Transform Finance Business Partnering

Drive financially sound operational decisions across your business with our finance business partner guide

Many Finance leaders have invested in building and improving finance business partnering capabilities. But few are successful at consistently supporting business decision making in a way that delivers tangible business value. Unsound decision making can cost large companies 3% of profits. How can Finance deliver more effective business decision support?


Position finance business partners as 'decision experts'

To provide the proactive, differentiated support the organization needs, changes to the finance business partnering model are required.

Gartner’s guide for finance leaders outlines:

  • The significant impact of financially unsound decisions
  • The six characteristics of sound operational decisions
  • Steps for implementing finance staff’s new role as decision experts
  • Lessons learned from progressive organizations

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    Finance business partnering questions Gartner can help you with

    Finance business partners (FBPs) are assigned or aligned to operating units to support decision makers.

     Finance business partners can help managers make financially sound operating decisions that take full account of the risks and opportunities of decisions, such as whether to offer a discount on pricing.

    The key responsibility of a FBP is to provide the business with insight and analysis to drive decisions. For example, FBPs might perform competitor rate benchmarks to support pricing decisions. .

    Some of the ways to do this include:

    • Streamlining data analysis for the business, ultimately minimizing irrelevant data
    • Communicating in an intuitive way to the business to clearly build a trusted and open relationship 
    • Demonstrating thought leadership by presenting alternative recommendations to existing approaches.

    FBPs need to be able to accurately and acutely analyze financial data and other business-critical data to identify better ways of operating. 

    This can come down to three key abilities:

    • Insight — use business data to assess the existing decisions and identify areas of improvement. 
    • Influence — help business leaders to understand and consider the broader financial implications of their decisions. 
    • Impact — demonstrate improved ROI on operational decisions.

    By providing rigorous but targeted analysis and data, for example, competitor or industry benchmarking, FBPs are able to drive business leaders to make more profitable or positive operating decisions. 

    By upskilling business partners in their decision making, finance business partners can ensure that margins and profits aren’t lost because of financially unsound decisions.