Hiring your first FP&A Manager
By Simon Bennett. Simon is a Principal Consultant at Zeren and is based in our London office, as a member of our Finance hiring team.
The importance of FP&A over the last four years has increased significantly, with multiple crises, events and economic trends driving the need to gain greater clarity on future business and greater clarity on sales performance.
These events have merely stimulated a need for change that was always there, as technology businesses increasingly compete in a landscape where understanding where your revenue is coming from and how it feeds into your future strategy is key to success.
FP&A Managers Core Responsibilities and Value Added:
- Forecasting sales and cash flow to put context into performance.
- Tracking tech focussed metrics like customer profitability, retention and acquisition, and finally creating the future sales metrics to guide growth further.
- The more daily tasks of the Fp&A Manager will revolve around an ability to build a strong budget for the business that can be segmented into individual operational departments, in parallel with the CFO or Financial Controller.
- Finally, the task of delivering on Month end results is a core part of a manager’s remit and something that must be done competently, ideally improving, minimising and refining the process.
With the inclusion of ever more complex and analytical forecasting tech, the FP&A professional can perform deep dive analysis into their businesses’ performance and provide insight on a whole other scale than was before achievable. Suppose you apply this in particular to the growing SAAS market which pivots around its ability to deliver regular recognisable revenue. In that case, the FP&A Manager can go into that data and through the building of excel or more complex models using forecasting tools, can identify otherwise unknown key metrics that track the company’s performance and its future sales strategy.
The FP&A Manager may need some support when interacting with the board or C-Suite as they may have limited exposure to that level of senior stakeholder. This support can take the form of the CFO traditionally unless the business has grown to a certain size, then a more dedicated person is required to bolster and drive the Fp&A considerations of the business alongside the Fp&A Manager.
The FP&A Director is a more senior hire that a growing tech organisation may need if they need an FP&A Leader to tackle the more high-level thinking whilst understanding the daily tasks.
- The Director’s key value is handling large volumes of data and being able to communicate the insights found within it to a much more senior level.
- They can easily transform data into actionable insights that the board and C-Suite will understand.
- The Fp&A Director can ingrain themselves more closely into the operational needs of the revenue focussed functions – Such as understanding ROI in marketing and laying out sales teams with accurately predicted revenue and customer profitability.
A great FP&A candidate can be tricky to find, especially if you require them to have commercial insight specific to your space. The metrics for different tech platforms can be widely different so finding someone specific to your space will need a more concerted search effort.
Zeren exists to empower the world’s change-makers. We do this by building high-performing teams in the world’s most innovative businesses, to accelerate growth by connecting visionary leaders and ambitious talent.
We are a leading global Executive Search & Recruitment firm with teams and offices in San Francisco, Houston, New York, London, Berlin and Frankfurt.
We partner with both high-growth, VC/PE-backed businesses and ambitious Corporate brands placing senior leaders, building exceptional teams, or providing critical interim and consulting talent.