Most finance teams don’t have the bandwidth to do real business partnering. Here are 5 tips to improve business partnering when time and resources are scarce:

1. Simplify reporting

Reporting and analytics tend to get bloated. Look at your reporting packages and cut everything that’s not mission-critical.

2. Focus on headcount

People-related expenses comprise the bulk of spending and tend to be the biggest concern for budget-owners. Headcount drives most other expenses and, for many businesses, also drives top-line.

3. Get help from other teams

Lean on HR, Talent, Procurement, and Accounting to get the information you need, when and how you need it. Struggling to answer variance questions, have accounting join your monthly meeting. Can’t keep up with headcount changes, work with Talent and HR to improve tracking.

4. Make analysis self-serve

Rather than completing ad-hoc analysis for every question, take the time to turn it into a tool that allows people to get the answers themselves. In most cases, people want to be empowered and access insights immediately. 

5. Invest in business partnering tools

New tools like Trace are intended to streamline and automate business partnering activities. There will be short-term pain to implement, but a one-month push will get you out of the rut of busy work and provide a transformative experience for your teams.