Financial planning and analysis (FPA) fulfils an important strategic, forward-looking corporate function in charge of business forecasting.

A key role is playing the strategic lead in the organisation’s annual operating and budgeting process.

FPA duties include:

  • reviewing finances and introducing strategies for financial improvements
  • creating systems and processes 
  • analysing internal controls
  • scenario modelling. 

This role will provide strategic support to senior management acting as the analytical engine of the company to provide insights and support optimal business decision making.

Entry and progression

As well as being a fulfilling career, FPA analyst is a stepping stone towards more senior roles such as finance director.

ACCA develops the skills and knowledge required by forward thinking professional accountants, including FPA analysts.

Exam options

For those who work as a financial and planning analyst, or aspire to be a financial and planning analyst the most relevant exam options are:

Performance objectives

Remember it’s not just about exams. You need to have the right experience so that you are competent – you have the experience and knowledge – to start and continue your chief accountant career.

Performance objectives (PO) which would provide great experience and must be signed off as part of the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) could include:


High level competencies required by financial and planning analysts include:

  • Governance, Risk and Control

    A. Evaluates organisational structures and governance to protect the long-term interests of stakeholders.

    B. Recommends appropriate strategies to ensure adherence to governance structures and application of best practice internal controls.

    C. Identifies and manages risk appropriately.

    D. Uses risk management for the best interests of an organisation and its stakeholders.

    E. Monitors and applies relevant legislation, policies and procedures.

  • Strategy, Technology and Innovation

    A. Applies business acumen and commercial awareness to deliver business objectives.

    B. Recommends a range of suitable strategic options from which to develop plans and objectives.

    C. Evaluate, justifies and implements suitable strategic options.

    D. Adopts and applies innovative methods and technologies to implement strategy and manages change.

  • Ethics and Professionalism

    A. Develops advanced ethical values and professional skills in the promotion of public interest and the profession.

    B. Demonstrates personal effectiveness in fast changing environments.

    C. Encourages innovative thinking within the context of professional scepticism.

    D. Thinks proactively about the future, applying professional judgement and commercial intelligence and seeks specialist input when needed.

    E. Communicates effectively and influences others.