FP&A to Valuations -- skills needed?

Jake Paul's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 253

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.


Comments (15)

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 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
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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
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

Work longer......

Feb 2, 2019

Hi, I was in a similar position to you. I started in Big 4 Audit (3 years) transitioned to Transaction Services (2 years) then moved to FP&A for 2 years at a central team for a large multinational. The work was as you described boring and mundane. Managers and Directors snaped anything remotely interesting, and politics were never-ending. The company was also downsizing and moving a lot of its finance/accounting functions abroad and this pushed people to protect their turfs rather than share work.

I was lucky enough to leverage my TS experience and land a Manager of Corporate Development at another company. Not a huge or sexy tech company but it is multinational with a 3 Billion market cap and the deal flow is strong.

If I were you, I would step back and find out which groups/industries interest you and try to lateral. Functional experience is most important, do not chase a CFA unless you are committed, and you will need the experience to get and benefit from an MBA. I do believe you should leave ASAP, your current role is not serving you well.

Nov 9, 2018

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