Modern roles – is Finance Business Partner for you?

As the industry changes, traditional accounting roles are transforming alongside it. We look at the types of roles that are emerging in the modern accounting industry.

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What a finance business partner does

“Finance business partners are part or fully qualified accountants who improve the impact and understanding of financial reporting on business reporting,” says Kathryn Heeler, a consultant at recruitment firm Sellick Partnership.

“They work closely with a business unit to create a partnership between operations and management and provide ‘real-time’ support and analysis to assist with business decisions. Depending on the organisation, they can report to the senior finance business partner, finance manager or head of business support.”

Fast facts

  • Salary range of £35,000 to £60,000
  • Provide support and analysis to assist with business decisions
  • Work within a larger organisation
  • Excellent stakeholder management and presentation skills required

Typical responsibilities

  • Financial management – including the month-end and year-end processes in-line with company deadlines and financial procedures.
  • Investigating and reporting on significant budgetary variances, analysing the month-end financial position and looking into any variances.
  • Producing monthly financial reporting and meeting with budget holders to assess financial performance, and providing financial management information.
  • Year-end and financial planning – supporting year-end financial management and reporting, including assisting with the completion of annual accounts and the preparation of future year budgets.
  • Analysing the impact of service changes and providing the cost implications of service redesign, adjusting budgets in accordance with changes in service provision if necessary, and working with senior managers and service leads to prepare business cases and bids for new business and/or service redesign.

Skills required for the role

A finance business partner should be able to influence day-to-day decisions, as well as being a translator between finance and operations.

Heeler says:  “They should have strong stakeholder management and presentation skills,” she says. “A person in this role should be commercially aware, with an ability to understand and anticipate the needs of both operations and the management of an organisation.”

Earning potential

Depending on the size of the business and experience of the candidate, Heeler says companies will likely pay between £35,000 and £60,000 per annum.

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Where you can find a finance business partner role

“Finance business partners tend to be needed within larger organisations where departments aren’t able to successfully develop strategies and carry out suitable analysis to determine business needs,” says Heeler. “In smaller organisations, the most senior finance professionals will have business partnering incorporated into their role.” 

AAT Comment offers news and opinion on the world of business and finance from the Association of Accounting Technicians.

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