What is a Quantico Finance Business Partner?

Post by
Dan Hully
What is a Quantico Finance Business Partner?

We believe that the old fashioned dichotomies in accounting don’t work.  It's not right to ask someone to choose between working either in practice or in industry, or to choose between a detailed oriented role as a Financial Controller or a strategic role as a CFO.  


That’s why we’ve created a new type of role: the Quantico Finance Business Partner.  It creates the best possible resource for startups and scale-ups and a new type of career path for aspiring accountants.



With any new role, it's important to be really clear about what it involves, and what you expect.  This article summarises what we expect from our Finance Business Partners.


Finance Operations


A Finance Business Partner...

  • Is an operational expert who understands how data and processes flow throughout an organisation.
  • Designs bespoke financial processes that match the requirements of their clients.
  • Communicates and documents those processes in a way that makes it easy for our finance operations teams to succeed.
  • Reviews work performed by the finance operations team on their client, and takes overall responsibility for the output.
  • Is an expert on financial software used by scale-ups, and has ideas about which solutions are best for each problem.
  • Provides a viewpoint on systems and data problems across all business functions.
  • Identifies improvements and efficiencies for finance functions, and works with their clients to prioritise them.


They don’t...

  • Know the answers to every possible question
  • Reconcile bank accounts, post invoices or conduct transactional work


You might hear them say...

  • “Looking at the budget you’ve set for your company, I’ve worked out the finance systems that we’ll need now and in 12 months time.  These are the triggers for when we need to change and this is how much it’ll cost at each stage.”
  • If someone in the team makes a mistake we all do.  Mistakes are inevitable so lets put in place processes that mean we’ll catch it next time.”
  • “I don’t have the details of that payment to hand now.  To allow me to focus on improvements we assign much of the payments process to our finance operations team who work remotely.  Let me check with them and get back to you.”


They will never say...

  • “Sorry, someone in the remote team made a mistake because they’re new.  I don’t really trust them so I’ll do the work myself next time”
  • I’m going to do everything on Excel because that’s what I’m used to.  I don’t really care about the systems Quantico has invested in.”

“Looking at the budget you’ve set for your company, I’ve worked out the finance systems that we’ll need now and in 12 months time.  These are the triggers for when we need to change and this is how much it’ll cost at each stage.”


Client management


A Finance Business Partner….

  • Builds a relationship with their clients that is built on trust and mutual understanding.
  • Is the primary point of contact between Quantico and our client, and between the our client's team and their finance function.
  • Remembers that they are a consultant to their client and not employee.
  • Is responsibility for ensuring that we don't undertake loss-making work, and for identifying mutually beneficial opportunities for additional projects or up-sells.
  • Ensures that we get credit for the work that we do, and that our clients our bought in to the decisions that we make.
  • Communicates expectations to clients around deadlines, priorities and problems.


They don’t….

  • Avoid having difficult conversations
  • Act as an employee of their client
  • Answer every question from every member of the team on Slack throughout the week


You might hear them say...


  • “Part of being good at my job is promoting the interests of our team.  That means getting maximum credit for the work we do and identifying opportunities for more work.”
  • “I involve my client in decisions on the finance function, but they’re paying for an expert so I always come with a recommendation”


They will never say...

  • “I think we need to do more work on our client this month, but I’m scared of asking them to pay more.  They can be so grumpy.”
  • “I can’t leave on time tonight because my boss [client CEO] thinks that I should work late.”
  • “I’m going to ask my client whether I can take holiday in July”


I involve my client in decisions on the finance function, but they’re paying for an expert so I always come with a recommendation



Business advisory


A Finance Business Partner...

  • Acts as an experienced business professional, helping to implement best practice improvements across their clients.
  • Understands the strategic goals of their clients, and implements reporting systems that track them.
  • Interprets the financial data, and explains it to their teams in a way that informs strategic decision making.
  • Provides an objective viewpoint of the effectiveness of other business divisions.
  • Acts as a check on uncontrolled or risk taking where it isn't in the interests of the business or the client.


They don’t...

  • Know everything there is to know about being a CFO
  • Refuse to follow the strategy set by management


You might hear them say...

  • “Based on my experience with other clients in this industry, I’ve got a lot of ideas about how you might want to set up that overseas branch”
  • “I don’t know how to set up an EMI scheme of the top of my head, but we’ve built up a fantastic internal resource based on our experience with other companies.  Let me have a look at that and get back to you.”


They will never say...

  • “We’re only really here to set up the system, I don’t have a view on financial strategy.”
  • “Sorry I don’t really want to get to know you [client team] because I might not be here long”


“I don’t know how to set up an EMI scheme of the top of my head, but we’ve built up a fantastic internal resource based on our experience with other companies.  Let me have a look at that and get back to you.”


If you'd like to join us as a Finance Business Partner visit our recruitment site today.