What is finance business partnering?
I used to be a finance director, then I became a sales director, and I’ll show you everything I learned in sales that I wished I’d known when I worked in finance.
Finance business partnering is about three things:
Number one, building relationships. Number two, turning data into insights. And number three, bringing numbers to life.
1. Building relationships
So, let’s get started with number one, building relationships.
When I worked in finance, I never really valued relationships.
Even as a finance director, I didn’t invest enough time in them.
Then I became a sales director and learned that influence is all about relationships.
Here’s the thing, you can’t influence anyone to do anything unless they trust you.
2. Turning data into insights
Number two, turning data into insights.
Data answers the question, what? Information answers the question, why?
And, insights answer the questions, so what, what next, how could we improve?
Accountants tell people what happened last month. Business partners help people answer the question, so what?
3. Bringing numbers to life
And, number three, bringing numbers to life.
Tables of numbers are the worst way to bring numbers to life.
The best way is to take one number, make it big, and make it memorable.
Accountants use tables of numbers. Business partners don’t.
What is finance business partnering: influencing decisions
So, finance business partnering is about three things.
Number one, building relationships. Number two, turning data into insights. And, number three, bringing numbers to life.
And, if you do those three things, you’ll influence, and remember, that’s the point of being a finance business partner, to influence.
So, if you want to be a better finance business partner, here are the three things to do.
Number one, build relationships. Get to know people, find out what’s important to them, and find out how you can help them.
And, number two, turn data into insights. Don’t just tell people what happened, tell them why, and not some crappy why like phasing, accruals, or one-offs. Give them a commercial driver.
And, number three, bring numbers to life. Stop using boring tables of numbers and start making your numbers interesting, engaging and fun.
Watch the video above to find out more about answering the question: what is finance business partnering.