What Salary Can you Expect Based on Your FP&A Career Path in 2024?

Are you considering a career or a career move into Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)?  If so, you’ve picked an excellent career path with many opportunities to practice what you learned in post-secondary education, learn new ways to provide value to a company and plenty of opportunities for advancement. 

This article will review the average education, experience, and salary you can expect at each of the four common FP&A career levels. Before we dive into these details, let’s quickly review what a typical FPA career would entail.

FP&A Overview

FP&A teams are responsible for four primary activities that support an organization’s major business decisions and financial health, aiming to increase shareholder value. While each corporate structure and responsibility will differ slightly, the fundamental responsibilities include financial planning, budgeting, and performance and management reporting.

Planning, Forecasting, and Budgeting

Given current and historical information, the FP&A team is responsible for financial modeling, including forecasting revenue, expenses, profit, and cash flow. They will also take into consideration anticipated business decisions and broader industry and economic trends when building financial models. 

As no organization is perfect at forecasting or predicting macroeconomic events, the FP&A team is also responsible for developing scenario models given expected, best and worst-case scenarios with a high-level basis for each scenario. With this information in hand, the FP&A team and senior leadership, including the corporate development team, can plan their response.   

Performance and Management Reporting

Providing ongoing performance reporting is a key responsibility of an FP&A team. Standard reporting generally follows a regular cadence, such as monthly, quarterly, and annually. This reporting is generally aligned with regulatory reporting obligations and, or scheduled corporate leadership meetings. 

Ad hoc analysis and reporting are a common responsibility of an FP&A team. They are the go-to group for analysis, forecasting, and modeling at both the enterprise and business unit levels. 

They are considered in-house experts in both historical financial performance and forecasting future performance using common and ever-changing variables. 

What Are the Common FP&A Roles and Profiles?

Now that we have outlined the general role and function of the FP&A team, let’s dive into the typical FP&A roles and important information that you’re likely most interested in – the fpa salary range, typical profile, and time spent at each level. 

1) FP&A Internships

A financial analyst internship is a great starting place if you’re in post-secondary or a new grad considering a career move into FP&A. You’ll get an idea of what a career as an FP&A analyst will be like, and you’ll have connections and experience to land a permanent job when you’re ready. 

However, make sure when you’re looking and applying for an FP&A internship, it’s a financial analyst role within an FP&A team. Why? Because financial analyst is a broad term that may come with varying duties depending on the company and industry.  

There’s also a misconception that internships are unpaid. While there are unpaid internships, the average financial analyst internship hourly wage is $25.76 an hour, which equals an average salary of approximately $53,572 a year.

In addition, the average duration of an internship is typically four months but can be as long as 12 months. Students who did internships at companies including at American Express and Expedia talked to top FP&A podcast, FP&A Today, about the value of internships and how they secured them including through the “LinkedIn for college students” an app called Handshake

2) FP&A Analyst

An FP&A analyst is typically a role for junior analysts or intermediate analysts. However, FP&A Analysts will often have one to three years of professional experience before their FP&A Analyst role. Responsibilities may include:

  • Creating or updating financial planning models, often using Excel.
  • Lead the collection and consolidation of data.
  • Track and forecast revenue, expenses, profit, and cash flow by business unit or group.
  • Liaise with senior leadership across business units.
  • Help build monthly, quarterly, and annual budgets and forecasts for different business units and consolidate them into an enterprise-level budget. 
  • Analyze financial performance and compare performance against known competitors.
  • Prepare variance analysis to explain why actual results differed from the plan and forecast.

FP&A Analyst Salary and Salary Range

The average FP&A analyst salary in the US is $78,115, with a range of $70,471 and $86,302. The numbers come from a compilation of responses to a popular Reddit thread 2023Salary/ based on real disclosures from working FP&A professionals in 2023.

Time spent as an FP&A analyst 

Average years of experience for an FP&A Analyst is 3.32 years, according to a popular Reddit thread 2023 Salary/compensation.

3) FP&A Senior Analyst

Before graduating to the senior analyst level, these analysts will typically have experience as an FP&A Analyst as well as other finance or accounting experience. This senior FP&A role moves from data collection, compilation, and inputting into financial models into a more value-added role. 

This role is the first level of the FP&A team that really starts to think about what the information is saying and what decisions this may lead to. 

While an FP&A Analyst may calculate certain metrics or KPIs, an FP&A Senior Analyst will know and be able to communicate the meaningfulness of the information. Responsibilities may include:

  • Help guide junior FP&A Analysts and review financial models for accuracy and completeness.
  • Complete sensitivity analysis on the impact of revenue, cost, and profits considering macroeconomic variables changes such as the US Fed Rate increases.
  • Build a scenario analysis given the strategic and tactical business decisions being evaluated. 
  • Budget, actual, and forecast variance analysis and explanations. 
  • Ad hoc management reports as required. 

FP&A Senior Analyst Salary and Salary Range

The average FP&A Senior Analyst salary in the US is $95,372, with a range of $87,175 and $104,967. The numbers come from a compilation of responses to a popular Reddit thread 2023Salary/ based on real disclosures from working FP&A professionals in 2023.

Time Spent as an FP&A Senior analyst 

Average years of experience for an FP&A Senior Analyst is 5.51 years, according to a popular Reddit thread 2023 Salary/compensation.

4) FP&A Manager

The FP&A Manager typically leads an FP&A team comprising FP&A Analysts and FP&A Senior Analysts and may also include interns. They are an instrumental member of the financial planning and reporting team. 

FP&A Managers typically have years of experience performing the duties and responsibilities of both Analyst and Senior Analyst positions. 

They are the main point of contact with the leaders of each business unit and will assist their FP&A Analysts if they face hurdles in their roles.

 Responsibilities may include:

  • Providing leadership to the FP&A Team.
  • Responsible for the financial planning and reporting cycle, including budgets and forecasts. 
  • Helps ensure a positive working relationship with other groups.
  • Guide business unit senior leaders on their performance and recommend corrective actions. 
  • Lead the development of ad hoc reporting.
  • Accountable for the overall performance of the FP&A team.

FP&A Manager Salary and Salary Range

The average FP&A Manager salary in the US is $124,676, with a range of $107,629 and $149,515. The numbers come from a compilation of responses to a popular Reddit thread 2023Salary/ based on real disclosures from working FP&A professionals in 2023.

Time Spent as an FP&A Manager

5) FP&A Director or VP 

The FP&A Director of VP will often report to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and has ultimate accountability for FP&A in the company and leading the FP&A team. They are the main C-level or executive point of contact regarding FP&A, and are one of the senior accounting and finance roles that would lead to becoming a CFO.

FP&A Director or VP Salary and Salary Range

  • The average FP&A Director salary in the US is $180,600, with a salary range of $157,200 and $210,300.
  • The average FP&A VP salary in the US is $230,210, with a salary range of $197,980 and $268,850.
  • Compiling the responses to a popular Reddit thread 2023 Salary/compensation, the average posted FP&A Director Salary was $180,833, with a range of $130,000 to $220,000.

Time Spent as an FP&A Director 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is FP&A a good career start?

Yes. However, most FP&A Analysts don’t start their career in FP&A. They will typically start in an accounting role or in another finance role. With one to three years of experience, accounting, and finance professionals will often seek out FP&A roles. 

What is the highest salary in FP&A?

The highest average base salary and total compensation in an FP&A team will typically be the Director or VP.

As shown earlier in the article, Directors and VPs can earn an average base salary as high as $210,300 and $268,850, respectively. Add on bonuses, stock options, and other benefits, and it’s easy to see a career in FP&A can be highly lucrative.

Is FP&A tough?

Yes, FP&A can be a tough and stressful job. There can be long days and weekend work during busy times, and ad-hoc reports from senior leaders often need to be completed as soon as possible. 

FP&A senior management will typically have the toughest and most stressful position on the team. 

However, each member of the FP&A team is well compensated, which can make those stressful periods easier to manage. 

While FP&A roles can be stressful at times, they aren’t considered as demanding or stressful compared to notoriously stressful careers such as investment banking. 

Does FP&A pay better than accounting?

FP&A typically pays better than technical accounting jobs. However, a large percentage of FP&A analysts are in fact CPAs. 

Is FP&A well paid?

Yes, FP&A jobs are considered well paying with a high average base salary. The opportunity to work on exciting projects and the prospect of career advancements are other notable benefits. 

In addition, FP&A roles will often lead to corporate development or corporate finance roles.

Do you need CFA for FP&A?

No, you don’t need a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) to get a job on an FP&A team. However, a CFA is the most prestigious credential for financial professionals. 

It will help you have a stronger background in finance fundamentals and will make you more competitive when applying for FP&A roles.

 It will also give you more opportunities to explore career options in fields such as investment banking and business development. 

Does FP&A lead to CFO?

Absolutely. Many CFOs are CPAs or CFAs that have spent part of their career in FP&A roles. There are plenty of CFOs – some from large companies such as Papa Johns and Hubspot – who started in FP&A and rose to CFO. In fact, according to Deloitte, 47% of CFOs had some experience in FP&A before becoming CFOs.

Should I get a CPA for FP&A?

Getting a CPA or having an accounting background is helpful in giving you a background in the fundamentals of accounting that will benefit you in an FP&A role. In a study carried out of 500 top FP&A positions including companies such as Netflix, Apple and Tesla, 15% mention a CPA as preferable. For instance a role for Senior Finance Analyst FP&A at Johnson & Johnson says: “MBA, financial certification in ACA, ACCA, CIMA, CPA,CMA or other equivalent is preferred.”

While you don’t need to have CPA for an FP&A role, it will make you more competitive when applying compared to other applicants who may not have one. In addition, there are many courses that provide FP&A certification that can help improve your finance skills as well as provide an advantage over the competition. 

Do I need an MBA for FP&A?

Also useful to land a top FP&A role, 34% of top job listings ask for an MBA. Kedar Kale, MENA FP&A at Amazon says: “The strength an MBA brings to an FP&A role is in terms of better business acumen, presentation skills and the ability to connect the dots. However, an MBA who has not studied finance or accounting courses whether pre-MBA or as a part of the MBA would find it difficult to develop comfort with the heavy financial data, at least initially.”