How to launch a career in FP&A,

Daylon's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | banana points 22

Hi guys,

What's your advice for someone like me trying to crack into and FP&A job, given my experience?
My background is in public account for about 4 years. Started as a short stint at Deloitte (was laid off in Jan 2008) then worked at a national firm.

I did private accounting as a senior accountant and now do glorified financial analyst role at a large insurance company, (its basically a financial reporting role.) I have my CPA for what it's worth.

I figured out a little late in the game that FP&A would be role I'm really into, so I'm curious what advice you'd all have for me.

Could I land a role based on my experience so far or would I have to land a job at large company and transfer into that role? Or should I try to look for smaller companies

Is there some sort of networking I could do to better position myself?

I know grad school is a possibility, but I feel as though I am in no-man's land with that one because I have sort of the experience but not exactly, meaning grad school could be a waste of money or an over-kill.

Thanks!

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Comments (3)

Feb 6, 2017

Do you have an idea of what kind of FP&A you'd like to do? Broadly speaking there's corp FP&A and business line FP&A, with shades of gray in between. Accountants generally feel more at home in the Corp FP&A side, but I've seen more growth potential on the business line side. Do you have an industry in mind? How do you like insurance or financial services generally? Anything stick out as interesting when you were in public?

I would favor smaller shops over large corporations if you're looking for growth opportunity. You're immediately a level or two closer to executives/decision makers than if you started at an F100 or something. Plus, the compartmentalization of FP&A roles at large companies means you may not learn much or be exposed to variety. For example, I'll explicitly not hire senior FP&A roles from mega banks because they never learn how to think and problem solve.

For networking, in your current reporting role do you have interaction with anyone in a formal FP&A role? Offering to help team up on a project that your reporting reveals a need for could be a good step to build some relationships there. On your resume detail analysis. critical thinking and model building, accounting backgrounds can sometimes look weak there to FP&A folks.

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Feb 6, 2017

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