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How can one get into FP&A Positions?


Badi Sheffey Miami, FL

Financial Planning & Analysis positions seem very interesting to me, but usually demand several years of experience (the usual catch-22). Additionally, the positions have a broad range of skills and responsibilities.

What would be the best moves in terms of studies, certifications, locations, employers, etc?

-Thank you all for your input.

4 November 2021 7 replies Career Exploration



Laurie Serratore Wakefield, MA

Hi Badi,

I work at Harvard Law School in the Financial Office where we have a team of three FP&A specialists. I would be happy to put you in touch with one (or more) of them if you would like to speak to them about qualifications, how they go to where they are, etc. Let me know.


Steve Prew Littleton, CO

Badi, I'm a VP with The American College of Financial Services. We have a Veterans scholarship program that can get you a designation which will educate you around Fin Planning and some analysis. Upon completion (and most likely before) we can put you in contact and any number of the largest firms in the country who are all hiring. Drop me a line and I would be happy to help get you plugged in!


Matthew Turner Santa Monica, CA

Hey Badi,

Most early FP&A requires a deep knowledge of Excel and an understanding of how the P&L, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow interact. Happy to discuss.




Anita McClendon (Dinkens) Charlotte, NC

Hi Bradi,

Look for jobs that you qualify for in the financial industry. Internal transfers are always available as you learn more about the roles.


James OBrien Williamsburg, VA

First thanks for your service. I would add some different perspectives for you to consider. While FP & A encompasses a wide variety of skills and position potentials I can't tell what your background is. I have more than 35 years experience in corporate FP & A related activities across multiple industries in large multi-national companies so I think I can help. Do you have a degree, if so in what? Did your service include experience in areas that are directly related to FP & A such as S3 or G2 roles? Do you have a background in statistics, systems, supply chain, accounting or problem solving? Any of these would be very useful in starting your quest for an analytical background.
Given the current situation the economy is in, as it relates to supply chain and distribution as well as sourcing in general, there is a great opportunity to enter this field. If you don't have the educational, experience or peripheral knowledge you can start by working at a company that is in distribution, sourcing, inventory or logistics management at the ground floor. Absorb the company's business plan and work yourself to help bring it to the next level. Identify the leaders in the area and have a conversation about your career aspirations which include helping them out in any way you can as well as the willingness to learn. Volunteer for projects, teams and company initiatives. If there is training in lean manufacturing(greenbelt/six sigma) then these are great ways to add to your toolbelt as you work towards more analytical jobs. If you have systems or business curriculum in your background then try to apply them to your learning environment.
Alternatively or in the mean time try and see if local civic, Church or business organizations have connections that you can take advantage of. See if there are any intern opportunities available at companies that need analytics help. If you have a job but don't have analytical opportunities then consider adding community college courses part-time to take some basic statistics, math, operational management, intro finance, intro cost accounting or inventory management courses. When you get some background/experience then you can address moving into a more focused career development plan.


Jeff Martin Ashburn, VA

I’d suggest that you network at the target company or industry. Use LinkedIn to find people already working there and reach out to them. Ask them the process they used to get hired and ask them to help you navigate the hiring process and if they are willing, ask them to submit you as a referral. These activities require much more time on your part but in my opinion would greatly increase your chances for success. Good luck!


ACP AdvisorNet Staff New York, NY

Hi Badi,

I did a quick search and it looks like the question I'll link below is similar to yours and has some great answers in regards to certifications, etc.

Feel free to give this a look!


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