Business Values of an Operational Accountant vs. FP&A Manager

A business should be dictated by its values. The values are your philosophy or principles, they can be seen as what your business stands for and the reason for the business to operate successfully. They help in taking the business, its employees, and management in the right direction.

Business values can be categorized into three, namely;

  • The standards or behavior of a business.
  • The common attitudes and beliefs that exist between employees and business owners.
  • The principles the business owners stand for.

So, what are the business values of an operational accountant and FP&A manager? Before we can get into them, let us understand what these managers do in a business.

The Operational Accountant

The operational accountant is responsible for running the financial aspect of a business. They mainly focus on directing, planning, and controlling the business financially. These accountants analyze the daily activities of a business and the impact they have on its balance sheet.

They also review all accounting processes of the business to see if there exist any inefficiencies or problems and solve them. When it comes to the payment of salaries, operational accountants are responsible for ensuring that all employees understand their salaries in detail. Most of them use a check stub maker to dissect the salaries in detail.

A business needs to be prepared for what might happen in the future. This is why the operational accountants run reports to check all the possible future scenarios then together with the top management, make decisions on the direction the business should take. The operational accountant can be a contractor/consultant or an in-house employee.

The FP&A Manager

The FP&A Manager, also known as the financial planning and analysis manager is responsible for the financial forecasting in a business. This manager analyses the finances of a business to see any trends, data anomalies, and deviations that might exist and then comes up with strategies to help the business do better.

This role is often played by the business owner in a small business. However, as the business grows, it gets quite difficult and an FP&A manager should be hired. In a nutshell, the FP&A manager creates processes and systems, develops forecasting and cash flows, analyses internal controls, and addresses any questions with regard to cash flows in a business.

The Difference Between an Operational Accountant and an FP&A Manager

The operational accountant is responsible for reporting and recording all the financial transactions of a business. This includes things like invoices, sales, cash receipts, disbursements, and purchase orders among others. They mainly deal with what happened and make sure that all the financial transactions in the business are recorded accurately.

On the other hand, the FP&A manager deals more with why the numbers are the way they are as compared to what happened to the numbers. They seek to find out why the financial records look the way that they do. They help the business management in making operational, strategic, and tactical decisions with the financial data that they provide.

Despite the differences, these two work together. The operational accountant ensures that balance sheets are accurate and there is enough data for the FP&A accountant to analyze and explain why the financial numbers look the way that they do.

How Do Operational Accountants and FP&A Managers Help with Business Values?

As discussed above, the role of an operational accountant in a business revolves around the collection, preparation, processing, and presentation of financial information. This is important in supporting other managers, such as the FP&A managers when making business decisions. This helps with business values when it comes to the control, evaluation, and planning of the business strategies.

On the other hand, an FP&A manager helps with business values by ensuring that they create an insightful learning process. This process is focused on making the business managers and other stakeholders understand what the financial future of the business looks like and what is needed to make sure that the business survives any future problems.


Both the operational accountant and FP&A manager are important for the success of every business. However, hiring these two professionals depends on the size and the requirements of a business. Small businesses might find it expensive, but when the business grows, hiring both of them becomes a necessity. It is also important to ensure that you have hired the right ones, with the right skills to make sure that the needs of the business are met.