Business partnering: Optimising corporate performance

The Robert Half Business Partnering Report is an independent report on the expanding role of finance teams in the UK.

As the business environment becomes more complex, the finance department is having to adapt. Focused in the past on traditional accounting tasks, finance executives are increasingly being asked to support other parts of the business through finance business partnering, whereby the finance function supports strategy development and decision-making across the whole business.

This partnering is already well established in many UK companies. This expanded role infuses greater rigour into a company. But it requires a different set of skills from those traditionally deployed in a finance department, and these can be hard to find or develop.

To investigate how companies are overcoming the skills challenges and benefiting from Business Partnering, Robert Half has produced a 3 part series which you can download in full here. 

Each part of the series includes information from our independent research, insights from both senior leadership and SME organisations as well as case studies of business partnering in practice.

Surveying 1,000 Finance Directors across the UK and Europe, the report is independently researched and covers 3 distinct areas: 

Business Partnering Report 2013 - Adding Values
Part 1: The Road Ahead – Finance in Transformation

The first of three in the series, we take a look at how business partnering supports a business, and gauge the progress that companies in the UK and their European counterparts have made in developing finance business partnerships. It reviews how the finance team has transformed and the drivers for business partnering as well as including a view from an SME perspective and a case study from Edwards, a Nasdaq-listed vacuum pump producer.


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Part 2: Addressing the Skills Gap 

In the second part of the series, we address the skills gap as the expanding role of finance has required new competencies that many companies currently lack, and the challenges faced around talent management. We look at the skills required to enable effective business partnering and how companies are prioritising their talent pipeline. Case studies from Astra Zeneca and Henkel highlight how companies are developing staff.


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Part 3: Business Partnering in Action – Making It Happen

In the final part of the series, we examine business partnering in action, including the organisational changes that are required to enable business partnering to flourish and the strategies organisations have adopted to overcome existing barriers. Carson Wagonlit provide a case study on how business partners work in practice plus we’ve included 5 steps to get your started in business partnering.


About The Business Partnering Report

The Robert Half Management Resources report, written in collaboration with Longitude Research, is based on a survey of 1,000 group or divisional finance directors, spread evenly between the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. In addition to the survey, we conducted 16 in-depth interviews with financial professionals and experts.

To discuss how you can address the challenges identified in the report, please contact one of our experienced consultants at our local offices.