What are the advantages of a career in FP&A (Financial Planning and Analysis) and how does the space differ from more traditional financial paths? Whether you’re a student, an accountant looking to specialize or just somebody weighing your options, here are five reasons why you might want to consider entering the FP&A fray:
Growing demand: According to a recent report by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), the number of job postings for FP&A professionals has been steadily increasing since 2017. The report also found that FP&A professionals are increasingly being asked to provide strategic insights and analysis, indicating that the role of FP&A is becoming more important in organizations.
Better compensation: FP&A professionals typically receive a higher salary than the average accountant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for financial analysts, which includes FP&A professionals, was $83,660 as of May 2020. In comparison, the median annual wage for accountants and auditors was $73,560 during the same period.
Versatility: FP&A professionals typically work with a broad range of data sets helping decision-making on a broad spectrum. It’s a skill set that’s applicable in many different industries, whether it’s finance, healthcare, technology, or retail, among others, ensuring a greater likelihood of securing employment.
Personal career growth: FP&A doesn’t only open up options of transferring to other industry verticals, but sometimes to entirely new roles. Professionals enjoy a unique perch through which they learn deeply about businesses. Later in their careers, they may use this knowledge to roll into related positions like Financial Analysts, Managers of Financial Planning, Directors of Financial Planning, CFOs, or even entrepreneurs.
Satisfaction: FP&A professionals have a heightened role in providing insights that help the company make informed decisions. While it’s hard to put a number on that, job satisfaction and personal fulfillment certainly translates into a longer, healthier, more productive career for those picking FP&A as their focus.
Overall, a career in FP&A can be an excellent choice for those who enjoy working with numbers, data analysis, and problem-solving, and who want to have a meaningful impact on the success of the organization.
Is a career in FP&A for me?
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