Our Guest Mentor:
Larysa Melnychuk is a founder and managing director of FP&A Trends Group. FP&A Trends helps companies to realize their innovative FP&A potential through training, consulting, professional networking and debating. Larysa is an experienced FP&A practitioner and held senior FP&A positions at Invensys plc, Ace Group, Key Bank and HSBC Bank before setting up the International FP&A Board in 2013- a global and well-recognized FP&A best practices think-tank. Since then, she has been running the Board that has successfully expanded into 11 countries in Europe, the Middle East, the USA, Asia and Australia.
Larysa is a member of the exam content writing team for the Association of Finance Professionals (AFP) FP&A certification. She is a founder of London FP&A Board that aims to bring together the knowledge and experience of senior FP&A professionals and aid the development of best practice in FP&A. Larysa is also the owner of the “FP&A CLUB” LinkedIn group and runs “FP&A Trends” blog.
Larysa holds a Master of Science (MSc) degree from Kiev Technical University (KPI) and is a qualified chartered management accountant (CIMA), chartered global management accountant (CGMA) and is a holder of FP&A certification. She speaks at the international conferences and writes articles on the FP&A subject.
Key Quotes From the Episode:
“[On the power of junior FP&A professionals influencing Board Level Decisions] Even at that time [20 years ago] when technology wasn’t as developed as it is now FP&A people can make quite a big difference if they were allowed to do this.” [05:51]
“[On what Finance Leaders are finding after experimenting with hiring non-accountants] …. There are really exceptionally good, those with engineering backgrounds, mathematical backgrounds, and so on so forth, so they have this mathematical minds, they are really good business architects, the can see the big picture, they can go outside the box, …. So the reality that we qualified and through that we were set for life this time is gone now.” [16:19]
“[On the role of FP&A going forward] To support a very quick and flexible decision making process in this incredible business environment this is what we need now.” [25:51]
“[On what the next 3-5 years looks like for FP&A] Everything will be about how to use these oceans of data both internal and external for forecasting and planning and decision-making … and developing driver-based models that explain at least 80% of what’s going on, these will be used in the Board rooms for almost immediate decision making.” [33:30]
(Other resources and how to connect with Larysa below).
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Key Points From the Episode:
- Why it’s hard to find good FP&A professionals with up to 70% of UK CFOs saying it’s the hardest position to fill as well as the solution.
- Why Larysa challenges those who think the accounting profession is not creative.
- The 3 areas where FP&A can become less traditional and more valuable to support a quicker more flexible decision making process.
- What the next 3-5 years will look like for FP&A.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
[02:23] – Larysa shares her journey and how her love of maths, physics and engineering led her into a career in “Forward Looking Finance” (FP&A).
[05:08] – Larysa share the biggest impact in her career.
[06:31] – Gives the one condition to be able to successfully influence at board level.
[07:08] – Why she challenges those who think the accounting profession is not creative.
[10:03] – What’s exciting her most at the moment about her work and how FP&A Trends have grown.
[14:36] – How traditional Management Accounting needs to change.
[15:55] – Why it’s not enough to simply be a qualified accountant to be a modern FP&A practitioner.
[18:15] – Why it’s hard to find good FP&A professionals with up to 70% of UK CFOs saying it’s the hardest position to fill as well as the solution.
[23:58] – Larysa goes into why FP&A is no longer just a department anymore it’s now becoming a framework and why FP&A leaders are sitting on their companies boards.
[26:32] – Shares 3 areas where FP&A can become less traditional and more valuable to support a quicker more flexible decision making process.
[31:05] – The importance of focussing on discussing key drivers and getting our model architecture right.
[33:06] – What the next 3-5 years will look like for FP&A and the importance of data quality.
[34:30] – Larysa shares about how Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning is started being used to facilitate driver-based forecasting for decision making.
[36:42] – How best to connect with Larysa.