The career path of a financial planner and analyst in a company is more unconventional than that of similar surrounding roles, such as that of financial controller or treasury.
This can actually be an advantage for anyone looking to go into this role, with progression being more flexible as years of experience are gained.
Looking to learn how to get into FP&A? A FP&A career path is both challenging and rewarding. If you’re looking to conduct forecasting, create financial modeling, and help assist senior management in business planning and decision making, the FP&A role is a great position for you. It can be quite difficult to provide an accurate job roadmap for every FP&A role, however, a more typical career path would follow a route such as this:
1. Receive an Undergraduate Degree in General Management or Accounting.
2. Spend between 2 to 4 years in one of the Big4 Accountancy Firms (PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG), one of the big Consulting firms (McKinsey, Deloitte), banking or finance department of a Fortune500 company.
3. Following this you look to get a MBA (Masters of Business Administration). Many F500 companies do hire for FP&A roles at a senior level from B-schools.
4. Get hired as a Senior FP&A Analyst.
5. Promotion to FP&A Manager.
6. Promotion to FP&A Director.
As you progress and get into more challenging roles, the FP&A salary expectations will also increase. We'll take you through the different roles and an estimate of the average salary range (for the US) so you know more or less what FP&A interview questions to review when looking for a new job. Read on to learn about average salary expectations and job roles for FP&A professionals.
Roles in FP&A
Looking to learn more about the different FP&A jobs available? The following is a typical progression from a junior role to a more senior level of experience with their respective FP&A salary range:
Role description: The backbone job of financial planning and analysis. The standard responsibilities of a FP&A analyst include data collection, model development and maintenance, as well as coordination among the many stakeholders.
Salary: $50,000 to $70,000, plus bonuses.
Experience Required: A typical candidate for a FP&A analyst position will have 1-3 years of finance-related experience under their belt. The practise of hiring immediately out of undergrad is uncommon, but it does occur in larger corporations.
FP&A senior analyst
Role description: A Senior Analyst is often in charge of supervising junior analysts and managing projects, although he or she is still very much involved in the financial modelling process.
Salary: $65,000 to $85,000, plus bonuses.
Experience Required: Must be a holder of an MBA to be hired as a senior analyst. Individuals with a consulting or banking background are preferred for this position, just as they are for the more junior role of an FP&A analyst. The standard senior analyst has between 3-5 years of experience within the relevant field.
Role description: An FP&A Manager is in charge of business forecasting. He or she looks at the company's finances with a critical eye - trying to spot data anomalies, trends, or deviations - and then introduces strategies for improvement to provide to senior management. A FP&A manager creates financial models and forecasts to assist CFOs in their future business planning and decision making.
Salary: $85,000 to $115,000, plus bonuses.
Experience Required: Managerial positions in financial planning and analysis often have between 5 – 10 years of experience. The most common route for managers is through internal company promotion, via lateral hiring, or employing through one of the big consulting firms. Nearly all managers will have either an MBA or be a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Director / Vice-President of FP&A
Role description: Any directorial FP&A role is responsible for ensuring finance strategy delivers business growth and robust financial analysis to enable effective decision making.
Salary: $100,000 to $250,000, with additional stock options and bonuses.
Experience Required: Directorial roles require ten years and above of expertise leading corporate planning cycles, establishing new processes, and serving as project manager for a variety of initiatives.
Potential career progression after Director / Vice-President
Most FP&A specialists, after reaching the Director/VP level, tend to stay in the field, either within their current organisation or at other organisations.
Directors can advance internally in major corporations by taking on responsibility for larger profit and loss accounts.
Transitioning to the CFO post is exceptionally difficult as there is only one position available, although the FP&A function, as well as the controller and treasury functions, have all been identified as potential stepping stones to the CFO role.
Those financial professionals looking for this type of transfer are frequently interested in rotating to other critical departments within the firm, such as a Controller, Business Development, Corporate Development, or Operational Management.
To be considered for the CFO position, you must have a diverse combination of skills and experience.
Even more uncommon is the opportunity to advance to the position of CEO.
Many successful FP&A professionals choose to go down the entrepreneurial path, establishing businesses in a variety of industries as a result of their inquisitive and analytical temperament.
The FP&A path is getting more popular each day, so it's a great time to start your career now that you know all the potential for progression there is. Regardless if you are just getting started as a FP&A analyst or you are in the director position, all positions can benefit from using an FP&A software in their everyday forecasting and modeling practices.
With Abacum, we empower finance teams of high-growth tech companies to become true strategic partners in the organization by driving time-to-insight with powerful automation and seamless collaboration.
Request a demo now to see the product live and start your own transformational journey.