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The Benefits of Certification for FP&A Professionals Sara Nichols VP of Finance, Kforce Inc. March 15, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "The Benefits of Certification for FP&A Professionals Sara Nichols VP of Finance, Kforce Inc. March 15, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Benefits of Certification for FP&A Professionals Sara Nichols VP of Finance, Kforce Inc. March 15, 2013

2 Content Based on AFP Whitepaper 2

3 3 Agenda  Why the FP&A Certification?  Role of AFP in the Certification  FP&A as a Profession and Function  Certification Development and Timeline  Questions/Comments

4 4 Why the FP&A Certification?

5 Role of Professional Certification  Develops people- acquisition of knowledge, skills and abilities  Qualifies people- confirmation that people have required knowledge, skills and abilities  Distinguishes people- differentiates between proficiencies  Recognizes people- acknowledgement of people who consistently perform to standards 5

6 Role of Professional Certification Helps employers by:  better defining and developing technical job competencies  identifying job candidates who have acquired those attributes Helps practitioners by:  developing knowledge and skills required to perform technical job competencies  recognizing competence - elevating professional status  advancing career and improving marketability 6

7 7 Role of AFP in the FP&A Certification

8 AFP Mission To be the global resource and advocate for the finance profession  Network of 16,000 individual members and 150,000 registered subscribers worldwide 8

9 AFP Experience as Certifying Body  Sponsor of the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) and Certified Cash Manager (CCM) credentials  Earned by more than 24,000 individuals in 54 countries since 1986  2,500~ individuals register annually to take exam  83% of Fortune 500 companies hire CTPs 9

10 AFP Experience as Certifying Body AFP has demonstrated know-how to:  develop and maintain a psychometrically sound and legally defensible credential according to industry approved best practices  develop and use professional standards to certify individuals  to facilitate and administer a certification created by and for finance practitioners 10

11 Resource for Reliable, Unbiased Content  30+ years as provider of educational programs  Original content, practitioner driven: not a pay-to-play model  Publisher of body of knowledge for a certification  Not-for-profit organization 11

12 12 FP&A as a Profession and Function

13 What is Included in the FP&A Function? Ownership of Core Processes and Enabling Technology, Drive Standardization Corporate & Business Reports & Analysis Forecasting (demand, cash flow, performance) Analyze Results and Trends, Model Scenarios Preparation of Financial Presentations for BOD Financial Measures and Performance Metrics Coordination with Divisional Teams on Key Deliverables Strategic Planning and Budgeting Financial Planning & Analysis 13

14 FP&A as a Field / Function  High value in being able to transform data into knowledge (Where can the organization produce greatest ROI?)  Growing importance of function (Where is the company going?)  Practitioners taking on expanded roles in FP&A practice within organizations 14

15 FP&A as a Field / Function Sits at intersection of  Accounting  Treasury  Finance and  Sales  Operations  Investor Relations 15

16 Challenges Facing FP&A Professionals  Varied organizational reporting structures, inconsistent visibility  Limited professional development resources available  higher education  continuing education  best practices  No agreement on job performance competencies  Little consensus on proper techniques companies use to model and forecast 16

17 Field of Financial Planning and Analysis “The hottest position today is financial planning and analysis.” (Korn Ferry International’s Chuck Eldridge, 2009) “64% of executive level (CFO, CEO) [survey] respondents report FP&A hardest position to fill.” (APQC/ American Productivity and Quality Center, Sept, 2012) 17

18 18 Certification Development and Timeline

19 FP&A Certification Drivers Need for: 1.Defined universal principles and standards of practice for the complex FP&A profession 2.Practitioners to be recognized for their understanding of those complex processes, tools and best practices and therefore well-positioned to drive strategic business decisions at companies 19

20 Process of Designing a Valid, Defensible Certification Program Sequential steps: 1. Job Analysis- job tasks and the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA) needed 2. Test Specifications- importance of tasks, KSAs by domain, cognitive level of knowledge 3. Body of Knowledge- principles and standards of professional practice 4. Assessment- bank of items 5. Cut Score- minimum competency level 20

21 FP&A Job Analysis Process and Findings  12 FP&A volunteers recruited  Diverse group  Years experience, industry, members/non- members  2 ½ day facilitated discussion  Identified consensus of tasks and processes  Created profile of the AFP Certified FP&A Professional  Review of survey instrument and results 21

22 JTA Survey: Highlights of Findings  Tasks always performed and extremely important  Validate data (i.e. assess quality/consistency of data)  Build budgets, forecasts, annual plans  Use basic and advanced spreadsheet functions  Tasks seldom performed, low importance  Work with rating agency professionals 22

23 JTA Survey: Highlights of Findings  Extremely important knowledge, skills, abilities (KSAs) needed:  Ability to communicate with and gather information from business partners  Ability to integrate information and data into analysis  Ability to create financial statement projections  Ability to perform variance analysis and reporting 23

24 JTA Survey: Highlights of Findings Extremely important KSAs, cont’d  Knowledge of database structures and functions  Ability to implement basic spreadsheet functions  Ability to implement advanced spreadsheet functions (cross tabulations, matrix tables, macros, etc.) 24

25 JTA Survey: Highlights of Findings  70% of respondents have graduate degrees  Global profession- 30% non-U.S.  51% have 2-5 individuals in immediate FPA group  Financial Planning and Analysis in most job titles  Reports to CFO, VP/SVP Finance, Treasurer or Controller 25

26 FP&A Test Specifications  Multi-part exam  Part 1: Financial Acumen items Domain A- Gathering and interpreting information Domain B- Communicating/coordinating work with other professionals  Part 2: Financial Analysis items Domain A- Analyzing information Domain B- Building financial projections Domain C- Using technology/software 26

27 Development Timeline  ID reference materials (reading list, item citations)  Write items (~1,200)  Develop exam prep product (available Sep 2013)  Deliver Beta exam (Sep/Oct 2013)  Registration open (Nov 2013)  Deliver live exam (Feb 2014) 27

28 Development Timeline  Finalize  Requirements including education, experience, continuing education, etc.  Pricing and exam delivery options  Grandfathering criteria, policies and procedures  Exam update process/frequency 28

29 The New FP&A Credential Will…  Set standards in the corporate FP&A profession  Be a symbol of excellence  Signify that an individual has:  demonstrated the knowledge and skills required to perform competently in today's complex finance environment  passed a rigorous examination  agreed to abide by a professional code of ethical conduct  committed to keeping knowledge current by meeting continuing education requirements 29

30 FP&A Resources from AFP  FP&A Newsletter  Monthly, 11,000+ subscribers from 110 countries, editorial advisory board  Facilitated Roundtable Discussions  Led by Brian Kalish, around the country/world  Track at AFP Annual Conference  Educational sessions, networking events  Webinars, virtual seminars  LinkedIn Group  Research  Cost of Capital Survey 30

31 Get Involved!  Let us know what you want to learn about  AFP Annual Conference  Webinars, seminars  Share your knowledge  Write an article (750 words)  Participate in a FP&A Roundtable  Volunteer on committees 31

32 Certification for FP&A Professionals Donna Berzellini Managing Director, Certification, AFP Brian Kalish Finance Practice Lead, AFP

33 Certification for FP&A Professionals Questions and Comments? 33


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