Taking up a role in finance shared services is no longer viewed as career limiting, but rather a unique opportunity to broaden the capabilities and soft skills increasingly sought by the business.
What do financial professionals need to know about shared service careers?
View finance skills as a foundation
Shared service leaders can be effective and can access the most rewarding career opportunities if they can demonstrate a broad set of management capabilities.
Look to increase scope and scale
Finance professionals’ career opportunities and capabilities increase when the organisation adds processes, functions and geographies to shared services operations.
Demonstrate value to the business
Think of finance shared services as a business within a business. Nothing validates shared services career success like having the right customer metrics, communicating them, ensuring their buy-in and meeting them consistently.
Capitalise on experience
In the shared services environment highly valued skills which can be really used are continuous improvement, programme management, global delivery and customer service.
Build collaborative relationships
Leaders can elevate shared services and win full recognition for the value they create by communicating in the right way and building trust among the broader business.
Create a brand
A strong personal brand associated with a successful finance shared services operation help create attractive career opportunities in and out of the organisation.
Be technology savvy and use shared services as your innovation lab
Shared services units have a unique opportunity to trial new technologies. Benefits of automation and Artificial Intelligence must be embraced and applied to help reposition the brand of shared services from ‘factory’ to ‘innovation engine’.
Formalise the career path
Smart finance organisations must map skills sets, and devise win-win pathways that add value to the finance professional’s career and the enterprise.
Demonstrate visible sponsorship
When top executives visibly support shared services leaders, the potential for enterprise value creation increases exponentially.
About Pauline Schu, lead author, ACCA
"Shared services models are here to stay as a vital component of the finance function. Their leaders embrace and harness change, demonstrate strong business acumen, and are passionate about transforming the way finance operates. That is a ‘good news’ story."
A deliberate choice
In contradiction to commonly held beliefs, finance leaders electing to pursue shared services careers are challenged and engaged by the variety these roles offer.
Shared services are increasingly seen as an attractive career choice.
The commitment to a shared services career is due to the growing maturity of the model and the increasing influence of shared services