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ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), the global body for professional accountants have released a new report titled Financial Shared Services to Global Business Services Models: A Journey Worth Taking? which examines the transformation in the operations by Finance Shared Service (FSS) and Global Business Service (GBS) organisations. The report considers the current challenges and the prevailing opportunities that can be undertaken to drive success in the future. It also considers the extent to which current GBS organisations differ from FSS and simply asks whether the transition is a journey worth taking.

The report showcases that the future lies in the Global Business Services, along with the revolutionary path that single-function shared services models take, yet there is no palpable difference in the trinity that drives value: people, process and technology. The GBS model is maturing and growing while overcoming the set of challenges which are abound when taking business processes to the next level.

The GBS model highlights various insights such as:

·         employees getting the recognition

·         GBS practitioners are slightly more mobile

·         other employees find it more interesting to work in FSS/GBS

·         FSS and GBS leadership reflects appropriate levels of workforce diversity

·         FSS/GBS roles allow professionals to pick up future-ready skills

·          showcasing that FSS/GBS operations have adapted to working remotely, tapping into vital distributed workforces.

The report also highlights the adoption of technology in FSS/GBS organisations. Technology should be used strategically and most investment focuses on strengthening operations through applications such as robotic process automation (RPA) and optical character recognition (OCR), as opposed to investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

The research report also states that time spent in shared services functions is considered career-enhancing, and enterprises need to embrace talent and ambition as they reimagine the GBS model of the future, ensuring rewarding career paths, mobility and employee engagement are front and centre.

Sajid Khan, Director-India at ACCA said: “The FSS and GBS models have become hard-wired into enterprise operations. The focus now needs to be on the drivers of value – people, process and technology – to ensure better performance and become future ready. The majority of the enterprise data flows through finance, so there is a need to set up FSS to expand across other corporate functions. It is crucial to understand that without FSS there is no GBS.”


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