Brian is Founder and Principal at Kalish Consulting. He is Former Executive Director – Global FP&A Practice at AFP. He has over 20 years of experience in Finance, FP&A, Treasury and Investor Relations. He previously held a number of treasury and finance positions with the FHLB, Washington Mutual/JP Morgan, NRUCFC, Fifth Third and Fannie Mae. He has spoken all over the world to audiences both large and small hosting FP&A Roundtable meetings in North America, Europe, Asia and soon South America. Brian attended Georgia Tech, in Atlanta, GA for his undergraduate studies in Business and the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech for his graduate work. In 2014, Brian was awarded the Global Certified Corporate FP&A Professional designation.
I have two true passions in life: math and baseball. If you look at a Venn diagram of these two topics, the area of overlap could be titled “sabermetrics.” As I have often shared in my writing and presentations, I believe one of the best ways to describe what intelligent FP&A is to friends, family, and business associates is to reference Michael Lewis’s fantastic book Moneyball. I may be dating myself, but I have been a huge fan of his books since back in 1989. Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Blind Side, and The Big Short are my favorites of Lewis’ books, and I highly recommend them.
Growing up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C, I had two great passions: math and baseball. I wanted to spend every day simply studying math and playing as much baseball as a kid could fit into a day. Unfortunately for me, just like in the Clint Eastwood movie “Trouble with the Curve,” I had trouble hitting a curveball. However, despite hanging up my spikes, my passion for baseball has never dimmed. (Side note: I have actually been to all the Major League ballparks and am now working on the AAA league parks.)
Two of my favorite TV shows from the 1960s that dealt with the future were The Jetsons and Star Trek. One has a much better track record of predicting how technology has evolved. While we’re not quite driving the flying cars of the Jetsons – yet – let’s look back on the fantastic technological tools the crew of the USS Enterprise had at their disposal: the communicator (smartphone); tablets (Kindles and iPads); communication earpieces (Bluetooth); and virtual assistants (Alexa and Siri). With computers that can recognize natural language commands, I find myself believing we are still closer to the beginning, rather than the middle, of where technology can take intelligent FP&A in the future.
When discussing the future of intelligent financial planning & analysis (FP&A), I am reminded of the theme song from my high school graduation, Timbuk3’s “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.” That is how I honestly feel about the trajectory of the FP&A profession. I believe we are finally at a point where we not only possess the tools to take FP&A to new heights, but FP&A will have to soar for organizations to thrive in the 21st century.
Having worked with many financial planning and analysis (FP&A) teams around the world, I have witnessed how Big Data can deliver competitive advantages to both these teams and their entire organizations. One of the biggest and most common challenges I’ve seen is how they implement and harvest both financial and operational Big Data.