Financial Planning and Analysis and Its Importance for Your Brand

financial planning and analysis

Financial planning and analysis is key for every company, no matter how big or small they are. But, according to Gartner, only 3% of companies have financial planning procedures that are actually integrated into the business procedure.

So, what does financial planning really mean? How does it help businesses and what is the role of a financial planning team in the functioning of a company? We will answer all these questions and more in this blog post.

What is financial planning and analysis?

Financial planning and analysis is the tasks performed by the FP&A team of any organization. They mainly help the senior managers optimize the financial situation of the company. Here are three main tasks performed by the team: 

  • Analyzing the financial model in place previously and proposing any changes that need to be made within the organization. 
  • They create and update budgets for the operation of the company as a whole as well as individual teams. 
  • Predict the financial performance of the brand in the future and create appropriate forecasts to use. 
  • Help the executive team manage cash flow based on the data collected and submitted. 
  • Ensuring that the company moves in the right direction to ensure that their financial goals are being met regularly. 

With all these key responsibilities, it is easy to see why the findings of the team are key to making the right business decisions. 

The structure of an financial planning and analysis team 

The chief financial officer (CFO) is the primary decision-maker in an organization, and is the person to whom the FP&A team reports. Their decisions are driven by the findings of the team. The advising team of the CFO mainly consists of three broad departments: 

Accounting 

The accounting team is responsible for creating the financial reports of the organization such as the books and the ledger. The balance sheet, the income statement showing the profit and loss are all key documents that are needed to accurately analyze the financial situation of the company. 

Treasury

The treasury is led by the treasurer, who is responsible for managing the cash flow, debt and equity. Their main role is to ensure that the financial investments are profitable and that the company is liquid. This helps the company know how much cash flow they need to have to weather a market shock or unforeseen circumstance. It also tells the company where they can or can’t spend money. 

Financial planning and analysis team 

Forecasting, budgeting and financial planning are all included in the tasks of a financial planner. In some cases, they may also be asked to determine the pricing of products and evaluate the investments made by the company. 

By analyzing the reports made by the other departments, an FP&A team can see and determine which part of the company’s product generated the largest profit. Similarly, they also find out the products with the lowest profit margin. 

The key difference between the accounting and FP&A teams is this — while the accounting team is focused on looking at the financial past of the company, the other is looking towards the future. 

Benefits of having an FP&A team for your business 

Now that we have a clear idea about the work and the responsibilities of financial planning and analysis in a company, let’s take a look at the benefits of having such a team on hand: 

Stronger business decisions 

Through the analysis provided by the team, officials can make more informed and rational decisions about the investments that need to be made. 

Growth optimization 

When you have all the necessary details about the areas for growth in the company, you can double down on them and make changes to your business model accordingly. 

Increased productivity 

Talking about the business as a whole, when you know the areas that need improvement, you can start tweaking the operations to ensure growth in that specific part. 

Conclusion 

A financial planning and analysis team is crucial for making the right decisions, which ensure the growth of a company. To work at the optimal level, the FP&A team needs the right tools. 

If you’re looking to equip your team with the best financial software on the market, Mesh Payments can help. 

Our products can provide all the important metrics to your team so that you can make the important decisions. So, take the next big step towards the growth of your brand, starting today. 

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