September was an exciting and busy month for The CFO Alliance! We kicked off the Q3 Roundtable Series, Leading During Business & Industry Disruption: How CFOs Can Innovate While They Operate in the Philadelphia market on September 11th and wrapped up our in-person Roundtables in Chicago on September 27th. Interested in hearing the key takeaways from the Series? Join us on October 11th for a Roundup Webinar, where our featured guests from each market will share insights and best practices that were discussed in their respective market. We developed an Innovation Risk Management Tool where you can identify how well you manage innovation risk in your enterprise.
FP&A was a big topic of discussion in The CFO Alliance in the month of September. As we reach the height of the 2019 budget and planning season, FP&A is critical for innovative companies, especially as data has become more accessible. I am excited to introduce our FP&A Partner, Cadilus, provides fully integrated software & services to support your FP&A and enterprise analytics. Let me know if you'd like an introduction. An added bonus - CFO Alliance Members receive special pricing!
Speaking of FP&A.... CFO Alliance Member Bryan Lapidus, Director of the FP&A Practice at the Association for Finance Professionals shared a blog post using baseball to describe the future of finance. The blog post also provides a link to an interactive tool that showcases each dimension of FP&A and describes how the changes are impacting the future of finance. Bryan's contributions have earned him our September Member Spotlight. Thank you Bryan!
Bryan Lapidus has spent two decades in and around the office of the CFO, including publicly listed large caps, private equity-backed mid-caps, and as CFO of a start-up. Lately, Bryan has been channeling that experience in his new role as the Director of the FP&A Practice at the Association for Financial Professionals. He thinks about his career this way:
I see the role of the CFO as the steward of company capital and resources. Where accounting records what happened and treasury moves capital to be ready for use, FP&A helps to determine the best place for the next dollar to be deployed. I am always thinking about how a business competes in the market, so FP&A is a natural place for me. I started my career on a rotational program, so I have picked up experience in treasury and risk; I have been close to the business, once as VP of operations and almost joining marketing/product development. The common theme for me is applying analytical thought to business opportunities, and this is where I can do that in finance.
I began working with AFP years before he began working for them. I was looking for a way to stand out and develop my finance “brand” so I earned the Corporate FP&A Professional certification, published several articles and spoke at AFP’s conferences. After a while, I realized that I was really enjoying the work, the creativity, and the ability to step back from the details of my day job and reflect on the larger meanings of what I was doing. Now that I am in the role, I love studying the future of finance and seeing how different people adjust their companies to so many fast moving trends. My role is to help the members advance their careers through useful content and “connections that count,” so there is a lot of overlap with The CFO Alliance!
A good FP&A person has to be strong in at least three distinct areas. First is finance and business acumen—you have to know the numbers and know your business in order to apply the numbers. Second is technology and data—you need to apply the tools well to be efficient and accurate in delivering your insights. Third is business partnering—you need to communicate, relate, have an inquiring curiosity and establish credibility with the business. This is how FP&A and the CFO come to be seen as strategic advisors.