Finance & Strategy

To some companies, finance is used merely to determine what has happened. At Bentley, we take a different approach. We combine finance and strategy to help us determine what is going to happen... and to help us shape the future through growth, profitability and risk reduction

Every department within the company has a finance ‘partner’, a role which involves gaining an in-depth knowledge of how each function works, to fully understand the funding requirements, assist with long-term planning and maximise performance. The Finance team has a mission to define, implement and communicate a sustainable business model for Bentley, whilst our Corporate Strategy team are responsible for the development and deployment of the mission and vision and setting us on the right path for the future.

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  • ‘Bentley is very good at asking: “How can we stretch you within what you’re able to do?” ’

    Ian Edwards, Senior Finance Manager

    ‘I joined Bentley as a finance graduate on a two-year scheme in 2011, and I soon got involved in presenting planning forecasts to my board member. My father, who ran a large pharmaceutical business, couldn’t believe that a company would let a 20-year-old present to a board member.

    ‘Of course, Bentley has different levels, but there is never any “levelism”, either at the top or at the bottom. Whether you join as a graduate or an apprentice, you are treated the same, as part of one trainee cohort.

  • ‘Bentley is very good at asking: “How can we stretch you within what you’re able to do?” You are given plenty of support to prove yourself, and when you do, the company’s reaction is: “OK, you’ve mastered that, now let’s find out what else you can do.” And that’s not just while you are a graduate – it continues throughout your whole career if you want it to.

    ‘Within Finance, as a graduate, I had the opportunity to work in fields such as planning, sales and marketing, tooling and unit costs. I learnt that, at Bentley, the Finance department isn’t about saving money – we understand value added and always have customers in mind.

    ‘As I moved around the business, I had to get to grips with areas I had no experience in. To begin with, I didn’t know what an engine charge-air cooler was. I didn’t understand why chassis calibration required so much funding. I had no idea about how we crafted wood. So, you sit down with Colleagues, and you learn.

    ‘When I joined Bentley full-time in 2013, I was still working for my CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) qualifications. While I studied in my own time, the company was wholly supportive, giving me paid leave for my exams and even a few days in advance to prepare. We’ve got senior managers and controllers at Bentley who have been through the graduate scheme or through the apprenticeship scheme. Everyone will make time for you because they’ve been there themselves.

  • ‘In the nine-and-a-half years I have been at Bentley, I have worked in nine different roles. In 2019, for example, I became Senior Finance Manager for Mulliner, Bentley’s special-projects division. That role was about controlling spend and creating a 10-year finance plan for the division. It also involved not just calculating but also understanding what customers would pay for individual items, such as a unique paint finish or individualised leather trim for extremely limited-edition cars like the Bacalar and the Blower Continuation Series – Mulliner is building just 12 of each of those models.

    ‘Today, I am the Senior Finance Manager for Engineering and Inter-Company, looking after the company’s entire R&D spend and any inter-company interactions, such as negotiating on the car bodies we purchase from VW Group.

    ‘If I still have a Bentley business card the day I retire, I will be very happy indeed.’

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