At many companies, finance employees deal solely in past activities: receivables, payables and accounting. Our Financial Planning & Analysis team breaks with that tradition and helps shape the future of Verizon. This team contributes strategic financial guidance, market knowledge and information critical to operational, tactical and strategic decision-making.
Making risky business less risky
FP&A improves operations and guides important company decisions by using advanced business modeling, trend analysis, forecasting and planning to create insights and recommendations.
“We educate senior leadership to help them become comfortable with the risks and rewards of strategic business decisions,” says Caroline Willard, manager of FP&A. “Making decision-makers comfortable with risk-taking can be incredibly rewarding to a business.”
Being “respectfully disruptive”
Caroline says the team supports Verizon businesses by taking a close look at end-to-end processes and suggesting improvements. She says the group is “respectfully disruptive” because it examines and supports businesses while recognizing that change can be difficult.
The team includes talent from diverse finance backgrounds with an emphasis on candidates with data analytics experience. “We’re looking for people who will ask how we use data—and the financials associated with it—to move in the best possible direction,” she says.
It’s ideal for candidates to know how to use Essbase, an analytical tool that is integral to the team’s operations. Caroline also recommends a good background in typical account systems and encourages her team to attend green-belt training for Six Sigma, a data-driven methodology for eliminating defects in any process.
A passion for making processes more efficient and effective is clearly important to these roles. “The people who are more vocal and more successful at making an impact are the ones who can observe a little bit, and then really decide, ‘Hey, this looks like it should probably change,’ or, ‘Why haven't we talked about doing this a little bit differently?’” Caroline says.
Challenging the status quo
Caroline sums up the group’s work in four words: significant, success-driven and challenging.
“There aren’t many places where a data-cruncher like me gets to have conversations with business leaders that can help them make better decisions,” she explains.