While global business services models 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, said ACCA recently.
According to ACCA’s report titled “Financial shared services to global business services models: a journey worth taking?”, while these models more than proved their value during the pandemic, they are still very much ‘work in progress’.
The report is based on a survey of more than 800 business services professionals, ACCA noted, adding that the findings shows that the much of the activity performed by both financial shared services (FSS) and global business service (GBS) functions is transactional, despite more than 70% of respondents believing they provide higher value services to the business.
Global business services models have become increasingly hard-wired into businesses and the 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, said Jamie Lyon, ACCA’s Head of Skills, Sectors and Technology.
There’s an opportunity here to turn this around by creating far stronger connections between people, process and technology, he advised.
The research also finds FSS and GBS functions play a key role in developing the organisation talent pipeline, with more than 50% believing FSS / GBS careers are an attractive proposition for others in the enterprise, and 70% viewing FSS / GBS operations as a good place to pick up future-ready skills.
“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,” Lyon said.