Episode 2: Elevating FP&A Excellence: Strategies for the Modern CFO

In the podcast episode “Elevating FP&A Excellence: Strategies for the Modern CFO,” hosted by Arthur Forbus, COO at Holland Parker, and featuring Carolyn Stone, an experienced finance and accounting expert, the discussion revolves around the strategic role of Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) in aligning with and supporting a company’s broader business strategy. Stone emphasizes the importance of FP&A in tracking progress towards strategic goals and assisting management in making informed decisions.

Key points discussed include the evolution of FP&A from merely aggregating data to playing a critical analytical role, facilitated by modern integrated financial systems. The conversation also covers continuous budgeting and forecasting cycles, which replace outdated annual budgets with more dynamic and reflective planning processes.

Additionally, Stone advocates for comprehensive three-statement budgeting that includes the balance sheet and cash flow statement, not just the income statement, to ensure a holistic view of financial health, especially in capital-intensive industries. The dialogue also touches on the benefits of a 13-week rolling cash flow forecast, which provides detailed insights into short-term financial dynamics, crucial for effective cash management.

The discussion concludes with insights into scenario planning, highlighting the importance of simplicity and focusing on significant potential changes rather than trying to predict all possible outcomes. Overall, the episode underscores the critical role of FP&A in modern financial management, supporting strategic decisions that align with long-term corporate goals.