Research provides a definitive view of the current state of play in shared services models
New research from the ACCA finds that while global business services (GBS) models1 have evolved, matured and function successfully, they’re falling short of their value-adding potential, and in practice are not discernibly more evolved than Finance Shared Service operations. The report, ‘Financial shared services to global business services models: a journey worth taking?’ concludes that while these models more than proved their value during the pandemic, they are still very much ‘work in progress’.
The research2, based on a survey of over 800 business services professionals, provides a definitive view of the current state of play in shared services models, whether focusing on finance or encompassing a broader global services remit. The findings shows that the much of the activity performed by both FSS and GBS functions is transactional, despite over 70 percent of respondents believing they provide higher value services to the business.
Jamie Lyon, ACCA’s Head of Skills, Sectors and Technology said: 'Global business services models have become increasingly hard-wired into businesses and our research shows that while there’s certainly been growth in terms of scale, many organisations remained primarily focused on transactional activity, not processes that create strategic value. There’s an opportunity here to turn this around by creating far stronger connections between people, process and technology.'
The research also finds finance shared services (FSS) and GBS functions play a key role in developing the organisation talent pipeline, with over 50 percent believing FSS / GBS careers are an attractive proposition for others in the enterprise, and 70 percent viewing FSS / GBS operations as a good place to pick up future-ready skills.
Jamie Lyon commented: 'Whether focusing on finance or encompassing a broader global services remit, time spent in shared services functions is considered career-enhancing, and enterprises need to embrace talent and ambition as they reimagine the GBS model, ensuring rewarding career paths, mobility and employee engagement are front and centre.'
Read the full report, ‘Financial shared services to global business services models: a journey worth taking?
1 Global Business services (GBS) are multifunctional business services platforms often encompasses functions such and processes such as financial planning and analysis, human resources, procurement, real estate, facilities, and even customer care, sales and marketing, and engineering.
2 ‘Financial shared services to global business services models: a journey worth taking?’ report examines how Finance Shared Service and Global Business Service organisations continue to transform their operations.
It considers current challenges, as well as prevailing opportunities that can be taken to drive future success. It also considers the extent to which current GBS organisations differ from finance shared services and simply asks what are the components of future success. With supporting insights from Everest Group and PwC, the report presents critical data from ACCA members across the world on the state of play within shared services.
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