In Finance Business Partnering you need to focus on one thing.
I want to talk to you about how you actually get and keep the mindset for finance business partnering.
Well, you need to focus one one thing, is this helping your business to make better financial decisions?
Is this helping the decision? Is it informing to help make a better decision?
This needs to be the focus of everything you do.
Let's think about the difference between an accountant mindset and that of finance business partnering.
Imagine this - and I've seen it all too often - when I'm giving training, I've seen monthly reports where the commentary says: ‘salary behind budget,’ and that's it.
What use is that to your finance business partner? Oh, oh, salary's behind budget. How is this going to help me make a better financial decision? It's not.
Asking why, why, why
So, the mindset of the finance business partner - you can't write commentary like that because it doesn't really help move the company in the right direction.
Instead of having, you know, ‘salary's behind budget,’ you need to start asking why, why, why to get to the actual driver of that particular expense.
In our manufacturing example, maybe salaries were over budget due to overtime… okay, but why?
Well, the machines broke down too often in the month. Why?
Well, the machines we have, they're not very reliable.
Commentary that add value
Then, in order to make better decisions for the company, and for the company to be more productive, you might say in your commentary: ‘The machines are unreliable. We need to assess these machines to see if we need to replace them because that's the best financial decision to make.’
If your mindset as a finance business partner isn't ‘how are we going to help the company make better financial decisions?’ you're not going to be very successful at it.
So, folks, how do you keep focused on being successful at finance business partnering?