ACCA's latest report, in partnership with Deloitte Consulting, 'Remote delivery: the China Story' shows that the use Finance Shared Services (FSS) is on the rise in China.
Chief Financial Officers, Finance Directors and heads of shared service centres of enterprises in mainland China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) were consulted for this research, with the aim of understanding and exploring the FSS strategy of enterprises in mainland China and Hong Kong.
Almost half of the respondents have started using FSS, showing that Chinese enterprises are paying more attention to FSS as a business model. The findings also show that companies now have a better understanding of the benefits of FSS in finance transformation and financial capability enhancement.
The survey highlights a number of issues regarding the implementation of FSS by Chinese enterprises, including:
· The primary business goals of FSS are standardisation and capability enhancement. The survey shows that the three major business goals for the participants in FSS usage are finance capability improvement, transformation into a standard pre-configured finance process - such as accounts payable and payroll, and financial cost savings.
· The location of FSS centres matters - 91% of respondents said they chose to establish their FSS centres in cities with many developed shared service centres, or where their corporate headquarters are.
· Finance leaders regard formation of FSS teams, talent transformation, recruitment and development as the primary concerns for the future - Chinese enterprises are fully aware of the HR challenges they face during the development of FSS, and are keen to leverage the FSSC as a talent pool and training platform for finance personnel.
· Shared services bring about the realisation of the finance transformation goals - The survey shows that when Chinese enterprises implement their finance transformation strategy, their top three missions are finance process re-engineering, internal control and risk management, and cost optimisation. FSS is seen as the ideal means to achieve these missions.