Finance Transformation is all about finding and unlocking value - with increasing shareholder returns and creating competitive advantages two of the most significant advantages that a newly transformed finance function can bring. The fact that shared services and outsourcing have become more widely used is testament to the increasing desire by CFOs to make their finance departments more in line with the needs of the current economic environment.
Today's global economy demands that finance models are readily adaptable - this has meant that CFOs have almost had to become preoccupied with remoulding their finance functions. Shared services and outsourcing have become major components of this, with it widely acknowledged that both allow finance departments to drive transparency, lower costs, standardisation and increased efficiency.
There is however a lot more than can be achieved through shared services and outsourcing - but significant challenges still remain.
As mentioned in an ACCA report;
'At the heart of all these challenges is the question of the capability and the aspiration of businesses, finance leaders and provider organisations to work together in an aligned partnership to drive the level of transformation change required.
Change Management is the biggest obstacle when it comes to financial transformations, with the organisation as a whole inherently not having much time for the process, just the results it brings. This is because change within the finance function is often deemed a waste of time and therefore rarely develops. This is a real problem because a desire to change is imperative when integrating shared services and outsourcing.
It's clear that there are a number of advantages that can be leveraged from shared services and outsourcing. With increased efficiency and lower costs two of the most pertinent advantages of financial transformation, management teams that are worried about change within the finance function should look to embrace it.