Page 2: Planning analysts
The word 'accountant' conjures up the stereotype of somebody sitting in a office, often on their own, inspecting and auditing books, from which they produce historical financial reports. In a fast moving commercial environment such as that at Kraft, the difference could not be starker.
In order to achieve the corporate goals, Kraft employs accountants in planning analyst roles who work within customer and consumer marketing teams. The role of planning analysts is to:
- help decision making processes
- provide detailed value added analysis rather than accounting reports - i.e. why? rather than what?
- help the brands to deliver value for customers, yet at the same time develop their distinct position within the market place
- enable the teams to understand events and trends
- help teams plan for the future.
For example, this role involves 3 types of planning:
1. forward - strategic planning for the long-term future of the business
2. budgeting - setting and managing budgets across the business
3. forecasting - managing the business and making sure that activities meet annual and quarterly forecasts.
The demanding role of a planning analyst is supported by a process of professional development. Kraft encourages its financial managers to take qualifications such as those provided by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), a professional accounting body. It actively supports their learning through paying for courses and adopting a flexible approach to allow managers to balance their workload and their learning.