Business functions refer to all the various activities carried out by a business as it seeks to meet its goals and provide its goods or services to the public. Business functions are generally performed by specific departments that are each devoted to a particular function. Business functions common to most companies include governance (management), finance (accounting, payroll, budgeting, audits), marketing (pricing, promotions, and sales), production (manufacturing), human resources (hiring and employee relations), customer service (customer relations), research and development (product and service improvement), information technology (computer management), and quality control (product testing and problem solving).
All of these functions must work together if a business is to be successful. The best way to illustrate this claim to think about a couple scenarios in which a breakdown occurs in one function or another that affects the entire company. A slowdown in production might, for instance, affect customer service as employees there scramble to address consumer complaints and marketing as that department must roll out a new advertising campaign to renew consumer enthusiasm. Even the finance department might have to make changes to the company's budget if the slowdown continues for some time and if sales subsequently slow down. Quality control also might have to step in and find out what has happened to make production less efficient. If all of these departments do their jobs, however, they can help to offset the problem in production and support the company's continuing success.
We can also imagine what might happen if a company's finance department fails to keep the company's books in order or makes mistakes in payroll. Other departments, like production or research and development or marketing, might quickly discover that they no longer have enough resources to function at their highest levels. Human resources would have to deal with complaints from disgruntled employees who find that their paychecks do not show the proper amounts. All departments would likely be affected by employees quitting their jobs, and most likely governance would have to step in and investigate the problem, as letting such a breakdown continue would most certainly negatively affect the success of the company as a whole.
We can see, then, how necessary it is for the various functions of a business to work together smoothly if a company is to meet its goals.