Finance Business Partner

The role of a Finance Business Partner requires a challenging combination of business acumen, insight and emotional intelligence. This pathway will help you to develop those skills and become a trusted advisor to your colleagues and clients.

access 365 days' access
cpd hours 21 CPD Hours
price £330+vat €380+vat HK$3300 A$650NZ$760

Today, the expectations on finance professionals are higher than ever. This pathway will teach you what it means to be a successful Finance Business Partner, and how to achieve this goal. Learn how to become a person of influence and a trusted advisor within your organisation or for your clients and see the benefits of employing a holistic approach to the finance function. You will discover how to improve your strategic awareness and reporting, as well as new approaches to take when making decisions. Find out how you can add value as a Finance Business Partner.

  • Addresses the 10 "Key responsibilities of a Finance Business Partner" as specified in ACCA's Career Navigator
  • Includes full coverage of the AICPA/CIMA "Skills and traits needed for effective business partnering", specified in the CGMA report on Finance Business Partnering
  • Includes all the "Business Partnering Skills, traits and behaviours" specified in the CAANZ Business Partner Report
  • Covers the "10 traits of effective finance business partners" specified by Chartered Accountants Ireland
Woman at laptop

In this pathway


Supporting your journey to the next stage of your career

Business partnering

The tools, techniques, and skills you need to provide valuable business insights


Learn where you want, when you want

Certificate of Achievement

21 verifiable hours of CPD, an assessment and a Certificate of Achievement

Learning resources screenshot

Learning resources

Immerse yourself in the rich variety of articles, videos, activities, quizzes, discussions, and more, to develop the understanding and skills required to become a finance business partner.

Expert interviews

Discover how you can become an effective finance business partner, from our prestigious team of experts.

Expert interviews screenshot
Action plan screenshot

Action plan

Build up a practical plan of how you will put your new skills into action, and download a convenient summary of all the learning to take away.


Achieving 75% on the multiple choice assessment is required to complete the career progression pathway. The assessment features two questions on each topic that has been covered.

Secure certification screenshot
Secure certification screenshot

Secure certification

Once you've finished the programme, you will receive a unique and secure Certificate of Achievement as evidence of your new understanding and capabilities.

This Career Progression Pathway is divided into seven sections corresponding to the key skills you will need to develop to become an effective Finance Business Partner. Complete all seven to unlock the end of pathway assessment and access your Certificate of Achievement.

The pathway starts by looking at what the role of Finance Business Partner - what it involves, and why the relationships you build are so crucial to your success.

  1. The FBP role
  2. Importance of communication
  3. Improving communication
  4. Building relationships

The next section looks at how you can become the go-to person for advice. We cover how you can work alongside a variety of stakeholders to offer a mix of expertise and support, get your voice heard, and be able to meet in the middle when it's required.

  1. Persuading people
  2. Negotiation

To become a credible and trusted advisor, you must demonstrate that you are able to see beyond a traditional accounting perspective, and think in more holistic business management terms. This section focuses on the key skills you will need to develop your professional credibility.

  1. Business acumen
  2. Professional scepticism
  3. Ethics
  4. Corporate principles

Strategic opportunities - and potential threats - are all around us, but to be successful you need to spot the signs and act accordingly. Here we focus on how to combine your technical expertise with an ability to look to the future, and plan the best course of action in uncertain times.

  1. Looking to the future
  2. Strategic thinking
  3. Alignment

Here we think about how best to reflect the key performance indicators of your business, in your management reports. You will learn how to make sure your reporting is linked to wider strategy, and also how to make your reports more meaningful and valuable to non-finance people.

  1. Improving reporting
  2. KPIs

This section looks at how to extract value from your data to support innovation and continual improvement, spot potential cost savings and efficiencies, and to identify potential blind spots or anomalies for investigation.

  1. Data analysis
  2. Data-driven decisions
  3. Problem solving

To add value to your organisation, you need to bring together everything you have learned to become a leader, strategist, specialist, technologist, and trusted advisor. The pathway concludes by enabling you to think about how to better understand your organisation's aims and value proposition, so that you can measure your success against them.

  1. Understanding value
  2. Measuring performance

Once you have completed all the elements of the pathway, you can take the assessment to access your Certificate of Achievement.


Lead Consultant

Sean Purcell

Sean Purcell

Sean Purcell (BA ACMA CGMA) has been involved in the training and development of finance staff for over 20 years. He has worked extensively with both CIMA and ACCA, designing and delivering both CPD and management development programmes for them, and has delivered over 200 courses in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Zambia and Croatia. Sean is a Visiting Executive Professor at the London School of Commerce, an award-winning trainer of finance staff and an acknowledged expert on the role of Business Finance Partner.

Other contributing faculty

Alan Nelson

Alan Nelson

After studying economics, Alan began his career in accountancy before moving into senior management positions in the book trade. After a successful stint as CEO of Thomson Learning, a major international textbook publisher, he founded Nelson Croom, the publisher of which he has run ever since. He was until recently Chair of ICAEW's Practice Assurance Committee and a member of ACCA's SME Committee. Alan is the author of three module in this pathway, on Professional Scepticism, Alignment and Negotiation.

Anna Faherty

Anna Faherty

Anna Faherty is a writer, editor, researcher and educator who has written extensively for accountingcpd on topics as diverse as ethics and strategy. She is an expert in the communication of complex ideas. Anna has delivered numerous workshops and webinars for ACCA and the AIA and has lectured at City University, Kingston University, Oxford Brookes University and University College London. Anna has provided six modules for this pathway, on Persuasion, Ethics, Strategy, Data Presentation, and two on aspects of Effective Communication.

Ben Rawal

Ben Rawal

Ben is a Director and Lead Consultant with Soft Skills, a business providing leadership development, team dynamics improvement, and emotional intelligence services for accounting and finance professionals. He is a chartered accountant (FCCA) and has an MBA from Warwick Business School. Ben is the author of the section in this pathway on Building Relationships.

David Allen

David Allen

David Allen CBE, MPhil, FCMA, FCIS was employed for many years by the Cadbury Schweppes group, holding directorships of various companies, latterly Cadbury Ltd. During that period he was also president of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), chairman of the Management Accounting stream of the International Federation of Accountants, a visiting professor at Loughborough University Business School and a member of the Review Panel of the Financial Reporting Council. David is the author of the module in this pathway entitled Looking to the Future.

John Taylor

John Taylor

John is a Chartered Accountant who spent many years advising small and medium-sized businesses across the North of England. John went on to work at Bradford College and Leeds Met University where he specialised in teaching auditing on ACCA professional courses and Forensic Accounting at Masters level. John is the author of modules in this pathway on Business Acumen and Corporate Principles.

Paula Guilfoyle

Paula Guilfoyle

Paula Guilfoyle is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland and's resident expert on all things to do with Excel and Power BI. She is an expert in the presentation of financial information using excel, and shares he wisdom in this pathway as the author of the module on Improving Reporting.

Ross Maynard

Ross Maynard

Ross Maynard is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He has worked as a consultant and trainer for over 20 years, specialising in process improvement and lean for finance teams. He has presented at lean conferences in the UK, Australia, Italy and Denmark and has written many articles and blogs on process improvement. Ross is author of the module on Key Performance Indicators in this pathway.

 Samuel Ellis

Samuel Ellis

Samuel Ellis is a chartered accountant with experience working in private accounting firms and a number of high growth businesses. He has spent the past six years working as Head of Finance for InterWorks, a global specialist data consulting practice. Sam was the founding Chair of the ACCA's Global Technology Forum and currently Chair of ACCA's Member Advisory Committee and a member of the ACCA's International Assembly. Sam is the author of the module in this pathway on Data Analysis.