FP&A Today

FP&A Today is the podcast for Financial Planning and Analysis. The weekly show dives into the challenges and opportunities within the world of FP&A, interviewing FP&A leaders, CFOs and other finance pros in order to give you the freshest insights and takeaways. Each week our top guests provide actionable advice about financial planning and analysis – from career goals to navigating challenges, and powerful Excel tips. Our weekly show provides unrivalled insights for navigating FP&A. FP&A Today is brought to you by Datarails. Datarails is the AI-powered Financial Planning and Analysis platform for Excel users.

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Episodes

Tuesday Apr 09, 2024

Getting FP&A teams to harness their data to reach their goals is the holy grail. Nathan Bell, Managing Partner, VAi Consulting, is among the most in-demand experts. Bell has unique experience– having started in computer science, before leading finance teams at Native American Bank, Digital Media Trends and Gartner– where he advised hundreds of FP&A teams facing chaotic data situations). In this masterclass, he shares a practical framework looking at the expectations, fear and hype surrounding data, analytics and AI for FP&A teams.
In this episode:
From a computer degree to leading finance teams
How Nathan discovered the power of telling stories as Chief Credit Officer at Native American Bank 
Overcoming the challenge of presenting to non- financially literate CEOs
The challenge when finance is “last in line” 
When companies don’t have good data and what FP&A teams can do 
“Federated data governance” and avoiding turf battles
why setting up self-service data as CFO came back to bite me 
Using a “metrics cascade” clarifying  data and metrics
Critical thinking as the new superpower for finance teams in the AI age 
Key to setting  up pilot AI programs 
Dinner time when your wife is also a CFO
Key quotes: Remember PPDAC. Problem Plan, Data, Conclusion.
Your Plan, what Data you need to capture against that plan, analysis, and Conclusion.“If you can master that in that order, I think from a skillset, you’re, you’re ready” – Nathan Bell.
Critical Thinking as the new Superpower for FP&A
“Critical thinking is gonna be more powerful than ever. I don’t think there’ll ever be a situation where we’re going to let AI make the decision without going through a human to look at the data. We need to ask what do we do? What’s the action? What’s the decision?”
Connect with Nathan Bell on Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathan-bell-1038662/https://vai-consulting.com/

Tuesday Apr 02, 2024

Tory Bauman, Vice President, FP&A at Zayo Group joins new host Glenn Hopper. In this fascinating episode they go deep on FP&A metrics and processes at one of the most exciting companies in telecoms. Tory leads an  FP&A team underpinning business decisions at Zayo whose network stretches over 16.8 million fiber miles and spans 141,000 route miles. With telecoms long at the forefront of technology, Tory explains her cutting edge philosophy around FP&A realizing “ leadership’s strategy and their goals” “closing gaps” and making necessary “pivots”.
In this episode Tory reveals:
Her move from accountant to finance and why she made the switch
How FP&A at Zayo is set up and the main metrics tracked including the importance of being good stewards of billions of dollars in capital investments
Measures for forecasting churn 
Alignment as crucial to business partnering 
Early warning signs and predictive analytics 
FP&A and cost per event on telecoms network 
Using external data and macro side on the pricing decisions 
How Zayo is profiting by providing connectivity and bandwidth in the AI revolution 
How I am trying to develop my experience in capital markets and mentorship 
Why I am not shy about letting people know I want to be a CFO
Her golf career and the impact it has made on her finance goals 
Connect with Tory on LinkedIn

Tuesday Mar 26, 2024


It’s the end of an era. This is Paul Barnhurst’s last episode as FP&A Today host. And in this episode he introduces new FP&A Today host: Glenn Hopper. 
Glenn Hopper is a Chief Financial Officer with two decades of experience leading finance operations for private equity-backed companies. Glenn  is an author and journalist, US Navy Veteran, #1 AI Finance leader, and a passionate advocate for FP&A. 
In this episode:
Glenn’s whirlwind career since he last appeared on the show
Training FP&A on AI 
Why getting started on AI in finance is a painful auditWhy the first stages of AI implementation in finance have nothing to do with AI 
Launching the definitive LinkedIn course for generative AI and finance 
Why it is vital for finance professionals to understand the base of AI 
Glenn’s favorite episode of FP&A Today
Why I decided to become the new host of FP&A Today 
Why there’s no need to hide my Southern accent on the show 
Turning the tables on Paul
Paul’s final message 
Follow Glenn Hopper at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gbhopperiii/
Follow Paul Barnhurst at https://www.linkedin.com/in/thefpandaguy/

Tuesday Mar 19, 2024

Rosemary Linden more than earned her stripes in FP&A over twenty years.  Her roles included VP FP&A at Alliant Insurance Services. Director of Global FP&A at WD-40 Company and at Solera.
But after two decades in corporate finance she moved to being a fractional CFO serving small businesses (typical annual revenue of around $10million) managing an assortment of responsibilities. 
This episode is for anyone in finance who may be looking to escape the corporate grind and set up as a Fractional CFO.But Linden warns it is not for everyone.“One of the first things I’d say to think about is, do you really want to be a fractional CFO? Because that’s different from being a full-time CFO at one particular company and comes with its own challenges.”
In this episode:
Moving from corporate finance after 20 years to dealing with “astute” small business owners as a fractional CFO in San Diego 
Why FP&A is an ideal training ground to become a CFOSecrets for telling a good story 
Getting to what you want the people in a room to “walk away knowing”Cash flows at small companies, opportunities and challenges 
Dealing with seasonal variances at small businesses 
Advice for starting your own business as a fractional CFO
Moving to a more analytical mindset 
Difference between, strategic planning and financial planning (Case Study San Diego Civic Youth Ballet)
My most dangerous deep sea dive, being team Excel and Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Follow Rosemary Linden on LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/rosemarylinden/

Tuesday Mar 12, 2024


Most CFOs don’t build  models where 1% of their company’s net sales (not profits) are given away instantly “right from the top” to help alleviate poverty. But then Cotopaxi is not like most companies. In this episode Cotopaxi CFO, Gary Bowen, explains the pivotal role played by finance and FP&A in “doing capitalism better” while also seeking to become a billion-dollar brand - alongside other outdoor names such as Patagonia, North Face and Columbia. This includes an ambitious new strategy explained by Bowen to move beyond digital sales and into retail–and FP&A’s central role in making this happen.
In this episode Gary Bown CFO of Cotopaxi reveals:
Starting as operations in customer service and lessons for finance 
How I began as a CFO
When good finance talent leaves 
Doing fractional CFO services and when businesses need to bring in a CFO
Being a "Let’s Go" CFO (vs Department of No)
1% of Net Sales (not profits) given away, and working that into the model 
Cotopaxi digital retail metrics explained vs retail metrics
Moving to opening up retail stores and a four wall profitability model 
How to balance investors with giving back principles 
Getting Cotopaxi to a billion dollar company 
Flipping the script from private label to branding at Ogio (and learning the power of branding)
Flying airplanes, Iron Man competition, and George Washington
Follow Gary Bowen on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/gary-bowen-769a7/

Tuesday Mar 05, 2024

Kat Orekhova is Co-Founder & CEO of Vareto, a planning and analytics platform for enterprise teams. In her own words Kat has an “unusual backstory” leaving the world of math academia to build Facebook’s first-ever data science team within FP&A. At the social media giant she was Responsible for financial reporting, forecasting, and planning activities for Facebook’s core business. This was followed by stints as Head of Product at IronClad, a $3billion legaltech company, Sequoia Capital Scout, General Partner at Darkmode Ventures and co-founder & CEO of Vareto.In this episode Kat reveals:
The challenges of long range planning as Facebook scaled massively and trying to predict growth across countries from the US to India with more than 100 people contributing to the planing process) 
Being at the beginning of data Science at Facebook
The move  from data science and product into finance
When should companies start looking at FP&A
Being a Sequoia scout and what it entails and what she looks for in investment opportunities
How (now) Meta CFO Susan Li “an absolutely outstanding” mentor insisted on a  finance team with data science skills led by Orekhova
The right blend between data science and FP&A who are “Living in Different Tools”
Her take on the amount of data science that FP&A teams need to boost their career
The impact of AI in finance
Follow Kat on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katorekhova/

Tuesday Feb 27, 2024


Tolga Hocanin, CFO & Vice President, Finance & IT at Lindt & Sprüngli (Canada) gives a masterclass in CPG FP&A from his experience at PepsiCo and chocolatier, Lindt.In this episode:
Lessons from 20 years of budgeting and how my first budget was a nightmare
Why budgeting is not just a math exercise
The main metrics you need to know in CPG
Why mix management is crucialThe 30-60-90 day plan to succeed in finance in CPG
Running both IT and finance as CFO and why this makes sense
Building a strong culture in a finance team 
Starting with why in finance 
A $1.5M reporting error and how I responded to it 
Building cross-functional relationships with business partners
Follow and connect with Tolga Hocanin on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tolga-hocanin-cpa-cma-2958008/

Tuesday Feb 20, 2024

Talking about the connectedness of FP&A and Rev Ops working together are all-star revenue leaders: Jeff Ignacio, Head of Go-to market Growth and operations at Regrow Ag, Arvind Chahal VP, finance and ops at autotrader Canada, and Drew Noel, VP Revenue, SCS Cloud.First, what is rev Ops?
“Rev Ops is the discipline of aligning go-to market strategy and execution through four key pillars: process enablement, advisory and systems excellence” (Webster dictionary definition submitted by Paul Igancio).
In this episode:
How revenue operations and finance operations need to be working together effectively?
The challenges and worst stories when rev ops and Finance fail to click.
The worst “bad behavior” in a go-to-market org 
Data and cultural issues with finance and Rev Ops
Moving career from FP&A to RevOps
How to ensure we are defining and reporting metrics in the same way
The importance of a “data dictionary”
How AI will impact the operations function
Favorite Excel function or feature
Our guests:Jeff Ignacio, Head of Go-to market Growth and operations at Regrow AgArvind Chahal VP, finance and ops at autotrader Canada
Drew Noel, VP Revenue, SCS Cloud

Tuesday Feb 13, 2024

Andrew Lynch,  Head of FP&A at UK card discount scheme for public service employees, Blue LIght Card, is known to his nearly 11,000 Twitter followers as The SMB Finance Guy.The FP&A leader also runs the highly popular Net Income newsletter regularly posts small business opportunities, scaling companies, systems, strategy, “with a few shitposts thrown in for good measure” (His writing has also been picked up by Business Insider).
In this episode Andrew reveals:
The power of mentors in transforming his finance career from a “struggle to find someone who would take me” to high-profile roles at Anabas, Capital One, and Blue LIght Card.
Starting a new budget from scratch and building an FP&A team at Blue Light Card
Negotiation and sandbagging with sales and how FP&A can deal with the challenges
How FP&A best practice saw Andrew deliver one SMB £10 million a year in revenue and from £8k in profit to £23 million
Being Fired by Four times Bestselling New York Times author Tucker Max the day before Xmas Eve
Skill stacking – getting to be the top 25% in the world at four or five different related things – rather than trying to be the best
Being one of the few FP&A leaders on the comedy circuit
Subscribe to Net Income at https://www.netincome.co/
Follow Andrew at https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewglynch/

Tuesday Feb 06, 2024

Jon Allen and Duke Heninger, of  Utah-based Amplēo, have brought their finance game to fast-growing companies which are between $5m and $50m in revenue. They are “fractional CFOs” – that is experienced finance professionals advising these companies on a part-time basis. For instance, one business they work with, Korean barbeque restaurant Cupbop, appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank and got $1million from Mark Cuban in 2022. Other companies they advised include Burt Brothers (a tire and services company). Collectively Amplēo helped more than 3000 companies.But they always find the same story when they look at financials at such companies.
 “It’s always the data”, says Duke Heninger, Financial Partner at Amplēo. “It’s getting things put in a way so that people can understand what they’ve even spent. Most of my clients are on a very simplified accounting system. They aren’t classifying anything in separate departments. So it’s breaking it out, trying to understand who owns what, where should it go, and ultimately everybody just sandbags just so that they don’t trip a budget”.
In this episode of FP&A we meet Jon Allen Managing Partner, Finance, and Duke Heninger, finance partner at Amplēo.They provide a masterclass on the value of FP&A at fast-growing companies, revealing:
Our worst budget experiences
Our journey through finance to CFO 
What we wish we had known earlier in our career 
Restaurants in COVID Times – how we used FP&A to help businesses 
The powerful value of FP&A in restaurants
Why FP&A is a superb career choice
Founding companies as finance leaders 
Teaching FP&A at University 
Why great FP&A must lead to actions and decisions
How FP&A can become good business partners 
Reporting vs forecasting 
The importance of choosing a great finance leader to work for early in your career
Getting out your chair and talking to people
The last things we asked ChatGPTFollow Duke Heninger:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/dukeh/Follow Jon Allenhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/jonnyallen/
Amplēo provides business professionals, such as CFOs, CMOs and CHROs, to companies on a fractional basis in order to help them achieve their full potential. https://ampleo.com/

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