AstraZeneca – Defining a global model for finance partnering

Case Study


As part of a far-reaching finance transformation programme, AstraZeneca sought to drive more value from their business-facing finance teams in all countries and sites around the world.


How we helped our client

  • Defined global model for finance business partnering: which business decisions to prioritise; characteristics of great business partners; how to free up time; and what roles and capabilities are needed
  • Launched business partnering programme at global finance leaders summit with best practice assessment and gap analysis for 10 countries, including China, Japan, U.S.A.
  • ‘Deep-dive’ in Russia to re-design the finance organisation and develop a practical road-map of improvements
  • Worked with the finance leadership team to identify the priority finance transformation initiatives to deliver tens of millions of dollars of cost reduction
  • Developed a new approach to pricing in Europe and changed the role of finance to deliver business value in pricing
  • Created and ran summits to launch finance business partnering in Eastern Europe and Latin America to mobilise finance directors into action

Business outcomes

  • Separate finance business partner organisation, distinct from transaction or specialist finance, with clear roles, skills and career paths
  • Business partners performing at or close to the top 10% of externally benchmarked peer organisations
  • Finance business partners operate as peers on management teams driving strategy and decision making, and managing business performance
  • Significant uplift in capabilities through knowledge sharing, targeted education and business briefings
  • Awarded Finance Business Partner organisation of the year by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Arcus Consulting have played an invaluable role in our 2-year journey to transform finance business partnering across the globe. They helped us to set the vision and direction for business partnering; they’ve conducted practical improvement projects on-the-ground in Europe and Russia; and they’ve been successful at mobilising our finance directors into action in Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Graham Colbert,
VP Global Commercial Finance, AstraZeneca

Arcus Consulting are seasoned consultants who are able to work effectively with our senior business and finance leaders; they operate at a strategic level as well as ‘rolling-up their sleeves’ to tackle practical operational issues; they are highly collaborative with our teams and very successful at making change happen in our organisation.

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