Top Recommended Financial Planning and Analysis Books

Top Recommended Financial Planning and Analysis Books

The field of FP&A is an ever-changing, dynamic landscape. To help finance professionals stay ahead of the curve, it’s important to have a solid understanding of financial analysis methods and processes. 

Whether you are a brand new finance professional or someone who is looking to brush up on your skills, there are countless FP&A books out there that you can read. The question becomes which ones are worth reading? 

Therefore, we’ve put together a list of recommended FP&A books in 2021. Read on to find out which books can help you unlock the raw, untapped power and potential of financial reporting.

1. Financial Planning & Analysis and Performance Management by Jack Alexander

Jack Alexander is a celebrated author and an experienced CFO and business consultant. In this five-part book, Jack offers a practical guide that helps professionals bridge the gap between performance and planning. 

The author calls upon his extensive expertise as a CFO and business consultant to create a phenomenal reference manual for FP&A analysts and Investor Relations teams.

As far as Financial Planning and Analysis books go, this is among the best FP&A books out there with its wide assortment of topics, ranging from the basic best FP&A practices and critical tools to more advanced topics such as dealing with uncertainty and risk.

This book also has the unique feature of having a companion website, wiley.com/go/fpapm, which emphasizes the importance of selecting appropriate financial dashboards and measures. It does this by using illustrative performance dashboards and excel models to be used as working examples and starting points for the reader’s use. 

The excel examples used in the books have accompanying spreadsheets on the website that enable the readers to fully comprehend the context, objectives, and logic of the worksheet analysis.

2. Financial Planning and Analysis with SAP:
SAP solutions for Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) by Malcolm J. Faulkner and William D. Newman

Financial Planning and Analysis with SAP is the ultimate FP&A guide for professionals who desire to develop and execute a fully optimized EPM process and strategy. This book’s content, which covers topics ranging from strategic planning through integration to SAP requirements for its successful application in EPM, has made the business path a little bit easier to navigate. 

It takes the concept of EPM and explores it extensively, trying to make the reader understand how SAP EPM can be leveraged with other solutions, while also expanding the flexibility and effectiveness of SAP EPM further.

As expert consultants and SAP insiders, Faulkner and Newman provide an insider’s view into the technical configuration of FP&A and EPM processes with the strategic utilization of SAP focusing on EPM solutions. The book helps you discover how EPM can help manage your organization’s FP&A processes. 

It also introduces readers to SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, the most influential SAP applications for budgeting and planning in EPM. Professional financial analysts can use the book as a guide for navigating the company’s strategic journey. It provides a process of laying out the plans and execution elements that companies should take to help them attain financial stability.

3. Financial Analysis, Planning, and Forecasting: Theory and Application (Third Edition) by Cheng F. Lee and John Lee

Financial Analysis, Planning and Forecasting: Theory and Application, a five-part book, is an excellent introduction to FP&A and Forecasting for beginners. Drawing on Prof Cheng-Few Lee’s extensive business experience, teaching, and research, this guide helps its reader understand and integrate both practical and theoretical aspects of financial planning and forecasting. 

The five parts covered in the book are:

  • Information and Methodology of Financial Analysis
  • Alternate Finance Theories and Cost of Capital
  • Capital Budgeting and Leasing Decisions
  • Corporate Policies and their inter-relationships
  • Financial Planning and Forecasting

These five parts analyze the inter-relationships between the distinct theories in FP&A carefully by using real-world examples to discuss the ideas in depth, using relevant methodology and data.

Among the topics discussed in this publication are the fundamental concepts of financial analysis and planning, using financial management as a background for discussing financial analysis and planning. 

With new chapters added and other chapters combined in the third edition, the subject matter has been extensively expanded and updated to accommodate and keep up with the digital migration of the business world, thus providing a holistic view of the subject. 

However, the integrity of the authors’ wisdom remains, despite the book featuring brand-new updates and extra modern takes on the concept. This has made it earn its place in the prestigious literary canon for financial titles.

4. Corporate Financial Analysis: Simple Methods and Strategies to Financial Analysis Mastering by Blaine Robertson

This is a book that will enable its readers to understand the intricate and surprisingly simple concept of Corporate Financial Analysis, so that they can correctly judge whether or not their company is financially sound.

With a number of finance and investment-related books under his belt, Robertson has proven to be an expert in the financial department, imparting his wealth of knowledge to both professionals and beginners.

Corporate Finance Analysis: simple methods and strategies to Financial Analysis Mastering, this book comes at a time when the need for financial analysis has grown exponentially in the current digital world. 

Businesses, especially small businesses, need to weigh the effects of certain financial decisions, such as borrowing on their businesses. This book covers Financial Analysis, which gives a business owner the tools they need to evaluate their company’s financial information. 

It also equips potential investors with the necessary information so that they can form opinions about the company’s investment value and the expectations for future performance.

5. Corporate Financial Analysis: 3-in-1 Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide Simple Methods and Strategies + Advanced Methods and Techniques for Analysis of Financial Statements, Reports and Markets by Blaine Robertson

This is the beginner’s guide book that provides its readers with a wide array of information regarding the different strategies and methodologies employed in corporate financial analysis to create a financially sound organization. 

From the mind that brought you Corporate Financial Analysis: Simple Methods and Strategies to Financial Analysis Mastering, Robertson combines his works in this masterpiece. 

This book covers the concept of Corporate Financial Analysis in its entirety, extensively breaking down the processes step-by-step to simplify them, so that beginners can easily understand them.

Some of the questions that business owners usually ask themselves are answered in this book. The book provides true learning by equipping its readers with enough knowledge to enable them to practice what they have learned and apply it to real-life situations, and teach the readers the basic concepts of Corporate financial Analysis. 

This book is versatile, and professional financial analysts can also use the content in the book to guide their practice. The book is available in both paperback and ebook versions that people can read on any device.

6. Using Excel for Business Analysis: A Guide to Financial Modelling Fundamentals + Website by Danielle Stein Fairhurst

Ms. Fairhurst channels her expertise and experience as a Financial Analyst to bring to life this comprehensive guide to financial modeling, suitable for beginners’ intermediaries and professional analysts. 

Readers of the book will gain from the author’s talent for financial modeling and help them create meaningful financial models in the forms of pricing models, business cases, and management reports that they can use to draft and craft proposals and financial reports. 

The book is packed with financial modelling concepts and practicalities that are essential in performing complex analyses in Excel.

The modern business world relies heavily on technology and real-time data and information for financial forecasting to be a step ahead of the competition. The book profoundly exploits the Excel functionality to enable financial practitioners to craft a compelling financial model to provide accurate information for sound financial decision-making. 

The author opens the book with a general guide to financial modelling, building skill upon skill on each subsequent chapter, leading to an actual working model. The book thoroughly covers the features, functions, and financial tools from a practical perspective, highlighting their application in a real-world situation using relevant examples. 

Financial modelling using Excel and its different aspects is also covered, including the step-by-step instructions of the process. The companion website provides the readers with live model worksheets that give them hands-on practice and experience.

Conclusion

The importance of financial planning and analysis cannot be stressed enough in the modern business world. And while there are numerous financial analysis books out there that help professional analysts build upon their FP&A knowledge, there are many more that can simplify the subject and are highly recommended for beginners.

You can apply the theoretical aspects of FP&A found in these books to real-world situations, enabling you to leverage insights or metrics to make significant improvements in your company. And in return, allowing your company to thrive and prosper.

If you are looking to further your knowledge in financial analysis, then the books mentioned above should top your list.