10 FP&A stories published by 3rd party outlets.

From the growing move toward making finance a strategic business partner to the challenges of addressing new revenue recognition standards, FP&A managers and practitioners had plenty on their plates in 2017—and have myriad challenges and opportunities ahead of them.

With that, enjoy our list!

1. Stop Using Excel, Finance Chiefs Tell Staffs

The Wall Street Journal sparked a lively debate with this story on companies such as P.F. Chang’s and others pushing to reduce how much their finance teams rely on Excel for financial planning, analysis, and reporting. The article and its subsequent aftermath, which prompted widespread industry response, along with a blog penned by Adaptive Insights CEO Tom Bogan, highlighted how many companies are turning to new, cloud-based technologies for more strategic and efficient FP&A work. Read the story.

2. The Top Seven Skills for Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) Pros

As the talent war heats up, what skills do FP&A pros need to compete? Writing on LinkedIn, Tom Hood, the CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs, highlights the top seven competencies that are most in demand. Topping the list: strategic thinking, communications, and tech-savvy know-how with data analytics. Read the story.

3. Financial Planning and Analysis: Time for the Specialists?

With the increasing complexity of business, the demand for FP&A specialists who have a specific expertise or skill set is on the rise. IBM’s Business Analytics blog projects the trend will only continue as senior executives and decision-makers look to FP&A for more forward-looking insights as opposed to merely historical data. Read the story.

4. Want to Transition from Accounting to FP&A?

FP&A today is growing more attractive to many accounting professionals. However, for accountants interested in making the move to FP&A, many questions remain—particularly, what experience and expertise can they bring to their new role, and which new skills do they need to acquire? breaks down the challenges and opportunities. Read the story.

5. Planning Process Red Flags

To compete in today’s fast-changing business environment, companies need competitive strategies—strategies that are supported by robust planning. Digitalist Magazinefocused on three red flags that signal your planning process might need a course correct. Read the story.

6. Is Forecasting Destroying Your Planning Process?

Does your organization often confuse planning with forecasting? Strategic Finance Magazine says it’s a common problem that can create headaches for FP&A. Here’s a breakdown of how the two processes differ and how to explain those differences to business partners. Read the story.

7. The 12 Principles of Best Practice FP&A

Done right, FP&A can drive real business value. We stick with Strategic Finance for a deep dive into best practices for FP&A and the impact that adhering to them can have on business performance. Read the story.

8. Know Before You Grow: FP&A’s Role in Growth Strategy

FP&A can play a pivotal role in helping to drive company growth. Yet adding maximum value requires understanding expectations and being aware that those expectations can differ from company to company. breaks down what FP&A should know to help its companies grow. Read the story.

9. FP&A: Let the Fun Begin

Boring finance? Not so much anymore. notes “it’s quickly getting more interesting” as advancing technology is reducing the drudgery of manual tasks and replacing them with dynamic planning and analysis tools. Read the story.

10. Data-Obsessed Baseball Teams Are Turning to the Cloud for Help

Recognizing the limitations of Excel, Tampa Bay Rays CFO turned to the cloud to manage his FP&A function. He shares his story in Fortune, highlighting a need for collaborative scenario planning that Excel just can’t handle. Read the story.

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Read our eBook, Plan to Win, a rallying cry for businesses to shrug off outdated static planning processes and adopt an active planning environment that’s continuous, comprehensive, and collaborative.

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