FP&A Today is the podcast for Financial Planning and Analysis. The weekly show dives into the challenges and opportunities within the world of FP&A, interviewing FP&A leaders, CFOs and other finance pros in order to give you the freshest insights and takeaways. Each week our top guests provide actionable advice about financial planning and analysis – from career goals to navigating challenges, and powerful Excel tips.
Our weekly show provides unrivalled insights for navigating FP&A.
FP&A Today is brought to you by Datarails.
Datarails is the financial planning and analysis platform that automates data consolidation, reporting and planning, while enabling finance teams to continue using their own Excel spreadsheets and financial models. Get in touch at www.datarails.com
How FP&A and Rev Ops Can work Together to Drive Value
Talking about the connectedness of FP&A and Rev Ops working together are all-star revenue leaders: Jeff Ignacio, Head of Go-to market Growth and operations at Regrow Ag, Arvind Chahal VP, finance and ops at autotrader Canada, and Drew Noel, VP Revenue, SCS Cloud.First, what is rev Ops?
“Rev Ops is the discipline of aligning go-to market strategy and execution through four key pillars: process enablement, advisory and systems excellence” (Webster dictionary definition submitted by Paul Igancio).
In this episode:
How revenue operations and finance operations need to be working together effectively?
The challenges and worst stories when rev ops and Finance fail to click.
The worst “bad behavior” in a go-to-market org
Data and cultural issues with finance and Rev Ops
Moving career from FP&A to RevOps
How to ensure we are defining and reporting metrics in the same way
The importance of a “data dictionary”
How AI will impact the operations function
Favorite Excel function or feature
Our guests:Jeff Ignacio, Head of Go-to market Growth and operations at Regrow AgArvind Chahal VP, finance and ops at autotrader Canada
Drew Noel, VP Revenue, SCS Cloud
Andrew Lynch -the SMB Finance Guy-on Mentors, Skill Stacking, and why getting Fired Saved my Career
Andrew Lynch, Head of FP&A at UK card discount scheme for public service employees, Blue LIght Card, is known to his nearly 11,000 Twitter followers as The SMB Finance Guy.The FP&A leader also runs the highly popular Net Income newsletter regularly posts small business opportunities, scaling companies, systems, strategy, “with a few shitposts thrown in for good measure” (His writing has also been picked up by Business Insider).
In this episode Andrew reveals:
The power of mentors in transforming his finance career from a “struggle to find someone who would take me” to high-profile roles at Anabas, Capital One, and Blue LIght Card.
Starting a new budget from scratch and building an FP&A team at Blue Light Card
Negotiation and sandbagging with sales and how FP&A can deal with the challenges
How FP&A best practice saw Andrew deliver one SMB £10 million a year in revenue and from £8k in profit to £23 million
Being Fired by Four times Bestselling New York Times author Tucker Max the day before Xmas Eve
Skill stacking – getting to be the top 25% in the world at four or five different related things – rather than trying to be the best
Being one of the few FP&A leaders on the comedy circuit
Subscribe to Net Income at https://www.netincome.co/
Follow Andrew at https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewglynch/
FP&A at $5m to $50M Companies – Jon Allen and Duke Heninger
Jon Allen and Duke Heninger, of Utah-based Amplēo, have brought their finance game to fast-growing companies which are between $5m and $50m in revenue. They are “fractional CFOs” – that is experienced finance professionals advising these companies on a part-time basis. For instance, one business they work with, Korean barbeque restaurant Cupbop, appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank and got $1million from Mark Cuban in 2022. Other companies they advised include Burt Brothers (a tire and services company). Collectively Amplēo helped more than 3000 companies.But they always find the same story when they look at financials at such companies.
“It’s always the data”, says Duke Heninger, Financial Partner at Amplēo. “It’s getting things put in a way so that people can understand what they’ve even spent. Most of my clients are on a very simplified accounting system. They aren’t classifying anything in separate departments. So it’s breaking it out, trying to understand who owns what, where should it go, and ultimately everybody just sandbags just so that they don’t trip a budget”.
In this episode of FP&A we meet Jon Allen Managing Partner, Finance, and Duke Heninger, finance partner at Amplēo.They provide a masterclass on the value of FP&A at fast-growing companies, revealing:
Our worst budget experiences
Our journey through finance to CFO
What we wish we had known earlier in our career
Restaurants in COVID Times – how we used FP&A to help businesses
The powerful value of FP&A in restaurants
Why FP&A is a superb career choice
Founding companies as finance leaders
Teaching FP&A at University
Why great FP&A must lead to actions and decisions
How FP&A can become good business partners
Reporting vs forecasting
The importance of choosing a great finance leader to work for early in your career
Getting out your chair and talking to people
The last things we asked ChatGPTFollow Duke Heninger:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/dukeh/Follow Jon Allenhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/jonnyallen/
Amplēo provides business professionals, such as CFOs, CMOs and CHROs, to companies on a fractional basis in order to help them achieve their full potential. https://ampleo.com/
AI: An extension of the FP&A Brain: Didi Gurfinkel Co-Founder and CEO of Datarails
There are two different directions for AI in finance, says Didi Gurfinkel, Co-Founder and CEO of Datarails.You can use AI to extend your hands.
Or, your brain.
He says: ”Using AI to extend your hands involves automating processes, making everything faster, reducing headcount shortening time to deliver, which is amazing. But it’s not a life changer. In this situation maybe you can reduce the gap between 10 employees to five employees but this will not be what will save your business or ultimately make it successful.
“The more interesting part is to look at AI as an extension to your brain. Here, I think this is a life changer. Letting the CFO or the FP&A manager have a tool that can be like an extension to the FP&A brain. If you take your analysis or approach to analyze your business, the AI can run it at scale with all your historical data, internal data and external data.”
In this episode Didi Gurfinkel talks about setting up Datarails, the FP&A the AI-powered Financial Planning and Analysis platform for Excel users and the multiple challenges and learnings along the way.
Starting his career at Cisco the biggest IT company in the world (“I imagined that everything will be automated end of month – I was wrong”)
Setting up Datarails in 2015 and the challenges of getting traction for an initial concept of “connecting organizational spreadsheets into one centralized database”
Four years of trying (and How he finally found product market fit)
Understanding the power of Excel as core to finance allowed us to focus on finance
How FP&A use cases are the classic consolidation challenge because every FP&A process starts from collecting data from multiple sources in different structures, different shapes, and different systems.
Our capability to transform semi-structured data into structured data landed a very strong competitive edge,
Our “SaaS wake up call” – how we learnt to grow at the same pace with 50% less expenses
AI is either an extension of your head vs AI as an extension of your brain and why the latter is the real game-changer
From a good CFO to an amazing CFO with AI
My expectations as a CEO from my finance team
Why ChatGPT is amazing at text but the challenges come with replicating this with accurate numbers
My favorite Excel function
Surprising fact you wouldn’t know about me
Didi was previously a GM at Cisco. He has extensive senior management experience with a focus on growth and innovation. Didi oversees business, strategy and operations. He holds a B.Sc in economics and computer science, and an MBA in business management.
Follow Didi Gurfinkel on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/didigurfinkel/
FP&A Vs Finance Business Partners – Tunc Tezel, VP Group FP&A at Ontex
Tunc Tezel has managed FP&A at companies including Ontex, Pladis, British American Tobacco, Procter & Gamble, and Gillette. He has lived and worked in 11 different countries including the UK, Iran, Sub-saharan Africa, Turkey, Latvia, BelgiumNow, Tezel is VP of global FP&A at Ontex, a publicly listed leader in private label manufacturing baby care, feminine care and adult care products for stores including Walmart, Aldi, Lidl,Tesco and Carrefour.In this episode provides his takeaways from a career at the cutting edge of FP&A:
What do you do with your company’s budget when overnight interest rates hit 3000%. And the Turkish lira was devalued by 60% overnight
How FP&A powers private label manufacturing vs working at big brands
How we coped with the pandemic and the shift to economically challenged consumers trying private labels
Moving from brand ambassadors to product ambassadors
How FP&A is supporting ESG
Business supporting finance managers – should you call them FP&A Managers or
Finance Business Partners (and why it matters)
The challenges of data in FP&A work
FP&A as co-pilot in a rally car
Secrets of bringing the numbers to life Cooking and seafood
Why I would have loved to meet Atatürk, founder of the Turkish Republic
The last thing I asked Google/Chat GPT about my finance work Episode NotesConnect with Tunc Tezel on LinkedIn.Tunc Tezel: Banking CIO Outlook: FP&A Vs Finance Business
A new roadmap for FP&A – with Jack Alexander
Jack Alexander was our second ever guest on FP&A Today and it remains one of our most downloaded episodes. Here he returns to exclusively launch his new book (published January 2024): Financial Management: Partner in Driving Performance and Value (Wiley Finance)
His new book is a post-pandemic and typically practical take on performance management, planning, forecasting, business valuation, mergers, acquisitions, and capital investment.
He says: “I wrote (my original book) Financial Planning & Analysis and Performance Management. Then the pandemic occurred, the Great accelerator, the great disruptor. And I was getting a different set of phone calls and requests.
“Most people hadn't really been through some of these experiences before. Scenario analysis and planning, business transformations and restructuring liquidity management and scenario planning through various liquidity scenarios. There was a need for FP&A and finance to look outside the organization at major external forces and events that are happening around the world as the greatest threats and opportunities emerged from outside such as hyperinflation and geopolitical events.”
In this episode Jack talks:
Why my first budget was a disaster
From financial accounting manager to CFO at EG&GMentoring as a path to CFO and CEO
Financial Leadership in the 21st century inspired by the pandemic and post pandemic environment.
The essentials of value creation for a finance team
Return to the Principles of a “Top Gun” CFO
What’s changed - and what hasn’t in 45 years of FP&A
How audit and transaction experience got me first promoted to CFO
Health and finance
Follow Jack Alexander at https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-jack-alexande
I love FP&A Today
As the host of FP&A Today I love sharing FP&A insights with my audience every week.
A must for anyone in or looking to get in to FP&A
From the variety of topics and guests to Paul’s approachable nature this is one of my favorite FP&A podcasts!