Analysis

Finance business partnering

Changing the focus

83% of organisations want to further increase time spent on Business Partnering over next three years.

Expectations of Finance are changing. Not only has the recent shift in external pressure resulted in the need for leaner and responsive back office functions, but there is now great demand from the business for Finance to drive business performance. This demand is driving CFOs to turn their attention towards Finance Business Partnering. This opportunity to redefine and invest in Finance Business Partnering has been further enhanced by:

  • The explosion in the quantity and variety of data available
  • Commercial demands of new business models
  • Opportunities presented by digital transformation
 

Many organisations have already started to invest in and develop Business Partnering capabilities. In a recent Deloitte survey, however, CFOs are now facing the challenge of how to translate this capability into real, tangible benefits for the organisation. Making the transition from the back to front office is not always an easy endeavour and in most cases it is recognised that there is still room for improvement.

Responses from our recent Finance Business Partnering survey mirror the challenges we see in practice:

  1. The tangible value of partnering activities is not well understood, making it difficult to identify priorities and focus areas for developing Finance Business Partnering capabilities.
  2. Internal information is frequently not credible or accessible, and external data is not commonly considered a key input for Finance Business Partners, meaning that they do not have the tools that support them in making good decisions.
  3. Leaders recognise that partnering often requires a new set of skills and behaviours within their teams, but are unclear about what competencies people do need, and how to develop and retain this different talent pool.
Finance business partnering survey
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