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Financial planning and analysis is a critical piece of business success, no matter the size or industry of the company. Financial planning & analysis is a growing field that supports the executive functioning by providing data, analysis, planning, and recommendations. A financial planning analyst can expect to make between $50,000-200,000 per year, depending on experience, certifications, and company role. 

That’s a really wide range, so keep reading to better understand the role of financial planning & analysis jobs in a company. We’re reporting on FP&A jobs, skills needed for financial planning & analysis, the career path for a financial planning analyst, and what to expect for a financial planning analyst salary.

What is Financial Planning & Analysis?

Financial planning & analysis is a critical piece of business performance. Successful companies need careful analysis to determine the effectiveness of their strategies and to make careful plans for future growth. Financial planning & analysis usually includes making profit projections, predicting market fluctuations, and creating plans that span multiple teams within an organization to meet financial goals.

Financial Planning Analyst Job Description

A financial planning analyst needs a high level of critical thinking skills and ability to solve problems across multiple teams. Every company is different, so the planning and analysis that will go into the role will vary widely. It’s difficult to enumerate all the job requirements and expectations for a particular financial planning analyst job but there are some general duties, according to Monster

A basic financial planning analyst job description may include:

  • Quantitative mathematical analysis of company finances
  • Analyzing current assets and potential investments
  • Managing debt and risk
  • Recommending financial courses of action
  • Creating and presenting reports for executive teams & shareholders
  • Coordinating across teams to meet financial goals of the company
  • Creating systems/processes for managing cash flow and gathering company data
  • Forecasting market trends and revenue

Skills & Responsibilities

Is a financial planning analyst job right for you? As a CFO hiring for financial planning & analysis roles, what specifically should you look for in a candidate? Matching the right set of skills to the right role can make the difference between cosmic business success and lackluster performance, especially when the role involves big decisions and future planning. 

Mathematical Skills Budgeting

Statistical Analysis

Understanding of historical and current finances

Spreadsheets, technology use, and financial modeling

Critical Thinking Skills Risk management

Strategy

Long- and short-term vision

Creative problem solving

Communication Skills Creating clear reports

Presenting data in meaningful ways

Communicating financial goals & plans with teams

Project consulting

Wall Street Prep shares that financial planning analyst roles require a good synergy of these skills in order to provide for the varied financial planning needs of any given organization.

Where Does an FP&A Analyst Fit? 

Some companies may have a distinct Financial Planning & Analysis role, especially if they manage a lot of assets, debts, and investments. Smaller companies may delegate financial planning & analysis to the general finance team – such as a controller, VP of Finance, CFO, or others

Essentially, financial planning & analysis sits directly under the CFO of a company. A financial planning analyst would report directly to the CFO, and work closely with a VP of Finance, Controller, and/or Treasury Analyst, depending on how the finance department of the company is constituted.

A Financial Planning Analyst operates in a unique way, because they may work on projects and join teams such as accounting, marketing, sales, and growth, since they have the overarching vision of where the company should be headed. A financial planning analyst may be called in to consult on a single, short-term project, or function as a permanent member of the decision team.

Financial Planning Analyst Salary

Financial planning analyst jobs are usually very well paid, and they can enjoy huge increases in salary and bonuses as time goes on. Many financial planning & analysis jobs are set up to reward successful predictions and company growth, since the projections of a financial planning analyst can create huge waves in a company’s future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a financial planning analyst is around $85,000 per year.

Entry Level Finance Planning Analyst
$50,000-80,000
Certified Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA) Certified Financial Planner
$75,000-120,000
Senior Finance Planning Analyst
$90,000-150,000
Director of Finance Planning & Analysis
$100,000-250,000

Education, level of experience, and the size of the company can affect the level of compensation you can expect from a financial planning & analysis role. Entry level financial planning analysts with a bachelor’s degree can expect $50,000 to begin their career, but may enjoy some bonuses and benefits. 

Becoming a certified financial planning analyst will open doors for promotion and increased compensation. Logging 3-5 years of experience can earn a senior title and accompanying salary and bonus structure. Finally, many financial planning analysts can move into Director or Vice President roles that maximize earnings into the six figures (more from the Corporate Finance Institute here).

TRY THIS: Use this tool to determine what you can expect for a financial planning analyst salary according to your own situation.

Financial Planning Analyst Career Path

As you can see, the earning potential in a financial planning analyst career path is tremendous. The job satisfaction and security is relatively high, and the work-life balance is good, especially for the finance sector. So how do you get started?

  1. Education. The Corporate Finance Institute recommends a bachelor’s degree, preferably in business or finance. Ideally, an advanced degree of an MBA would make you a very competitive candidate.
  2. Experience. Any kind of business work experience can be relevant so long as you understand how to improve business performance in any way. 
  3. Certification. Earning the designation of Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst or a Certified Financial Planner isn’t necessary, but is often preferred. 
  4. Specialization. Some financial planning analysts can specialize as consultants that work with many different companies, or get into government financial regulation. A small number of financial planning analysts move into investment banking or corporate management, which can be very lucrative.
  5. Advancement. Many financial planning analysts set their sights on the executive team, meaning to move into the role of Chief Financial Officer – a role for which they’re usually very well prepared.

FP&A Certification

There are a few different certifications that can strengthen a candidate for a role in financial planning & analysis.

Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)

designation for improved financial modeling, relevant industry applications, and advanced analytical skills

Certified Financial Planner

certification for increased technical skills, a code of ethics, and investment knowledge

Either of these certifications can strengthen your skills as a financial planning analyst, or groom an existing accountant or finance professional to support the company. Achieving these certifications may be a conversation for the financial or management team. Providing sponsorship for an accountant or controller to become certified in financial planning and analysis can groom the best individuals for key roles inside a company, or to flesh out succession planning. 

Financial planning & analysis provides an interesting, rewarding, and important career path within a company. Major financial decisions made by a financial planning analyst dramatically impact a company, so investing in the right people and education makes a huge difference.

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