FP&A Analyst

Discover your financial planning and analysis (FP&A) career path.

FP&A Analyst

Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Overview

FP&A is an in-house finance role on the corporate side.  FP&A analysts, managers, and directors are responsible for providing senior management with the analysis and information they need to make major operational, financial, and strategic decisions.  The group is responsible running the annual budgeting process as well as managing cash flow forecast models, variance analysis, and other financial performance tools. FP&A analysts will often liaise with treasury staff to discuss cash flows and expenditures.

More reading: guide to becoming a financial analyst.

Career development: how to be the best financial analyst.


FP&A Personality

The personality of someone who would thrive in a financial planning and analysis role at a corporation often has the following character traits:

  • Analytical

  • Inquisitive

  • Detail oriented

  • Self-motivated

  • Managing internal stakeholders

  • Good communicator


Analyst Interview Prep

Preparing for an FP&A interview requires a thorough knowledge of both technical and behavioral questions.  In terms of technical side questions, they may be skewed towards financial analysis, accounting, and financial modeling.  Questions such as:  how do you evaluate the financial performance of a company and how do you build a financial model would be common examples.

For a full list of questions and answers please see our FP&A interview questions and answers.


FP&A Analyst Entry Point

People typically enter FP&A from a public accounting firm or by moving up internally from an accounting position on the corporate side.  The entry level position is an FP&A analyst, and they can then move up to be a manager or director.  It can take anywhere from 2-5 years to move up through the positions, and unlike investment banking or other capital markets positions, you may stay at a certain level for most of your career.

FP&A roles are common for a B.Com career path.


Exit Strategy

Most people stay on the corporate side once they’re working in FP&A and opportunities are either to move up internally or switch to another corporation.  Moving up could be all the way from Analyst to Director of FP&A, and from there VP of Finance, VP of Corporate Development or Chief Financial Officer (read our guide on what does a CFO do). are the tops of the career tracks.


FP&A Salary

Here is a breakdown of what you can expect to earn as an FP&A Analyst, Manager, Director or VP.  Generally speaking, FP&A analysts / managers are well paid when considering the work-life balance that they usually enjoy in their job.

Analyst: $50,000 to $80,000 (base salary plus bonus)

Manager: $60,000 to $100,000 (base salary plus bonus)

Director/VP: $90,000 to $250,000+


Why work in FP&A?

Working in FP&A can be a very exciting career path.  Analysts get to perform extremely detailed and important financial modeling used for executive decision making.  The group typically works very closely with the CFO  and helps support decisions around capital spending, operating budgets, long-term planning, and sometimes may be pulled in to support mergers and acquisitions (depending on the size of the company).

The FP&A department is typically a stable place to work as they are required in good times and in bad, and teams don’t tend to massively fluctuate in size (the way more sales oriented jobs like investment banking can).


FP&A Career Prep

Taking financial analysis courses is the fastest way to learn what’s required in an FP&A job before you get hired.

It’s important, to begin with a strong understanding of accounting fundamentals and reading financial statements.  From there you should have a solid Excel crash course under your belt, which will teach you the basics including shortcuts, formulas, and functions.  Beyond that, you can progress to more advanced courses, which will teach you valuation and financial modeling.

If you want the best value for a wide range of courses, check out CFI’s Full Access Bundle.


More helpful resources

We hope this has been a helpful guide to being an FP&A Analyst or Manager.  To continue planning your career path we highly recommend these additional resources: