When I first started working my job title included the word ‘accountant’.
I was the ‘International Reporting Accountant’.
Then I became the ‘Logistics Accountant’.
Then the ‘Factory Accountant’.
Then I got a new job titled ‘Commercial Finance Business Partner’.
But it didn’t make me a finance business partner.
It took me years to work out how to be a finance business partner, and I learned the hard way.
Now I help finance individuals and teams make the transition from accountants to partners.
We train for 3 years to earn the title ‘Accountant’.
Yet somehow we are expected to become finance business partners overnight.
Moving to a business partner model requires more than just changing job titles, reporting lines, or where people physically sit.
For your team to become great business partners, they first need to know what great looks and feels like.
They know how a balance sheet and discounted cash flow works.
They are probably already experts in Excel and whatever BI tool sits above the ERP.
But do they know how the influence model works?
Do they know the difference between data, information and insight?
Do they know how people make decisions?
Do they know how to build fast-track relationships, and rapport?
If not then business partnering can be like trying to ride a bike with no wheels.