Collaboration between financial planning and analysis (FP&A) and business and operations teams when forecasting and planning is greater in organisations within APAC than those in North America and those with a global presence (MNCs), according to the 2021 Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) xP&A Survey, underwritten by Jedox.
This finding is encouraging and signals that FP&A is actively and effectively collaborating with its business and operations counterparts, and higher collaboration scores correlate to higher overall extended planning and analysis (xP&A) scores in the survey.
Additionally, business and operations teams in APAC are able to understand or make decisions independently based on the finance and operations connection, representing the successful use of xP&A as it provides business insight into the financial impact of operating decisions.
The survey also found that multinationals (organisations with a global presence) have the highest overall xP&A score, while organisations based in APAC and North America (US and Canada) tied.
All geographies struggle equally with the effort to obtain data from non-financial sources. Compiling disparate operational data and relating them to the general ledger is key to unlocking the value of xP&A.
The ability of business and operations teams in APAC to understand or make decisions independently is on par with those in North America. Further implementation of xP&A tools and methods is expected to raise this score.
"xP&A enables organisations to unify, integrate, and align planning and forecasting activities throughout the entire value chain, minimising the time and effort required to assemble and share forecasts and plans," said Himashi Soriano, AFP’s managing director of APAC. "There is high collaboration between FP&A and business and operations teams within APAC, and an opportunity for finance to extend this integration to become a more strategic business partner through data-driven insights and decisions."
"The findings of the survey signal that finance teams are moving up the maturity curve," added Mark Velthuis, president at Jedox Asia Pacific. "This is promising and reflects a deepening knowledge of how operational metrics drive financial performance, and technology that supports xP&A is key to continue progressing through this journey. Organisations in APAC are in a good position to leverage modern technology to increase agility and emerge ahead of competition."
AFP conducted this survey in April 2021. It generated 300 responses from corporate finance practitioners. The survey scored responses to each question based on levels of xP&A attainment; xP&A scores were then calculated for the FP&A profession overall and for the three geographies. The vision of xP&A is to increase the frequency and accuracy of forecasting by unifying, integrating, and aligning the planning and forecasting activities throughout the entire value chain.
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