FP&A for non finance

Why Driver-based FP&A Instead of Standard Historical Trend

Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) is a critical function in any organization, helping businesses make informed decisions about their resources and future direction. Traditionally, FP&A has relied heavily on historical trends to predict future performance. However, this approach has its limitations and may not always provide an accurate picture of what lies ahead. In this blog post, we will explore why focusing on driver-based FP&A can offer significant advantages over relying solely on historical trends.

Limitations of Historical Trends

The Past Doesn’t Always Predict the Future

Relying exclusively on historical data can be misleading since the business landscape continually changes. New competitors, technological advancements, regulatory requirements, and macroeconomic conditions are some examples of potential disruptions that could significantly impact future performance. Ignoring these factors might result in inaccurate predictions and poor strategic choices.

Limited Understanding of Cause and Effect

Historical trends merely illustrate what occurred without providing insight into the reasons behind those events. Consequently, organizations find it challenging to adapt proactively to shifting circumstances because they lack comprehension of the fundamental elements influencing their results.

Inaccurate Forecasts

Following historical patterns often leads to overly optimistic or pessimistic forecasts due to inherent assumptions baked into past performances. These inaccuracies hinder efficient resource allocation and decision-making processes.

Benefits of Driver-Based FP&A

Improved Accuracy and Foresight

By concentrating on essential drivers such as marketing activities, product releases, or economic indices, companies gain a richer understanding of what genuinely affects their financial success. This knowledge enables more precise forecasts considering possible alterations in the business context.

Proactive Management

Identifying primary drivers permits firms to actively control them. For example, comprehending the influence of promotional efforts on revenue enables businesses to fine-tune their advertising budget for enhanced return on investment (ROI).

Enhanced Agility and Adaptability

Driver-based models enable swift modifications to plans when faced with variations in influential components. Such flexibility is vital for managing unexpected situations and seizing novel prospects.

Alignment with Business Strategy

Centralizing attention to strategic levers ensures that financial planning aligns closely with broader corporate objectives, thereby promoting cohesiveness throughout different divisions.

Improved Communication and Transparency

Driver-based models establish a transparent and clearly defined structure for internal dialogue. All stakeholders engaged can grasp the consequences of specific measures on essential variables and subsequently, the firm’s financial health.


Shifting from conventional historical trend analysis towards driver-based FP&A presents substantial benefits for businesses seeking accuracy, foresight, adaptability, and improved communication. While embracing this paradigm shift demands commitment and effort, the rewards—in terms of both short-term gains and long-term sustainability—are worthwhile. Organizations must recognize the importance of identifying core drivers and integrating them into their financial planning processes to remain competitive and thrive amidst ever-evolving markets.