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Educational Sessions

Finance & Business Acumen

Optimizing Financial Performance

Finance & Business Acumen

Mathematical optimization, a process for selecting a best outcome given various constraints, has been around for a century and its utility in finance has also been well established. Applying those principles in business, financial optimization helps move the focus away from past performance toward data-driven decision-making and bridges the gap between managerial and financial accounting. The application of mathematical optimization has also opened the possibilities of business modelling, improving FP&A’s ability to provide solutions. The session is designed to help attendees better understand optimization methodology by demonstrating this technique using common spreadsheet tools.

Speaker
Nilakantan Narasinganallur
Associate Professor - Quantitative Methods
KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research

Hari Ramani
PT Controller & Reporting/Analysis Lead
Shell

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Scenario Modelling for Better Forecasting in Excel

Finance & Business Acumen

It is critical for FP&A practitioners to be able to apply scenarios to their forecasts, especially while operating during periods of uncertainty. This session explores how to reduce uncertainty in decision-making with sensitivity and scenario analysis techniques, applying in-built standard spreadsheet tools, and understanding the inputs, assumptions and drivers when creating forecasts. Discussion includes identifying best practices for dealing with the unknown, while utilizing several different methods to perform scenario and sensitivity analysis in Excel models with the goal of reducing volatility and mitigating risk.

Speaker
Danielle Stein Fairhurst
Principal Consultant
Plum Solutions

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New Rules and Roles of Budgeting

Finance & Business Acumen

The traditional budget has been under attack for years. The long-term trend of technology and data has increased the velocity of data and decision making, allowing for rapid reactions to market information. Separately, in the past year, we have seen how budgets were discarded in the face of the pandemic, a dramatic example of how quickly and completely budgets become obsolete. Should the budget be saved? This panel discussion discusses how budgets are used today, and whether there is still a role for them going forward.

Moderator
Wei Chien Yoong
APAC Covid 19 Crisis Action/Management
Cargill

Panelists
Cecile Francais
Head of FP&A Cartier, China
Cartier

Max Sunarcia
Director
Tunas Group

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Personal & Team Effectiveness

Promoting a High-Performance Culture

Personal & Team Effectiveness

It is said that culture eats strategy for breakfast. No matter how strong the strategic plan may be, success depends on the kind of performance culture that exists within the organization. FP&A professionals are in a unique position to encourage and support a high-performance culture throughout the organization. When FP&A teams successfully smash silos and gain support throughout the organization, they become more effective and impactful. Attendees of this workshop learn about the critical factors impacting team effectiveness and how they can develop an action plan for fostering a high-performance culture in their organizations.

Speaker
Sangeeta Shankaran Sumesh
Business Coach
Gaintastic

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Technology & Data

Enabling Digital Finance

Technology & Data

The FP&A organization is often the victim of underperforming technology or the lack of a technology strategy to enable better decision-making. This session explores how FP&A can gain awareness of the core applications in the market and assesses whether their current technology toolkit, or “tech stack,” is able to meet today’s digital demands. This includes defining the key attributes and dimensions which many finance professionals fail to understand clearly. Attendees learn to navigate and comprehend this space in a meaningful and non-technical manner so they can rapidly understand and influence decision-makers on the right solutions for their current and future needs.

Speakers
Lance Rubin
CEO & Founder
Model Citizn

Giles Male
Co-Founder
Full Stack Modeller

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Pathways to Digitally-Enabled Finance

Technology & Data

Many finance organizations are turning to advanced tools and analytics, including machine learning, to reduce the amount of time spent forecasting while increasing accuracy and insights. Join members from Microsoft finance as they share case studies on how they are integrating advanced tools and techniques into the organization: machine learning for revenue forecasting, predictive analytics for compliance, and a KPI lake. With three in-depth examples, speakers demonstrate what they have learned throughout the journey.

Speakers
Candice Marangio
Public Sector, Australia
Microsoft

Scott Pridgeon
Controls & Compliance, Australia
Microsoft

Susan O’Neill
Commercial Director, Australia
Microsoft

Takeshi Murakami
Group Finance Manager
Microsoft

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Turning Data Into Insights through RPA & Data Analytics

Technology & Data

To be a strategic business advisor, FP&A professionals need to increase the velocity of decisions by turning data into insight, into action. This session utilizes a case study on implementing robotic process automation (RPA) to automate data collection and analysis processes and report generation used by FP&A business partners. Discussion also includes tactics for implementing a data driven decision-making culture through the four pillars of data analytics (people, technology, process, and governance) to help FP&A professionals turn data into actionable insights.

Speakers
Mohamed EL Rouby
FP&A Head, Middle East Cluster
Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Muhammad Zeeshan Taqi
FP&A and Reporting Team Lead
Telecommunications & Digital Government Regulatory Authority

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