Providing insight for better decision-making has become an advantage for finance firms looking to set themselves apart from the competition. Malcolm Wilkinson and Richard Horton explain how support teams can interpret the data.
Finance’s ability to provide insight for better decision-making is quickly becoming a competitive advantage, especially for companies trying to achieve profitable growth in difficult markets. However, recent Deloitte research shows that in over half of organisations the insights provided by finance are not used on a consistent basis by senior stakeholders.
Decision support teams undertake analysis of data, including macroeconomic, financial, sales, marketing and customer statistics, to support finance business-partnering activities. Aided by this analysis, finance business partners, who aim to support the strategic and tactical priorities of the wider organisation, can provide insight and guidance in support of future performance and growth.
Finance business partners are uniquely positioned to support and steer the business. Deloitte analysis found that the average finance function spends about a quarter of its time and effort on decision support and business partnering. This is expected to increase in almost three quarters of organisations over the next three years.
However, these activities are the primary source of guidance for decision-making in only 8% of organisations.
This is an extract from the Finance & Management Magazine, Issue 232, May 2015.
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- 13 May 2015 (12: 00 AM BST)
- First published
- 06 Jul 2022 (12: 00 AM BST)
- Page updated with Latest research section, adding further reading on finance business partnering. These new articles provide fresh insights, case studies and perspectives on this topic. Please note that the original article from 2015 has not undergone any review or updates.