As an FP&A professional, an important part of your role is staying up to date with the latest developments in your industry. Regulations change, new technologies emerge and changing economic conditions put pressure on your role that might warrant learning new skills.
Industry conferences are one of the best places to get these learnings, with opportunities to learn from experts in your field and get tactical advice from peers. Plus, they’re a great way to stay up on your CPE credits.
If you’re unsure what’s out there in terms of events tailored to FP&A—or which ones are worth your time—we have you covered.
We’ve compiled a list of the best conferences for FP&A professionals to attend in 2023 (both virtual and in-person), covering topics such as:
- Agile planning for challenging business environments
- The evolving role of AI in finance
- Financial systems and operations
- Career development
- Data and analytics
- Leveling up your Excel skills
- The technologies transforming the office of finance
8 FP&A Conferences Happening in 2023
AFP 2023 is the Association for Finance Professionals’ (AFP) annual conference. Aimed at finance and treasury professionals, the conference provides over 100 educational sessions across seven tracks. The conference also provides opportunities for you to network with other attendees and hear from technology vendors exhibiting their products. Notable speakers include Jay Shetty (New York Times best-selling author and podcast host) and Ian Bremmer (political scientist and President and Founder of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media).
The conference covers a wide array of content for various areas of finance, but the Financial Planning & Analysis Track will be especially relevant to FP&A professionals.
Some of the topics covered in that track include:
- How individual contributors in FP&A can evolve into people leaders and strategic partners
- ESG performance management
- Technologies that will help FP&A professionals become more agile
- Scenario-based planning techniques
When is it happening? October 22–25, 2023.
Is the event virtual or in person? In person, taking place in San Diego.
Can you earn CPE/CPD credits? Yes—attendees can earn CPE, CTP and FPAC credits.
What’s the cost of the event? The cost of attendance starts at $1,569 for early registration (if not an AFP member).
Engage 2023 is the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’s (AICPA) flagship event. Touted as “the accounting and finance industry’s premier event of the year,” the event provides educational content across nine focus tracks, along with opportunities to network with other CPAs and finance professionals. Notable speakers include Michael Bush (CEO of Great Places to Work) and Dan Harris (Author and Former ABC News Anchor).
The conference explores multiple areas of finance, but the Corporate Finance and Controllers Track will be especially valuable to FP&A professionals. Topics covered in this track include leadership, using machine learning and RPA in finance, and ESG.
If you’re looking to dive into the technologies currently transforming finance departments, you may want to check out the Tech+ Track, which covers data analytics implementation, using machine learning for financial close and becoming a data-driven finance leader, to name a few.
When is it happening? June 5–8, 2023.
Is the event virtual or in person? In person, taking place in Las Vegas AND online.
Can you earn CPE/CPD credits? Yes—attendees can earn CPE credits for both the in-person and online experiences. CFP credits are also available for specified sessions.
What’s the cost of the event? The cost of attendance starts at $1,625 (if not an AICPA member).
3. Excelerate London
Excelerate London is a can’t-miss event for finance, operations and business leaders hoping to help their organization come out strong through economic uncertainty. As part of Vena’s flagship event series, Excelerate London gives UK-based FP&A professionals an opportunity to connect with the smartest minds in finance and operations. As an attendee, you can learn from experts and hear directly from peers about how they’re managing processes such as workforce planning, financial consolidations and more.
Some of the topics the event will cover include:
- Planning strategies for high-performing teams
- Agile budgeting and forecasting
- Best practices for CPM software implementations
When is it happening? May 17–18, 2023.
Is the event virtual or in person? In person, taking place at the historic Tower of London in London, UK. However, all content will be available on demand after the event.
Can you earn CPE/CPD credits? Yes—attendees can earn CPE and CPD credits.
What’s the cost of the event? This event is completely free.
4. Excelerate Summit
Vena’s flagship event also has a virtual-only option, allowing you to access the learnings no matter where you are. You can watch Excelerate Summit 2023 on-demand to hear speakers from Microsoft, Open AI, The Kansas City Chiefs, Vena and more discuss how finance teams can build the agility and resilience needed to plan for anything in today’s increasingly complex business environment.
If you’re especially interested in leveling up your skills in Excel and Power BI, Excelerate features several sessions dedicated to hands-on learning with experts such as Chief Excel Officer and Microsoft MVP Purna Duggirala (a.k.a. Chandoo), the founder of Chandoo.org.
Examples of topics covered during the event include:
- Managing cash flow in complex business conditions
- The new tech empowering finance-led innovation (featuring Microsoft)
- Practical applications of AI and automation in FP&A (featuring Open AI, The Kansas City Chiefs and 6Sense)
When is it happening? May 9–10, 2023 (All sessions available on demand).
Is the event virtual or in person? Virtual only.
Can you earn CPE/CPD credits? Yes—attendees of the live event can earn over 20 CPE/CPD credits. Missed the conference? You can earn credits through courses on Vena Academy.
What’s the cost of the event? This event is completely free.
5. FP&A Summit
FP&A Summit is an event series aimed at “advancing your finance function for the modern business landscape.” It is run by the Finance Alliance, an online community connecting finance professionals across the globe.
The series features both an online-only event and two in-person events taking place in Boston and London. Notable speakers appearing at the online event include finance leaders from Adobe, PepsiCo, Vice Media and more.
The content presented in this series focuses on skills and technologies to help FP&A professionals advance their careers and help their organizations remain competitive.
Examples of sessions you can catch at the online event include:
- Embracing finance transformation
- Mastering the art of storytelling with data
- Unleashing the power of agile methodologies for FP&A
When is it happening? June 15, 2023 (online-only event), September 13–14, 2023 (Boston event) and November 29–30, 2023 (London event).
Is the event virtual or in person? Both online and in-person (the latter taking place in Boston and London, U.K.).
Can you earn CPE/CPD credits? Yes—attendees of the events in this series can earn CPE and CPD credits where eligible.
What’s the cost of the event? The online event is completely free while pricing for the Boston event starts at $795 and pricing for the London event starts at £695.
6. FP&A Trends Face to Face
The FP&A Trends Group is a think tank focused on providing leading educational resources to FP&A professionals. Through their International FP&A Board, they bring together senior finance leaders to promote the development of best practices and help practitioners learn directly from their peers.
Members of this board are located around the world and regularly come together for in-person meetups. These “Face to Face” meetings as they’re called will take place in cities such as Chicago, Toronto and Boston. Discussion at these meetings is facilitated by Larysa Melnychuk (Founder and CEO at the FP&A Trends Group and Managing Director at the International FP&A Board) and focuses on the most critical roles for high-performing FP&A teams and how to use data storytelling in FP&A.
When is it happening? June 7, 2023 (Chicago meeting), June 13, 2023 (Toronto meeting) and June 15, 2023 (Boston meeting).
Is the event virtual or in person? In-person and invite-only as spots are limited.
Can you earn CPE/CPD credits? No—International FP&A Board meetings do not advertise the availability of CPE or CPD credits.
What’s the cost of the event? These events are free.
7. Gartner CFO & Finance Executive Conference
Gartner’s annual conference for finance leaders, the Gartner CFO & Finance Executive Conference, aims to provide learnings tailored to executives at the helm of their organization's finance function. The focus of this year’s conference is how finance leaders can drive profitable growth and lead successful autonomous finance transformation.
The event provides over 50 sessions of Gartner research-backed education across four tracks. Especially relevant for executives leading their business’s FP&A function is Track B, “FP&A: Navigate Planning Complexity.” It focuses on how FP&A departments can improve their predictive abilities for maximum preparedness amid uncertain market conditions.
Examples of the topics covered in this track include:
- Leveraging predictive analysis and AI to improve decision making
- Improving budgeting and planning flexibility to respond to unplanned changes
- Supporting decision making through realistic and trustworthy projections
- Overcoming challenges related to manual processes
When is it happening? May 31–June 1, 2023 (U.S. event) and September 18–19, 2023 (U.K. event).
Is the event virtual or in person? In-person, taking place in National Harbor and London, U.K.
Can you earn CPE/CPD credits? Yes—attendees of the U.S. event can earn up to 11 CPE credits. All sessions except for roundtables are CPE-eligible.
What’s the cost of the event? The cost of attending the U.S. event starts at $3,800 and the cost of attending the U.K. event starts at €2,950.
8. Global Excel Summit
The Global Excel Summit is an annual conference dedicated to lovers of Excel, particularly finance professionals, data analysts and general enthusiasts. With presentations from Excel experts and networking opportunities connecting you with other Excel users, you can discover new ways to use Excel and stay up to date on new releases to the tool.
FP&A professionals especially stand to benefit from the conference as it covers:
- How to harness Excel and Power BI for budgeting, forecasting and modeling
- Using data visualization to showcase data insightfully and how to present it across your organization impactfully
- Excel formulas and automations to help you supercharge your finance and accounting workflows
Featured presenters at the event include renowned Microsoft evangelists Leila Gharani (Founder of XelPlus) and Purna Duggirala (Founder of Chandoo.org).
When is it happening? February 6–8, 2023 (All sessions available to stream online).
Is the event virtual or in person? Virtual only.
Can you earn CPE/CPD credits? Yes—The Global Excel Summit supports CPD credits. By watching the conference on demand, you can still claim 33 hours of content that counts toward your CPD credits.
What’s the cost of the event? Access to this year’s event recordings starts at £95.
Invest in Yourself With Professional Development
The title “Chief Value Officer” has been proposed as an evolution of the Chief Financial Officer role.
In recent years, the pressure on finance departments to go above and beyond their core accounting and finance responsibilities to help lead strategic decision making has grown. The title “Chief Value Officer” has even been proposed as an evolution of the Chief Financial Officer role, in recognition of these shifting demands.
One of the best things you can do as an FP&A professional in anticipation of this expanding scope in responsibility is to develop your own skills. How can you more effectively communicate what financial data is saying to a non-finance audience? Which technologies will help your team automate routine processes and produce more reliable numbers? How can you ensure you’re well-versed in how to use those tools?
Conferences—whether they’re in-person or virtual—are a great way to grow your expertise and hopefully accelerate your career trajectory.