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Life after Big 4: Becoming a FP&A Analyst

Job hunting is intimidating enough, but it can be especially confusing when you’re not sure in which  direction to take your career. If you are looking for a good mix between interacting
with the business and using and developing your analytical skills all the while working within
an international and stimulating environment, the role of FP&A Analyst might be a great next step in your career.

What does a FP&A Analyst do?

Financial Planning and Analysis Analysts are responsible for performing budgeting, forecasting and analyses to provide senior management with business cases and information to make major  operational, financial and strategic decisions. Typically working within a regional headquarter of a large national or international corporation, an FP&A Analyst works on a regional level with various business units and upper management members both nationally and internationally depending on the size of the organisation. 

“An FP&A Analyst picks up where accounting leaves off to study, analyse and explain historical performance and forecast future results. Gathering information from different business units and operations, they build business cases, have a large business understanding and have an end-to-end overview of a corporation’s performance,” says Eveline Mannaerts, Consultant at Robert Walters.

Which skills are essential, and what are the possible evolutions?

FP&A Analysts are excellent problem solvers, capable of handling a mountain of different data at a time. Previous experience with reporting tools (Hyperion, Cognos) and BI tools (Qlickview, SAP BI) would be considered a strong asset. “As this function is typical to large
corporations, a good knowledge of English is usually required,” says Eveline. “To effectively communicate the impact of specific business issues and formulate growth scenarios, a high
emotional intelligence is essential, as well as the ability to explain figures to non-financial people.”

An FP&A analyst can typically evolve into a role such as Business Unit Controller with A-Z financial responsibility over an entire division, or local CFO. Taking on a role as CFO for a larger structure is usually the ultimate goal. FP&A professionals with five to seven years of experience can expect a base salary between 65 to 90k € a year.

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Eveline Mannaerts

Eveline Mannaerts | Consultant | Antwerp
Phone: 0491 36 01 17

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