Towards data-driven decisions

Tough decisions require the best data

Here is a list of the Top 10 responsibilities that lie on the shoulders of financial planning and analysis (FP&A) professionals:

  1. Evaluating whether the company’s current assets and investments are the best use of the company’s excess working capital, by looking at return on investment (ROI) and comparisons with other ways the company might utilize its cash flow (e.g., other possible investments, increased stock dividends, etc.)
  2. Gauging the company’s overall financial health, primarily by using key financial ratios such as the debt to equity ratio, current ratio, and interest coverage ratio
  3. Determining which of the company’s products or product lines generate the largest portion of its net profit
  4. Identifying which products have the highest profit margin (and which have the lowest) – It is a separate inquiry from the one listed above, as product(s) that carry the highest profit margin may not necessarily be those that generate the greatest amount of total profit – A simple example: Product A may carry a higher profit margin than Product B, but the company may sell substantially more units of Product B
  5. Examining and evaluating the cost-efficiency of each department of the company, in light of what percentage of the company’s financial resources each department consumes
  6. Working with individual departments to prepare budgets and consolidate them into one overall corporate budget
  7. Preparing internal reports for executive leadership and supporting their decision making
  8. Creating, updating, and maintaining financial models and detailed forecasts of the company’s future operations
  9. Comparing historical results against budgets and forecasts, and performing variance analysis to explain differences in performance and make improvements going forward
  10. Considering opportunities for the company to expand or grow. Mapping out growth plans, including capital expenditures and investments. Generating three- to five-year financial forecasts.