Give more than your asked
When a business partner asks for your help or just a report, start by asking questions. What is the goal of the report? Can you provide some context on how it will be utilized? Sometimes when your business partners ask for something they aren’t requesting what they really need. If this is the case explain to them what you can provide that will give them greater clarity for what they are trying to achieve. This will make their job easier and you build credibility with the business.
I have worked in companies where every email is of high importance and an emergency. When special reports or information is requested, be sure to ask when it is required. Be straight forward and let them know you have other priorities as well. Then always deliver earlier if possible but definitely not later. When you are consistent with your delivery times, your customers will give you accurate times they need their reports as they know they can count on you to deliver.
I’m never one who is great with presentation. I sometimes think everyone should be able to follow my worksheets and come to the same conclusion. This thought process could set me up for failure. What I like to do is provide a summary sheet that gives the relevant information that the business partner is looking for. I will attach the support documents in case they want to review something but generally they don’t. Be sure to provide them a clean concise summary that gives only pertinent information. I believe the summary sheet should be something small that can easily be read within an email on someone’s phone. Don’t believe that your business partner is at their desk on their laptop reading your information. It needs to be direct, snack size and easily digestible.
When you create raving fans within your company it reflects great on you and on the finance division. When Senior Finance Leaders hear back from other areas of the business about your great work it will put you on their radar and enhance your visibility within the company. Practice the three steps above to create raving fans. If you do these items consistently you can create habits that will take your career to the next level.