FP&A – Helping your startup survive, grow, and flourish

By: airCFO

What’s FP&A, why it’s important, and how to find the perfect partner for your startup.

In the early days of any company, leaders like you often wear many hats, from product development to marketing to sales. But as your startup grows, it becomes necessary to make important early hires, from product wizards to to sales pros.

At this stage, you probably don’t need a full-time CFO but do need someone to implement important structures and processes and provide financial analysis for future decision-making. Hiring an outsourced partner you can lean on for expert advice can help your company survive, grow, and flourish.

And that’s where FP&A comes in.

In this article, we’re going to define the role of FP&A, why having an FP&A partner is a smart choice, and how to hire the perfect FP&A partner for your startup.
What Is FP&A?

FP&A stands for Financial Planning and Analysis.

The role of an FP&A lead is to provide your leadership team with a forecast of your company’s profit and loss and operating performance for the upcoming quarter and year. FP&A professionals play a crucial role by performing budgeting, forecasting, and analysis to enable the you to make data-driven decisions.

The best FP&A partner brings fresh insights to your company. From understanding the competitive landscape to bringing ideas to the table for potential growth opportunities, your FP&A partner is focused on providing valuable insight and strategic advice.

Unlike bookkeepers, who look at historical data, FP&A professionals look forward and are a key partner to company leaders for defining strategy and making data-driven decisions. In doing so, they help companies avoid risks, capitalize on opportunities, and achieve strategic goals.

What Is FP&A?

FP&A stands for Financial Planning and Analysis.

The role of an FP&A lead is to provide your leadership team with a forecast of your company’s profit and loss and operating performance for the upcoming quarter and year. FP&A professionals play a crucial role by performing budgeting, forecasting, and analysis to enable the you to make data-driven decisions.

The best FP&A partner brings fresh insights to your company. From understanding the competitive landscape to bringing ideas to the table for potential growth opportunities, your FP&A partner is focused on providing valuable insight and
strategic advice.

Unlike bookkeepers, who look at historical data, FP&A professionals look forward and are a key partner to company leaders for defining strategy and making data-driven decisions. In doing so, they help companies avoid risks, capitalize on opportunities, and achieve strategic goals.

Why Should You Invest In FP&A?

As the leader of a startup, you know that cash flow is the lifeblood to your company.

According to a recent study by CBInsights, the #2 reason startups fail is because they run out of cash. (The #1 reason? No market need.)

Even a successful business model will fail without enough cash flow. You’ve poured your heart, soul, and savings into your business. (And you might even have investors.) Why not give it the best chance of survival by hiring someone who can help you do just that?

An FP&A partner owns:

How To Hire The Perfect FP&A Partner

Now that you know what an FP&A partner does and why it’s a smart investment, how do you find the right person for your startup?

Industry Experience

It’s a given that a great FP&A partner has a background in financial analysis, accounting, and financial modeling.

But the right partner should also have significant industry experience and an active understanding of the startup ecosystem.

For example, if you’re a SaaS startup, having a partner who understands SaaS startups is imperative. As mentioned, this is your partner focused on giving you valuable insight and strategic advice to optimize cash flow and drive growth, so they need to intimately understand the business landscape.

Cultural Fit

Beyond financial and industry experience, you’ll benefit from hiring someone who is a good fit for the team.

At a minimum, your ideal partner will be good at managing stakeholders and a strong communicator with a high attention to detail.

But also look for evidence of flexibility and adaptability. As you know, startups are in a constant state of flux, and you want a partner who can roll with the punches.

Ready To Grow With You

So far, we’ve been focused on hiring an individual outsourced FP&A partner. But what about when your needs change?

This is where working with a company that has a wide variety of in-house expertise is a huge benefit. When you’re ready to graduate to a CFO, it’s a seamless transition when you’re working with a company you already know, like, and trust.

Need help? Let’s talk.

airCFO builds best-in-class finance & accounting teams to enable your company to grow from startup to scaleup.
Schedule your free 20-minute consult today.