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6 slogans for small business Finance professionals

By Andy Burrows

You can be a Finance business partner in a small company

As I’ve spoken with Finance professionals around the world about their careers, there’s a particular pain that is felt by those who work in small businesses.

Sometimes they talk about the fact that they want to be Finance business partners, but they’re stuck in the mundane tasks of Finance.

Sometimes they talk about the struggle they have trying to get involved with the business, because the business doesn’t see the need to include them.

There’s a perception in some places that to get real Finance business partnering experience you have to go and work in a bigger company.

But that cannot be right!

In the USA, 45% of GDP comes from small businesses. Nearly 50% of employees work for small businesses. And I bet the situation is similar around the world, possibly even more so.

Imagine the impact we could have on the economy if small business Finance professionals could help their...

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Business-focused Finance is NOT the same as Finance Business Partnering

By Andy Burrows

Those who have followed me for a while may have noticed that I’ve started using the term business-focused Finance. And you may be wondering whether it’s actually just the same as Finance business partnering. Or is business-focused Finance something different?

And to answer that question right up front I’d say that a large element of Business-Focused Finance is Finance business partnering, but I’m thinking of business-focused Finance as something broader.

What I've come to understand is that Finance Business Partner is a specific role often seen within Finance, designed to give various non-Finance functions access to the full power of the Finance function in managing business performance within their areas.

Finance business partnering is a phrase that’s either been used to describe simply what Finance Business Partners do, or to describe the kind of mindset needed within Finance.

I think that’s confusing.

It tends to lead to the...

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How to build influence and be more visible as a Finance professional

By Andy Burrows

Influence is something that Finance people in business really want, it seems to me.

I hear it a lot:

“How can I get more influence in the business?”

“How can I increase my visibility in the business?”

“How can I get included in strategic discussions, instead of being kept out?”

And that’s thinking in the right kind of way, fundamentally. We don’t want to just provide information, or even merely insight based on information. We don’t want to turn our work over to the non-Finance areas of the business in a “take-it-or-leave-it” kind of way.

We want our work to make a difference. And it can only make a difference if people listen to us, understand us, take note and act on what we tell them.

Our information should deliver insight. But for our insight to have impact we need to have influence!

So, this article gives you five ways to do that. It’s not the whole story, but it will give you a lot to think...

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Setting the destination and direction – a big CFO skill

By Andy Burrows

I’d like you come away from this article knowing how to get a clearer or renewed sense of direction.

Not only that, but I hope that you will have learnt some insights into how you can assess and define the direction you want to go in both your life and work.

Clearly, I write to Finance people, and I’m addressing this article to those who are somewhere on the continuum between Finance business partner and CFO or who want to embark on that journey. However, I’m going to be talking about principles that can be used in pretty much any walk of life or work.

The important context

This is the fourth article in a series. The first two establish the context.

So, I started by pointing out that Finance Business Partner is the new best route to a CFO role. In that article I was establishing the need to better define and support one of the most important development pathways post-accountancy.

Next, I outlined from recent literature and my own research and...

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