FP&A: here’s what to know.

Financial planning and analysis helps companies improve  decision-making and better manage business uncertainty.


Discover how Workday enables FP&A success.

Dive into financial planning and analysis and explore how Workday enables FP&A success.


What is FP&A?

Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) involves planning, forecasting, budgeting, and analyzing. These tasks help guide important business decisions and keep the company financially healthy. 

Many FP&A teams include roles such as the CFO, managers, and financial analysts whose primary responsibility is to achieve the organization’s operational, financial, and strategic goals.

Can FP&A reduce operational costs?

FP&A helps businesses save costs by analyzing financial data to find inefficiencies. This involves optimizing resources, streamlining processes, and improving budget management to reduce expenses and boost efficiency.

How does FP&A improve forecasting?

FP&A improves forecasting by leveraging historical data, market trends, and advanced analytics. This involves:

  • Analyzing historical data: Using past performance to identify patterns and trends.
  • Market analysis: Incorporating market conditions and economic indicators into forecasts.
  • Advanced tools: Utilizing financial software and models to create accurate projections.
  • Collaboration: Working with different departments to gather comprehensive insights.
  • Continuous monitoring: Regularly updating forecasts based on new data and changes in business conditions.

These practices result in more accurate and reliable financial forecasts, enabling better decision-making and strategic planning.

What does an FP&A role do?

An FP&A role focuses on financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, and analysis to guide business decisions. It combines data analysis, strategy, and communications to manage business performance.

Key skills for FP&A roles include:

  • Strong analytical abilities
  • Effective communication
  • Strategic thinking
  • Proficiency in financial software tools

FP&A professionals bridge the gap between financial data and business strategy, ensuring informed decisions that drive success. 

But how do you excel in this role, and what are the skills and tools needed? Discover the secrets to success in FP&A.

What is the difference between CFO and FP&A?

The CFO (chief financial officer) is a senior executive responsible for managing the company’s finances. This includes financial planning, management of financial risks, record-keeping, and financial reporting. 

FP&A refers to a function or team dedicated to financial planning and analysis, supporting the CFO’s strategic decisions.

While the CFO oversees the financial strategy, the FP&A team provides the data-driven foundation for that strategy.

How does FP&A differ from accounting?

FP&A focuses on future financial planning, forecasting, and strategy to support business decisions. Accounting, on the other hand, deals with recording, classifying, and summarizing financial transactions historically. 

FP&A uses the insights provided by accounting to guide future business planning and performance improvement.

How do you get into financial planning and analysis?

Working in FP&A requires a finance or accounting background, strong analytical skills, and financial modeling and forecasting proficiency. 

Gaining experience in financial analysis roles and pursuing relevant certifications can also pave the way to an FP&A career.

“Before Workday Adaptive Planning, we spent a lot of time moving data. Now on one platform, a lot of that’s automated, and it’s freeing up time for our analysts to do more value-add work.”

—SVP, Finance Director


Mastering FP&A with Workday.

FP&A teams need agile planning tools to adapt to today’s fast changes and make smarter decisions. These tools help quickly adjust plans, create forecasts, and update budgets in real-time across all business units.

With Workday Adaptive Planning, organizations gain the power to quickly adapt to changing business conditions and involve everyone in the planning process.

“Those hours we used to spend reconciling we can now use on actually analyzing the plan.”

—Senior Manager of Strategic Finance


How Workday transforms FP&A processes.

Today’s FP&A teams face many challenges, from forecasting accuracy to collaborative planning. Workday Adaptive Planning tackles these hurdles head-on by enhancing agility, insight, and performance. This cloud-based platform transforms financial planning and analysis through automation, real-time analytics, and an intuitive interface, significantly boosting efficiency and effectiveness.

Workday Adaptive Planning scales with your business, ensuring your planning capabilities grow as effortlessly as you do. The financial planning software transforms driver-based modeling, allowing finance teams to create flexible models for countless scenarios. With built-in AI and machine learning, Workday FP&A software offers fast and highly accurate predictive forecasting.

Workday Adaptive Planning makes budgeting easier by focusing on simplicity and efficiency. It automatically integrates data from different sources, removing the need for manual work or complex coding. The platform lets you quickly update budgets and forecasts, making it easy to see changes and keep plans flexible. Workday also enhances teamwork with secure data access, easy progress tracking, and smooth sharing of insights.

Workday Adaptive Planning makes FP&A processes easier and faster. It frees finance teams from tedious data work so they can focus on more important tasks. Real-time analytics offer instant insights into financial outcomes, allowing for quick and informed decisions. Collaborative features unify planning across departments, leading to more accurate forecasts and a cohesive strategy.

With its blend of automation, real-time insights, and user-friendly design, Workday Adaptive Planning empowers teams to not only keep pace with business change, but also to anticipate it. By choosing Workday Adaptive Planning, organizations begin a journey to FP&A excellence, where agility and informed decision-making drive business success.

“With Workday Adaptive Planning, we delivered the forecast in nine days. That’s when I knew we had something special.”

—Director, Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis


Choosing Workday: your partner in FP&A excellence.

FP&A teams need solutions that streamline operations, provide deep insights, and offer unparalleled adaptability. Workday Adaptive Planning is the preferred choice, offering a unique blend of features that set it apart from competitors.

Workday FP&A benefits include unparalleled ease of use, empowering users of all skill levels to participate in the planning process, and fostering enterprisewide collaboration. Unlike competitors that burden users with a complicated experience and cumbersome reporting capabilities, Workday simplifies the planning and reporting process, increasing accuracy and efficiency.

Workday Adaptive Planning uses Elastic Hypercube Technology (EHT) to handle complex financial models efficiently. This technology dynamically adds memory and computing power as needed, ensuring smooth performance and allowing teams to run multiple scenarios simultaneously. With real-time updates, any changes in data are immediately reflected across all reports and dashboards, helping organizations stay agile and make quick decisions.

Benefits of EHT:

  • Scalability: EHT automatically scales memory and computing power, effortlessly accommodating growing data and user needs.
  • Multidimensional Modeling: Supports detailed, complex planning across various dimensions (departments, regions, products) for comprehensive analysis.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Different business units can plan independently while integrating with the overall corporate plan.

In-memory calculations process data directly in the computer’s main memory, much faster than traditional disk-based storage. 

Benefits of in-memory calculations:

  • Real-Time Analytics: Instant access to data and real-time processing, providing immediate insights and faster decision-making.
  • Efficiency: Eliminates delays caused by reading and writing data to disk, ensuring smooth and continuous workflow.
  • Flexibility: Supports rapid adjustments and recalculations, enabling agile responses to changing business conditions.

This combination of technologies ensures that your financial planning and analysis is fast, scalable, and highly efficient.

Another Workday advantage is that it offers agility without IT reliance. The intuitive interface and self-service capabilities allow for on-the-fly adjustments, enabling FP&A teams to adapt models without technical assistance. This level of independence and flexibility is rare in legacy solutions, which often require dedicated support for model adjustments.

With faster time to value, increased operational efficiency, and real-time insights, more and more organizations are choosing Workday to optimize their financial planning and analysis. Try Workday Adaptive Planning for yourself today.

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