What is FP&A?

Companies are investing in more Financial Planning & Analysis roles so if you don't know what exactly they do, this explainer will help you out.

What is financial planning and analysis?

Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) is the process of forecasting business performance that informs the decisions taken by company executives. FP&A teams gather, transform and analyze financial and business data to paint a clear picture of the current and future state of the company.

How is FP&A different from strategic finance?

FP&A is commonly viewed as a subset of strategic finance but the responsibilities vary depending on the size & industry of the company, and the size of the finance team. For scale-ups, SMEs and "tech" companies, FP&A and strategic finance functions often are one and the same, supporting the entire business.

Time horizon

FP&A is more short-term monthly planning alongside budget owners. Strategic finance focuses on longer term growth and development alongside the company C-suite.

Company size

As companies grow in size and complexity, FP&A and strategic finance tend to split. At smaller companies, specific FP&A roles don't exist, with tasks handled by a general financial analyst.

Reporting

Roles with FP&A in their title often report to the CFO or FP&A Director. Strategic finance can sometimes fall under the strategy team managing the company's BizDev.

What does a Senior FP&A profile look like?

Years of work

A FP&A Manager has 6-9 years of work experience before landing a senior role, while a Director level takes up to 12. This varies by company size where reaching a senior level cold take less time.

Years in FP&A

Landing a senior FP&A role usually requires prior experience in forecasting & people planning. However, those that come from accounting or corporate finance often have the expertise to take on the role immediately.

Average FP&A salary

The average FPA& manager salary in three of the largest tech hubs are similar. The difference lies in the range, where West Coast US has a larger gap, while the United Kingdom is much closer with a lower top-end.

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Want to see more statistics?

Download the full FP&A Senior Profile infographic here.

The 2021 FP&A manager profile at scale-ups

FP&A roles are increasingly becoming more valuable in today's corporate environment. Need to hire one? This infographic breaks down what's behind a FP&A Manager or Director at growing SaaS firms.

Further reading

Learn more about FP&A here