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  • Writer's picture Withida (Dow) Marlow

Evolving Role and Essential Qualities of a Finance Business Partner



How the Role of Finance Manager Has Evolved into that of a Finance Business Partner: A Recruiter's View


 

In the past, the job of a Finance Manager was mostly about doing basic finance tasks like book keeping, and paying bills . But today, it's a lot different and more important. As a recruiter, I've seen this change first-hand.


One big reason for this change is the growth of data and technology. These days, finance business partners use a lot of data to help make good business decisions. They also use new tech tools that help them work faster and more efficiently.


Another reason for the change is companies now demand greater analysis and forward-thinking compared to the past, wherein their focus was solely on actual and historical figures, thereby contributing to the need for this transformation.


After the pandemic, businesses had to become leaner and more efficient. This meant that finance business partners had to do more than just support tasks. They had to help businesses make good decisions quickly and in a forward-looking way. This is even more important in a time when things are uncertain.


The use of AI and cloud software has also changed the job a lot. These tools automate a lot of the basic finance tasks, allowing finance business partners to focus on getting insights from data. These insights help businesses make good decisions fast, whenever they need to.


On top of all this, finance business partners now need to work closely with management and all parts of a business. They help in making long-term plans, managing performance, and planning for different scenarios. Their ability to work well with others and share insights is now a key part of their job.


In conclusion, the job of a finance business partner has changed a lot over the years. From being a basic finance role, it has become a key strategic role that uses a lot of data and analytical skills. Looking forward, I believe that finance business partners will continue to be very important for businesses to succeed.



Key Qualities of a Successful Finance Business Partner


Analytical Skills

Modern finance business partners need to be adept at analyzing complex financial data, identifying trends, and making forecasts. They must have the ability to use this information to help the organization make informed strategic decisions.


Business Acumen

A deep understanding of the company’s business model, the competitive landscape, and industry trends is crucial. This business acumen allows them to provide relevant and timely advice to management.


Communication Skills

Finance business partners often have to translate complex financial jargon into simple, understandable terms for non-financial colleagues. Excellent communication skills are vital to ensure effective collaboration across different departments.


Strategic Thinking

The ability to see the big picture and understand how financial decisions impact the overall business strategy is paramount. They must be able to use their financial expertise to guide and influence strategic planning.


Ethical Standards

Maintaining high ethical standards is non-negotiable. They have a responsibility to uphold the financial integrity of the organization, and their actions must always reflect this commitment.



The role of the finance business partner has evolved to become a strategic linchpin in the modern business environment. It requires a mix of skills, ongoing learning, and practical experience. With commitment and perseverance, it's a rewarding career path to embark on.


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