More CFOs find value in finance business partnering
Deloitte study says finance functions prioritising business partnering activities
By Gaurav Sharma | CFO UK | Published 09:56, 05 November 12
Finance functions in the UK’s largest businesses are increasingly investing in finance business partnering to drive company performance according to a new study.
In its latest survey published on Monday, the business advisory firm noted that some of the UK’s most high performing firms already fully embrace business partnering. A third (34 percent) are investing more than 30 percent of their time delivering these activities and a large majority, 83 percent, are expected to increase these activities over the next three years.
However, Deloitte found that while many organisations have already started to invest in and develop finance business partnering capability, some challenges remain. Making the transition from back to front office is not always easy and in most cases it is recognised there is still room for improvement, the study noted.
Based on the views of CFOs and finance directors from 134 major companies, the survey concluded that finance business partners can benefit the business through making better decisions (76 percent), enable strategic initiatives (58 percent) and improve financial performance (56 percent).
According to the study, this indicated a move towards a more commercial skill set than has traditionally existed in finance and 64 percent of organisations see the development of commercial acumen/decision making skills, as their number one priority when developing their finance business partners.
Malcolm Wilkinson, finance business partnering lead at Deloitte, felt that finance functions are under increasing pressure from the business to drive performance.
“Organisations need leaders, not only in the CEO but also the CFO, to navigate and steer the business through an often complex market,” he told CFOWorld.
“For finance to do this, gaining trust and buy-in from the business is critical. Within this context, CFOs and finance leaders must take action now to ensure that they and their teams are able to effectively step into the role of strategic finance business partner, and become a catalyst for change,” Wilkinson concluded.
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