Careers & Education

Yaniece Gentles-Riley

The financial planning and analysis manager

By AINSWORTH MORRIS Career & Education writer

Sunday, August 10, 2014    

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A year ago, Yaniece Gentles-Riley, financial planning and analysis manager at Red Stripe Jamaica, moved up the ranks to her current post.

The 31-year-old, who has in the past served Red Stripe as reporting manager, manufacturing finance manager, supply finance analyst, and finance graduate intern, says she works alongside the leadership team of the organisation and other employees with regards to financial planning for and analysis management of the company's products and services

This week Gentles-Riley gives Career & Education an insight into her career choice.

Who is a financial planning and analysis manager?

My role is to work alongside the leadership team of the organisation and members of all our departments with regards to financial planning for and analysis management of our products and services. I am responsible for identifying always-evolving key value drivers of today's economy, forecasting, and identifying new value sources that will benefit my organisation in the long run.

What is the value of the work that you do?

My role is very much directly focused on adding value. It is not just about measuring past business performance, but even moreso about standing in the future, forecasting business performance, monitoring performance and recommending the shifts required to ensure that we achieve the set business outcomes. The value that I deliver through analysis of the past and future goes straight to the bottom line.

What do you enjoy the most about your career?

I enjoy making a significant contribution to the development of my organisation. I enjoy watching my organisation grow, transform and meeting our objectives outlined each month.

What are your responsibilities as a financial planning and analysis manager?

My responsibilities include monitoring the performance, driving commercial value and reporting to management on a scheduled basis. My responsibilities also include working closely with our executives to develop a profit and loss strategy for the company, which will better monitor performance. I have primary responsibilities to forecast, analyse and evaluate financial plans. I also monitor our key performance indicators which I use to provide insights on performance enhancement. I partner with the leadership team to enhance decision-making capabilities through budget management, cost-benefit analyses and forecasting. I actively seek opportunities to drive efficiencies through new financial analyses, new tools and new ways of working.

What are the qualifications for your job?

To become a financial planning and analysis manager, you have to have a degree in business or finance or accounting and at least seven years worth of experience in financial analysis. My degrees include chartered management accountant (CIMA) and a bachelor of science in management studies and accounting, double major.

What are some of the challenges which you face on the job?

My role by its design includes numerous challenges which arise at any time and vary depending on different situations involving financial planning and analysis management. Therefore it requires exceptional time management application, navigating demanding and competing stakeholders as well as managing risks of various origins. Ironically, it is these elements that help make the job exciting! I have found that most times opportunities and insights disguise themselves in some of these very challenges.

What advice do you have for others who wish to enter the field?

It is important to do something you love with a team that you love. Be prepared to challenge the norms, challenge the leadership team with financial facts supported by strong commercial acumen. Be prepared to work smarter and not just harder. Think outside the box. Become an expert not only in finance/accounting but in the business area you support, such as brewing and packaging, if you provide financial analysis support to the production team). Understand the importance of not only seizing opportunities as soon as they arise, but ensuring that due diligence is done to assess the value to the business and make decisions within the shortest timeframe.

Yaniece Gentles-Riley, financial planning and analysis manager at Red Stripe Jamaica.

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