#175 Scaling FP&A 2 Choosing the right FP&A tools with Paul Barnhurst and Catherine Marks

Scaling FP&A 2 Choosing the rigt FP&A tools with Paul Barnhurst and Catherine Marks

In the second of a 3 part series on scaling your FP&A capability, Paul Barnhurst, the FP&A Guy, and Catherine Marks, head of FP&A and team training at GrowCFO, join Kevin Appleby to discuss FP&A tools. They discuss scaling finance operations with a focus on infrastructure and choosing the right FP&A tools for growing organizations.

Paul is a Finance Professional with 12+ years of finance and FP&A experience, including business unit CFO roles. He earned a business bachelor’s degree from BYU and an MBA and Master of Science in Information Management from Arizona State University. He is known for his deep understanding of the FP&A software planning space and has recently published an FP&A software market guide. Paul runs his own business providing training services, is a content creator, and hosts two popular finance podcasts FP&A Today and Financial Modeler’s Corner. He provides consulting services for small and mid-sized companies.

Paul provided insights on getting infrastructure right and selecting the right planning tools, including

  • Future-proofing FP&A systems with agility, flexibility, and consideration of future needs and strategies. The importance of data organization and having an end-user champion was emphasized.
  • Thoroughly selecting the right business planning tool by considering factors like market size, industry, systems integration needs, and process complexity. Excel limitations and risks were discussed.
  • Implementing performance management systems through a focus on pre-work like defining KPIs and metrics, and experimenting with machine learning/AI capabilities.
  • Keeping processes efficient through a growth mindset, documentation, and continuous innovation as organizations scale.
  • Successfully transferring planning processes to new tools by focusing on design improvements rather than just porting spreadsheets over.
  • Practical advice is to start small, do homework on requirements and avoid being swayed by new tool features without clear needs.



Scaling finance and operations with a focus on infrastructure. (0:12)

FP&A tools and strategies for growth-stage organizations. (1:21)

Future-proofing FP&A systems with agility and flexibility. (6:30)

Selecting the right business planning tool for growing companies. (7:43)

Selecting and implementing a performance management system. (15:48)

AI adoption, process efficiency, and growth mindset in business. (23:12)

Implementing new financial planning tools and processes. (26:54)

Financial planning and acquisition strategies. (33:40)

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You can find out more and join today at growcfo.net

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