Meet the award winning SBS finance team

It's been a big year for the SBS finance team. We caught up with Head of Financial Planning and Analysis Peter Truong to find out more

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What is your role and the role your team plays at SBS?

I lead the Financial Planning and Analysis team responsible for the overall SBS budget and to providing financial analysis and advice.  Fundamentally, we set financial guide rails and help the business make the best financial decisions.

The areas that the team are responsible for include: 

– Government engagement and reporting 

– Consolidation and reporting at the SBS Corporation level 

– Divisional monthly results and budget management 

– Finance systems and analytics 

Do you think the role that Financial Planning and Analysis plays in the business is different to how it was, say 10 years ago? How so?

The Financial Planning and Analysis function continually adapts as the business requirements and the overall industry evolves.  Thinking about it, just a few of the things that I think have changed over time include:  

– A desire to become more strategic partners with the business

– We’ve become so much more reliant on trust and strong communication

– We can no longer just sit behind a computer and look at spreadsheets – we’ve got to be out there in the wider business, getting curious, asking questions, building relationships and providing perspectives beyond just the numbers

– The art of jumping in and doing the work and knowing when to lean out and provide guidance/coach 

– Increasingly learning new system and tools and implementing smarter tools

– Having a seat at the table means understanding the business being curious and bringing expertise to the table

The SBS Finance team won Finance Team of the year in the 2023 Australian CFO Awards. Can you tell us a little more about this, and the team’s secret to success?

It has been quite a big year for the SBS finance team.  The win was really about the team and I hope they are proud of what we have delivered together including: 

– wellbeing being a top priority given hybrid working and the focus on investing in people and streamlining processes 

– being able to support key decisions across the business with scenario modelling and helping decision making across a diverse organisation 

– strong connection with the business and deep understanding of what’s important 

– not being afraid of the changing landscape, we embrace this and help drive positive change across the wider finance team including through Environmental Sustainability Governance, our Reconciliation Action Plan commitments, identification of efficiencies and advancing system capabilities 

– having their finger on the pulse on current and emerging risks 

– placing importance on managing stakeholders 

 What are the major challenges you and your team face at SBS each day? How do you work to solve them?

Being a group function and in the media industry, the team have to be good at time management and juggling conflicting priorities whilst managing a steady and trusted connection with the business. 

This means that as a team, we strive to have absolute clarity on the current priorities and level of urgency so as needs change we can pivot quickly.  This can only happen as we all contribute towards a strong, transparent and constructive culture.

How would you describe the culture of the Finance team at SBS? What do you value as the leader of the Financial Planning and Analysis team?

Trust and connection are big tenets of the team. Everyone has an equal voice, we collaborate and we celebrate together. In the tough times, we band together and support one another. 

I believe it’s important to do what I say I will do, and be willing to stand up for what my team believes in and at times be able to make hard decisions.

 SBS is known for its strong connection to purpose. How do you see the finance team aligning to SBS’s purpose and delivering value for all Australians?

A lot of the team joined SBS because they have strong alignment with the SBS purpose, either through a personal experience/history or passion for the content that SBS delivers.  

We ensure that all our team members understand how their role contributes to our overall purpose and charter. We may not be making radio or TV shows directly, but our work in the finance team enables SBS to do everything that it does in bringing fantastic ground-breaking content to Australian audiences. 

 

" We've got to be out there in the wider business, getting curious, building relationships and providing perspectives beyond just the numbers"