prevero Blog

The Rise of the Strategic Finance Function

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

The Rise of the Strategic Finance Function

Lately, I’ve noticed a significant uptick in the number of connections I have on LinkedIn who now list Strategic Finance as their primary job description.

As someone who has spent nearly two decades helping organizations achieve greater competency in their Strategic Planning capabilities, I’m very excited to see organizations embrace this term and give Strategic Planning the credit it deserves.

Written by Michael Huthwaite

Drawing the Line Between Strategic and Tactical Planning

Tuesday, 05 December 2017

Drawing the Line Between Strategic and Tactical Planning

Driver-based planning and rolling forecasts have been two of the hottest subjects in FP&A in recent years. Fueled by the need for directional insight and agility, most FP&A teams are now considering these modeling techniques to be must-haves for their organization.

Despite the fact that these concepts represent obvious choices for better predictive planning, many companies are still finding it difficult to implement them successfully. This is troubling, especially as the next frontier of prescriptive (AI) planning is already upon us. Falling too far behind could be a real problem.

So why are so many companies still struggling to master driver based-planning and rolling forecasts?

Written by Michael Huthwaite

Financial Modeling Innovation: Your Financial Model can save lives!

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Financial Modeling Innovation: Your Financial Model can save lives!

Background

When I started my corporate career 20 years ago I would never have imagined connecting the analytical skills I developed to social issues like obesity, youth homelessness, the criminal justice system, social and affordable housing or any other impact investment programs and interventions.

Then again, why would I? I studied accounting, finance, tax (I try to forget that I did auditing too) and not social sciences, medicine, law and justice.

However, like technology has infiltrated and changed almost all aspects of our lives, the need for financial modeling skills has expanded across a much broader part of the business and now social world. It is no longer limited to investment banking corporate and project finance transactions.

It was really by fate that I stumbled across this opportunity whilst working at a large corporate. I was looking for purpose and a way to contribute to society other than my volunteer days planting a tree. Not that there is anything wrong with planting trees, but after having planted dozens I wanted to apply my passion and skills rather than my spade to help the world we lived in.

Since then I have built more than half a dozen financial models to support bids to the NSW, VIC and QLD governments for either social benefit bonds or affordable housing infrastructure.

Written by Lance Rubin

Does Your FP&A Team Understand The Business?

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Does Your FP&A Team Understand The Business?

Last week we discussed how to build a partnership covering one part of the equation of Business Partnering and this week we will look at the other. If your FP&A team really wants to take part in strategic conversations and influence the direction setting in the company through Business Partnering, there’s no way around understanding the business. Why? Because how can you set the direction for something if you don’t understand what it is? However, it’s one thing to say that someone must understand something and a completely different thing to gain the understanding. In the case of FP&A gaining a business understanding, we need to look at what concrete initiatives to take.

Written by Anders Liu-Lindberg

What Tools Can You Use To Partner With Your Stakeholders?

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

What Tools Can You Use To Partner With Your Stakeholders?

FP&A professionals know their trade very well when it comes to the technical skills used to plan, forecast, and execute the strategy of a company. However, to truly influence the strategic directions they need to be able to influence their stakeholders. This is best done by forming a partnership with them through Business Partnering. To do this, certain skills and tools are needed that are not common to FP&A professionals. Sure, many of them know how to present numbers or discuss the implications of their forecast but can they communicate well with their stakeholders? Do they know how to build trust? And do they meet their stakeholders face-to-face or do they stick to emails? To build a true partnership you need to know the communication style of your stakeholders and how to make them trust you. How do you that then?

Written by Anders Liu-Lindberg

Financial Modeling Innovation: The Machines Are Not Coming... They are Here.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Financial Modeling Innovation: The Machines Are Not Coming... They are Here.

It’s no secret that we are in the midst of a technology driven revolution, which will have no less impact on companies and the job market than the 18th Century Industrial Revolution.  For decades we’ve seen how machines are increasing the level of automation and reducing the reliance on human interactions and this is only going to increase.  It’s through new technologies like cognitive computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning that is now driving a lot more change.  Not all jobs are at risk because some are more difficult to learn as they require understanding context and real world issues.

Written by Lance Rubin

How To Improve Company Performance With FP&A Business Partnering

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

How To Improve Company Performance With FP&A Business Partnering

Companies are constantly looking for ways to improve their performance and there’s no doubt it’s easier if different functions work together on finding improvement ideas. It’s clear that certain functions execute the ideas while others support on the sideline and manage the outcomes of the ideas. FP&A is such a support function that typically works at the corporate or HQ level with strategic concepts ideally supporting senior leaders or top management even with driving their agenda. So, how can FP&A teams most effectively help their stakeholders improve performance? The answer is Business Partnering and let us expand on that.

Written by Anders Liu-Lindberg

How You Can Implement FP&A Business Partnering In Your FP&A Function

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

How You Can Implement FP&A Business Partnering In Your FP&A Function

In my last blog, we discussed what FP&A Business Partnering is and what you need to focus on to be successful. Now we’ll turn to how to implement the concept in your finance function and more specifically with your FP&A teams. Before we examine some of the implementation options you have it’s important to state that you cannot just send your FP&A team home on a Friday and have them equipped with a new business card on the following Monday with “Business Partner” added to their title. Many finance functions have tried that in the past and none of them - I repeat none of them - have been successful. Being a business partner requires a specific skillset that needs to be added on top of what the FP&A professional is already able to do. Furthermore, specific conditions should be in place to increase the chance of success.

Written by Anders Liu-Lindberg

Financial Modeling Innovation: The Demand for Financial Modeling Skills reaches new heights

Wednesday, 04 October 2017

Financial Modeling Innovation: The Demand for Financial Modeling Skills reaches new heights

Have you noticed lately how many finance roles have “financial modeling” listed as a core skill? Financial modeling is now one of the most sought-after skills in today’s corporate world and demand for financial modeling experience continues to outstrip supply! The changes we see in our everyday lives are reflected in the corporate world and the finance industry is no exception.

Written by Lance Rubin

What Is FP&A Business Partnering?

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

What Is FP&A Business Partnering?

As finance functions around the world have been transformed to run very efficiently by utilizing Global Shared Service Centers in low-cost locations, companies are starting to demand more effectiveness from the finance function. 

Written by Anders Liu-Lindberg

FP&A Data Viz Question #4: Are You an Ethical Presenter? Are You Sure?

Tuesday, 05 September 2017

FP&A Data Viz Question #4: Are You an Ethical Presenter? Are You Sure?

Of the four essential questions every effective FP&A professional should ask before presenting graphical information, the first three focused on making the information understood. The fourth, and last, question you should ask yourself is different: 

Is there anything about your graph that might cause your audience to question your agenda or even your honesty?

Written by Randall Bolten

FP&A Data Viz Question #3: Does Your Graph Actually WORK?

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

FP&A Data Viz Question #3: Does Your Graph Actually WORK?

We’re making good progress! You’ve decided that a graph is the right way to present your FP&A information (Data Viz Question #1) and chosen the right chart type. But we’re not finished yet – now you must address Question #3:

What changes and additions to the graph will help your audience understand its central messages quickly and accurately? Will visual effects that “beautify” the graph help or hurt that objective?

Written by Randall Bolten