Who Is Your Audience?

Uncategorized Jun 28, 2024

Who Is Your Audience?

One of the biggest transitions finance professionals need to make when they become a finance business partner is the change in audience with which they are working.

Traditionally in your finance career your audience is exec teams, boards, investors, etc. People who are "up & out" of the organisation and not involved in the day to day

And to cater for this the data, reports and information you send to them needs to cater for the fact they are "up and out"

It needs to be complete. It needs to have a reporting rhythm to it (ie monthly/quarterly) And it needs to explain what has happened and why. Why? Because they are not in the business to know this and need a mechanism to find it out. So they turn to finance for it.

Pages and pages of everything, with commentary explaining every variance they can see.

When you transition to a business partnering role though the audience changes. And so to do the tools we should use to cater for a different audience.

Your audience is no longer "up and out" they are "in and down" - people or managers at your level or thereabouts, and are working in it daily.

And guess what, they generally know what has happened and why. And they generally are not as financially savvy as boards, execs, investors who intimately understand P&Ls, Balance Sheets and Cash Flows.

So you need to adapt your communication to them.

Tables and tables of detailed data with every variance explained doesn't work. Because they already know what's happened.

It needs to be driver/activity led focused on the activities they are performing each day

It needs to be the "best bits" so you can direct them to what's important and discuss it via conversation - not the detail so all their questions are answered or filtered through a CFO.

By keeping this in mind you will quickly change the way you present everything to your business partners. You will improve your communication and your relationship and they will see you as more valuable, not more confusing.



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