Leverage your business partnership skills
The comprehensive Enhance Your Finance Business Partner Skills course equips participants for the evolving landscape of enterprise, presenter Roy Chambers tells Julie Burniston
As the business world grapples with heightened uncertainty, finance professionals who are having to do more with fewer resources need to adapt their skillsets to thrive in this “new normal”.
The ICAS one-day Enhance Your Finance Business Partner Skills course, in partnership with BPP, presents an opportunity for delegates to equip themselves with the skills required to establish successful partnerships with their business colleagues. It also prepares them for future financial challenges by elevating their skills to make an impact within their organisations, unlocking the potential for them to become more effective and influential.
Presenter Roy Chambers brings a wealth of practical and development experience to the course. Roy began his career with PwC where he was an audit manager. He then trained accountants preparing for exams at Kaplan. He gained valuable industry experience during his time with British American Tobacco, where he held senior finance positions in various global markets and learned from roles in M&A and regional strategic planning. A decade ago he established his own training consultancy combining practical experience with his training and development background.
“My background in both the corporate world and training sector allows me to bridge the gap between theory and practical application,” Roy says.
“The Enhance Your Finance Business Partner Skills course is not just for those with the title ‘business partner’. I firmly believe that every finance role can incorporate elements of business partnership. I get a huge amount of joy from being able to chat with delegates to learn about their experiences, discuss my own, and offer practical hints and tips to help build a commercial, flexible, insightful and impactful finance business partner.”
Roy places a strong emphasis on the pragmatic nature of the course, which is firmly grounded in real-world scenarios and hands-on learning. His approach is to build on a solid theoretical foundation, enhancing it with practical exercises and case studies drawn from his extensive interactions with clients and industry experts.
“My training programmes fall under the broad umbrella of business finance,” Roy explains. “This includes business partnerships, rigorous analysis, gaining valuable insights, effective financial communication, enhancing your influence, sharpening your ability to challenge the status quo, and streamlining your accounting and reporting processes.
“Ultimately, the course’s objective is to bring finance professionals closer to the heart of business matters. It encourages participants to gain a deeper understanding of their organisations and to wield their financial skills effectively in contributing to their company’s growth and success. It’s about developing a profound understanding of the business and leveraging your skills to drive the organisation forward.”
During the course, Roy explores several key themes. “The first centres on self-assessment,” he explains. “It involves understanding your current position as a business partner and recognising your potential for growth in terms of skills and scope. We then delve into the art of marketing your financial skills effectively. This theme is crucial as it equips you with the ability to meet the demands of businesses actively seeking capable and impactful business partners.”
One of the core principles Roy emphasises is adding value through finance: “When assisting businesspeople with their issues, it’s essential to bring financial insights to the table. Neglecting to do so can leave you feeling like an empty vessel in your role as a business operator. Effective communication is another critical aspect. Enhancing your ability to forecast, tell compelling stories with numbers, and communicate impactfully is vital in establishing your presence as a valuable business partner.”
Developing essential human skills is also a central theme. This entails building trust, nurturing the ability to challenge constructively and mastering the art of influence. “Your human engagement and emotional intelligence are important facets,” says Roy. “Displaying more influence and less subservience, and being prepared to navigate tense situations and challenge the status quo, are all part of the theme.”
Lastly, Roy tackles the theme of business acumen. “This involves gaining a deeper understanding of the business, thinking more strategically, and adapting to different thinking styles to address a wide range of business challenges. These themes collectively provide a comprehensive framework for finance professionals to thrive as effective business partners. They are not only essential for personal growth but also for making a significant contribution to their organisations in an ever-evolving business landscape.”
Roy says participants should finish the course feeling challenged to think differently about their roles as a business partner. “People tend to come away refreshed and wanting to do more – maybe a full day of communication or a full day of influencing skills,” he says. “The course is really like a set of signposts, a trigger which adds a level of new thinking and scope.”
Sign up for the Enhance Your Finance Business Partner Skills virtual course on 9 April 2024 or 21 November 2024.