Finance leaders see challenges in implementing global business service (GBS) models as well as recognising the significant impact they may have on the traditional role of the finance organisation.
With many finance functions within businesses having moved into outsourced or shared services models, for some businesses the next phase is GBS – the aggregation of functions such as finance, human resources, IT, property and facilities into one organisational construct and governance model.
In October 2013, ACCA published its report Global Business Services: A Game Changer for the Finance Organisation?, which suggests chief financial officers could bring even more value to the business through this structure, but the model poses potential risks for finance chiefs and the finance function remit, and may alter traditional finance career opportunities.
The report reveals that GBS could increase the impact of finance by combining comprehensive data, technology and capability across business functions to provide more accurate and actionable business insights, and free up finance chiefs to focus more on all their other responsibilities.
In its assessment of GBS, ACCA looked at what the model meant for the career pathway of future finance leaders. With many finance activities no longer in the finance function under this new business construct, and instead placed in a global business services function, finance professionals will need to adapt their ways of working to be better prepared for working and reporting cross functionally.