What does an FP&A Manager do?
A Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) Manager is responsible for overseeing the financial planning and analysis activities of an organization. They typically work closely with senior management, like a Director of Finance, or Director of FP&A, to develop financial plans, monitor performance against targets, and provide insights and recommendations to improve business performance.
Hiring an FP&A Manager is critical for any organization that wants to better manage risks and ensure compliance with financial regulations and standards.
What is the typical background of an FP&A Manager?
An FP&A Manager often has experience in investment banking, consulting, accounting, or other senior financial services roles. Some typical former job titles before beginning a career as an FP&A Manager may include Financial Analyst or Senior Financial Analyst, Finance Manager or Senior Finance Manager, Planning Manager, or Strategy Manager.
Many FP&A Managers may have a Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Financial Mathematics, Statistics, or another related, highly-analytical discipline.
What are the typical responsibilities of an FP&A Manager?
FP&A Managers have a variety of responsibilities, depending on their level of seniority and experience. Typically, FP&A Managers are responsible for:
- Developing financial models and projections for the company
- Analyzing financial data to identify trends and provide insights to management, on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis
- Creating financial reports and presentations for stakeholders, both internal and external (such as investors or business partners)
- Collaborating with other departments to develop budgets and forecasts, such as Sales, Marketing, HR and Operations
- Ensuring compliance with financial regulations and standards, working closely with accounting
- Advising management on financial strategies and risks that may impact their particular industry
What are some of the skills a successful FP&A Manager should have?
Overall, an ideal FP&A candidate should have a mix of technical skills, financial analysis experience, strategic planning skills, industry knowledge, leadership skills, and strong communication skills. They should be able to analyze complex financial data, develop financial plans, and provide valuable insights and recommendations to senior management. Some of these skills an FP&A Manager should already possess before starting the job include:
- Financial Analysis: Candidates should have experience in financial analysis, including analyzing financial statements, creating financial models, and developing financial forecasts
- Budgeting and Forecasting: Candidates should have experience in budgeting and forecasting, including developing budgets, monitoring actual results, and providing variance analysis to identify areas for improvement
- Strategic Planning and Decision-Making: Candidates should have experience in providing financial insights and recommendations to support strategic decision-making. They should be able to identify trends and opportunities, and provide recommendations on how to improve business performance, combining this with soft-skills like strong verbal and written communication
- Technical Skills: Candidates should have strong technical skills, including proficiency in financial software and tools such as Excel, data query/data management tools, financial modeling, and data analysis.
- Industry Knowledge: Candidates should have a good understanding of the industry in which your organization operates. For example - if you’re a B2B SaaS company, a great FP&A hire for your organization may be someone who did M&A work for B2B SaaS, or held a consulting role with a SaaS company. Your hire should be familiar with market trends, competitive dynamics, and regulatory requirements that may impact your business.
- Leadership Skills: FP&A is a senior role within an organization, and even if your candidates haven’t managed a team before, they should possess some leadership skills. Can they work well across different departments within the company, lead meetings, and encourage others to do their best work? If so - they may be a great FP&A hire for your organization.