FP&A to Valuations -- skills needed?

Jake Paul's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 155

Recently started a corporate finance FP&A job. I'm not far in yet but even my senior analyst (1 year experience) spends most of his time updating already built models, refreshing excel reports, and building powerpoint decks for executive meetings.

This is not really what I thought I was going to be doing. I wanted something where I work with a bit of modeling (I understand the minimal amount of modeling actually done in FP&A) and doing some calculations on forecasts (ROI, NPV).

I work in the central finance group, which receives info from the business unit finance teams, consolidates the info to reflect the entire company's P&Ls, and does estimates on each weeks performance. The complex ad-hoc reports are done by my managers and directors who are all pushing 50+.

What can I do to eventually exit into something like valuations, or even a more complex and strategy driven FP&A role? ( I would love to hear about FP&A people breaking into consulting as well)

Please excuse some of the rambling, but it's hard to articulate my situation well with me being only a month on the job.

Thanks.

Comments (13)

Nov 9, 2018

Have you thought about getting your CFA? FP&A experience plus a CFA should give you plenty of opportunities

Nov 9, 2018

I've thought about it, but don't really want to get one as I'm not looking into getting into AM. I also don't really know if a CFA would lend skills to someone looking to get into valuations or consulting -- although it could surely help down the road. I would like to get an MBA regardless, and I think that would be a better experience

Don't beat yourself up on this, Eric. Some people like taking the long way home. Who the fuck knows?

    • 1
Nov 9, 2018

Why an MBA of all things? How do you see that being of direct benefit?

Nov 12, 2018

If I wanted a career change, tick a box for a promotion within a corporation, network with classmates, learn more about different functions of businesses, do OCR for more companies that will pay better. Are you against MBAs?

I didn't mean I would get an MBA to try to get into valuations lol, I meant that being in valuations might be viewed more positively to MBA admissions over a standard FP&A career.

Don't beat yourself up on this, Eric. Some people like taking the long way home. Who the fuck knows?

Jan 7, 2019

Not against MBAs as such. I've got one myself. Just curious. But I would have thought professional qualifications in a/c or corporate finance would be more appropriate.

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Nov 9, 2018

Study for CFA and ABV. ABV no longer requires CPA requirement. If you can get through the ABV and CFA level 1, transitioning into Bval will be easy. Very easy.

CFA is HIGHLY desired in Bval. Can't stress this enough.

    • 2
Nov 9, 2018

I just read that the ABV requires past valuation experience. My first job out of college is this FP&A job and I do no valuations unfortunately. Any other insights? I know the CFA will help but the study time is daunting -- I want to break out but I want to make sure I'm going down the right path before spending 150 hours studying for level 1 CFA

Don't beat yourself up on this, Eric. Some people like taking the long way home. Who the fuck knows?

    • 2
Nov 9, 2018

You don't need the experience to sit for the test(s). You just need it for the actual designation. Passing the tests will be enough to get you in. It'll demonstrate interest and competence in the subject matter. This is your answer. There is no better answer.

Also, with regard to the CFA, if you're not willing to spend 5 hours a day for a month to break into a new industry then just stay in FP&A.

    • 3
Nov 9, 2018

Thanks, I didn't get that when I read the description/reqs for the ABV (I had to skim during my downtime).

You're right about the CFA, I said that with the wrong attitude. I am willing to put the time in to study for a designation that would greatly help me -- it's really not even that much time.

But you think that the ABV is enough to get me in, my question to that is: If I could complete it in much less time than the CFA, it would leave me more time to network and apply to jobs. The CFA would eat up an enormous amount of my networking time.

If the ABV is enough to get me in, should I just do that and network, get in, then start the CFA to increase upward mobility?

Do you think there's a trade-off here in terms of that? Or do you think I should just shut the fuck up and do both?

Don't beat yourself up on this, Eric. Some people like taking the long way home. Who the fuck knows?

Nov 9, 2018
Jake Paul:

If the ABV is enough to get me in, should I just do that and network, get in, then start the CFA to increase upward mobility?

Yes.

    • 2
Nov 12, 2018

Great. Really appreciate the advice. Going to start networking with people in industry and look into taking those ABV exams.

Don't beat yourself up on this, Eric. Some people like taking the long way home. Who the fuck knows?

Most Helpful
Nov 25, 2018

PM'd you

I think your experience within FP&A is highly dependent on the size of the company, number of products offered and where it sits within the organization. If you are working at a global firm with multiple products, how can you expect one team to handle the entire firm-wide PnL modeling?

    • 4
Dec 3, 2018