The role of a finance business partner?

Robert Walters examines just some of the key elements in becoming a finance business partner, a key position in driving businesses forward. We look at what it takes and what you can expect from this rewarding role.

Getting involved: decision making

Becoming a finance business partner can be an exciting position, given the exposure you can expect across key business decisions.

Typically placed within a division of a large organisation, finance business partners are involved in investment appraisals, implementing new initiatives, offering financial consultation to decision makers and assessing the feasibility of new revenue streams.

As a rule, a high amount of your work will be project related, focussing specifically on business strategy and client pitches.

The importance of core reporting skills

Although project work is most common, you will still undoubtedly be involved in other activities and there will always be an element of reporting involved in the role. This will vary as per the size and nature of the organisation you’re working under, however this will still be comparatively less than what you would expect if you were a financial analyst.

Business partnering: communication is key

The most successful finance business partners in the market are highly skilled communicators, meaning that they can articulate often the most complex financial concepts to a host of stakeholders; including non-finance people and key decision makers. These communications need to be targeted, and long term in their orientation. 

Demonstrate this on your CV and you will be well placed in obtaining a position within this area.  

Is my experience suitable?

Those considering their move toward this area will need to ensure they increase their level of involvement with relevant projects. This needs to be done whenever and wherever possible to ensure you have a solid understanding of all the elements involved in key business decisions.

Make sure you involve yourself highly on a local level and you will be much better placed to make the move. 

Excellent career development potential

Given the relative involvement finance business partners have within the business, they can generally expect a wider range of business prospects for the future. Naturally, you may step into a role as a Divisional Finance Director however beyond that can be nothing stopping you becoming a Group Finance Director in the future. 

Find out what you're worth with the Robert Walters Salary Survey.

For more career advice, and information on how to switch careers, please contact:

Samantha Gravett, Country Manager
+27 (0)11 881 2471

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