The FP&A career path
The FP&A career path starts at the analyst level and progresses to director of FP&A:
- FP&A Analyst
- Senior FP&A Analyst
- FP&A Manager
- Director/VP, FP&A
The career path of FP&A professionals is less standard than that of investment bankers or consultants. However, if we were asked to summarize a “common” FP&A career path, it would looks something like this: Get an undergraduate degree in accounting, spend 1-3 years in public accounting (big 4) or in accounting/finance at a Fortune 500, get an MBA and then get hired as a Senior FP&A Analyst at a Fortune 1000.
To reiterate, this is rough career map and doesn’t apply to all industries. For example, the requirement for getting into FP&A within a financial services firm is often a CFA or MBA and the completion of a 2-year bank rotation program.
Guide to FP&A
Learn more about the Financial Planning & Analysis job description and responsibilities.
Roles in FP&A
The progression from the more junior to the more senior is typically as follows:
The analyst is the workhorse of FP&A. The analyst’s primary tasks are data gathering, model building and maintenance as well as coordination across the various stakeholders.
- FP&A Analyst Salary: $50,000 to $70,000 including bonuses.
- Experience: The typical candidate will have 1-3 years of experience with an accounting background. Hiring directly out of undergrad is rare, but it does happen at larger organizations.
FP&A Senior Analyst
A Senior Analyst often directs junior analysts and runs projects, but is still in the weeds and is very much involved in the financial modeling process.
- FP&A Senior Analyst Salary: $65,000 to $85,000 including bonus.
- Experience: While undergrads are hired as analysts, MBAs are hired as senior analysts. Similar to the FP&A analyst, accounting backgrounds are preferred. 3-5 years of experience is typical.
By this point the FP&A professional has proven his/her worth, has performed numerous analyses and has been a key individual contributor in many planning cycles.
- FP&A Manager Salary: $85,000 to $115,000 including bonuses.
- Experience: 5-10 years of experience is typical. Managers are either internally promoted, laterally hired, or brought in from Big 4/other accounting roles. The vast majority of managers will either have an MBA or CPA.
Director (or VP) of FP&A
- Director of FP&A Salary: $100,000 to $250,000 plus stock options and bonuses.
- Experience/Typical Candidate: 10+ years of experience running corporate planning cycles, implementing new processes and acting as the lead on multiple projects.