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New Research from IMA and Workiva Finds Best Practices for FP&A

The best-performing organizations take a more rigorous approach to financial planning and analysis (FP&A) than their peers, finds new research from IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) and Workiva. To see the full report, visit here.

Few processes have the potential to create or diminish a business’s value than FP&A. If a business’s strategy is sound but its budget is misallocated, that strategy will fail. Until now, there has been a gap in understanding how the best-run companies deal differently with FP&A than their lower-performing peers. The report identifies the 12 principles of best practice for FP&A that allow top companies to exceed their goals and the performance of their competitors.

“As the business landscape becomes more competitive and investor pressure to deliver on promises increases, CFOs must be knowledgeable of the best methods for FP&A or their organizations may suffer,” said Raef Lawson, Ph.D., CMA, CPA, vice president of research and policy and professor-in-residence for IMA. “FP&A is the means to driving shareholder value and achieving organizational goals, both of which are essential to long-term success.”

Drawing on responses from 734 surveyed financial executives and managers, the report finds that while lower-performing companies have only loosely coordinated processes, the best-run organizations have tightly integrated all components of FP&A. This includes having a deep understanding of how operational metrics drive financial results, effectively translating strategy into actionable items, and accounting for all needed resources in the budget. Additionally, these companies closely monitor results, cascade financial and operational goals, and hold people accountable by linking pay with performance.

The report also considers how advancing technology impacts FP&A, finding that the best-run organizations are more likely to use dedicated FP&A tools. These dedicated technologies help automate FP&A processes, freeing up the professional to focus on value-added activities, the study finds.

IMA will host an Inside Talk webinar on FP&A best practices on October 18. To register, visit here.
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