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How can finance business partners drive real value in serving as conduits between finance and its stakeholders in our quickly evolving, dynamic climate across a broad range of business metrics?

The role of the finance function in organisations is changing, not least in the way that it provides its stakeholders with insights based upon a range of data sources. As a society, we are expecting our businesses to be more ethical in their approach. Not only are our employees increasingly demanding this more ethical and purpose-driven approach, but so are our customers and our investors. 

The finance community within an organisation needs to play its role at the centre of these trends. Performance and insight are domains that we rightly occupy. Customer-centricity requires agility, which in turn demands cross-organisational collaboration. Strategic and collaborative relationships are the key to future successful business partnering activities. 

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We need to look into the role that finance business partners, as part of the broader accountancy and finance community, play in delivering insight and decision making across the organisation. Furthermore, the increasing role they have in supporting financially and non-financially based decision making and broadening the skill sets and capabilities to enable organisations to take business decisions, and monitor their effectiveness, based on the overall organisational purpose. Utilising perspectives such as the six capitals of integrated reporting to provide a broader view of decision making.

Finance business partners need to progress from the reactive deliverers of reports based on financial information to the proactive group that offers strategic advice to drive decision making based on a broad range of available data sources. They need to embrace a holistic view of the organisation and the environment in which it operates.

This article is in partnership with the ACCA.