Re-set the direction for finance business partnering

Do your business partnering teams continue to produce reports, double check numbers, and then say they don’t have time for business partnering?

Finance business partnering is an easy concept to understand, and about 80% of large companies are implementing it.

But only 22% deliver business benefits.

Most Finance Directors think it’s straightforward; appoint business partners, free-up time through shared services, and provide some skills training.

But it’s a lot harder than most FDs choose to believe.

We’ve developed and implemented practical benchmarks, diagnostic tools and best practice solutions for many successful commercial business finance organisations.

Re-set the direction for business partnering

We start with your business leaders to identify which decisions drive the most value.

We then look inside Finance to identify what stops your teams from becoming great business partners, and what needs to change to add value to the

  • are your business partners working on the most valuable decisions?
  • is everyone crystal clear about their roles and how to measure success?
  • what are the biggest skills gaps in the eyes of your business leaders?
  • how can you free-up time by managing the demands for business partner time?
  • do you generate decision-driven information and run decision-driven meetings?

The Arcus team brought real-life experience of how to improve our finance organisation. They stretched our thinking, but were pragmatic about how to make it work in practice.
I very much valued their war stories; ‘theoretically this is what you do, but practically these are the things that really matter’.
I’ve enjoyed working with the Arcus team, and they certainly have my advocacy for their approach, experience and style.

Oliver Smedley
Finance Director,
British Gas

Arcus helped us to realise how much more value Finance can add to our business teams.
Their experience and collaborative approach is pretty unique and has really helped our business.

Andrew Davies
Finance Director,


Drive change through a business partnering training journey

Have the investments you’ve made in training and skills development delivered a step-change in the performance of your finance partnering teams?

A lot of finance business partner training focuses on general soft skills that apply equally to many other functions.

Finance Directors are often disappointed with the impact of training.

Finance business partner training should drive:

  • a step-change in roles and behaviours across the Finance organisation
  • practical actions by teams and individuals to deliver results
  • sustainability over time.

Arcus training programmes focus on the practical techniques needed to help to drive better business decisions.

Tailored finance business partnering training.

Our training programmes are specifically designed to drive change through practical actions in the daily workplace of your finance teams.

We get great feedback about our programmes because our training:

  • is a journey over time to create a momentum for change
  • is heavily tailored using real content from your business
  • is highly interactive to maximise the learning
  • drives practical actions and homework across your teams
  • uses a mix of hard and soft skills, targeted explicitly at each Finance role.

Many Finance Directors use our training programmes to implement new roles and behaviours as part of a finance transformation.

Arcus made it so clear what each role should be that it forced everyone to be honest with themselves about their own skills gaps.
The training has been highly practical, hugely relevant to us, and not at all theoretical.

Jennifer Farrelly
Head of Finance, Business Partnering Allied Irish Bank

“Hands-down the best training course I’ve ever been on. Surprising, captivating, informative”

“The most job-relevant course I’ve ever been on. Great mix of teach, learn, role-play and practice”.

“An inspiring course. Now I know what I need to do. No more busy fool”

Leadership Coaching

Role-model and lead a culture of business partnering

Do your Finance Leaders act as role models for business partners, and do they lead the way for better finance partnering in your organisation?

Making finance partnering work is not just for a small group of ‘business partners’.

It’s essential your Finance Leaders understand that every part of the Finance organisation needs to ‘step up their game’ to make finance partnering work.

Too often we see one or two enthusiasts at the finance leadership team, and everyone else just going along with it.

Finance leaders need to be honest with themselves about their own capabilities, and their attitudes towards learning new skills.

Just because you have a senior job title, and you go to Executive meetings, doesn’t automatically make you a good finance partner or a role model for your teams.

Role-model and lead a culture of business partnering.

We work with your Finance leadership team through structured workshops and individual coaching to help them to lead the change, and role-model a new culture.

As Finance Leaders you need to create the right conditions for successful finance business partnering:

  • Permission from your business and finance leaders that the role of finance is to challenge and influence business decisions, and that people will be recognised for adding value to the business
  • Capacity by providing clarity of everyone’s role, and helping finance partners to manage the demand for their time by prioritising work by business value
  • Capability by being clear about any gaps in skills versus what’s needed; investing in skills development; and appointing people according to future needs, not re-branding traditional accountants.

We use a 3-step approach for working with your Finance Leadership team to equip everyone to lead the change to a new culture of finance business partnering.

Arcus opened our eyes to what needed to change. You read a lot about business partnering, but most of it is theory.
From Day One Arcus cleared away the smoke and mirrors, and showed us the practical things to do.
They provided an honest base-line of our current Finance organisation and then quickly mobilised our Finance leadership team to a bigger change than we’d anticipated.
And they provided a lot of high-impact coaching along the way for our Finance leaders.

Sonya Hotson
Director of Finance Business Partnering, Standard Life

The Arcus approach is disarmingly simple but incredibly powerful.  I’m very glad we switched to the Arcus approach, when you look at the impact they’ve had with us

Andrew Barnard
Finance Director, RBS

Get in touch

Get in touch if you want to learn more about our expertise.

Or to discuss how to improve finance business partnering in your organisation.

You don't have to be ready to buy anything just yet!

Adrian Willmott

Managing Director

Expert in Finance Business Partnering
30 years of international experience
Former Partner with KPMG Consulting

Tel: +44 (0) 7748 111 495

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