The finance department is under scrutiny in many organisations, and an increasingly popular approach for delivering financial services is the creation of a shared service centre. This is according to new research commissioned by the Evaluation Centre (www.evaluationcentre.com).
Shared service centres deliver services, often in conjunction with a call centre and the intranet, to all parts of an organisation. To date, says the survey, 24% of companies have already implemented a shared service centre with a further 10% planning to do so and 24% evaluating the option.
The key benefit of adopting this approach, mentioned by 77% of respondents, is the opportunity to streamline their business processes. In addition, 65% see it as a way of implementing a standard system and delivering improved service levels throughout the organisation. Cost reduction in routine activities is also cited by 59% of companies and the fact that the finance department is freed from routine tasks to concentrate on more strategic issues is mentioned by 41%.
However, while business process outsourcing of the financial function is popular among some major organisations, it has not found favour with the companies interviewed - 87% say they do not currently outsource any finance functions and have no plans to do so. Only 7% have outsourced the finance function so far with a further 3% evaluating the option.
Similarly, 62% of the companies would not use an offshore outsourcing company for finance operations. Only a few (3%) have offshored any finance functions with a further 10% saying that they might look at this option in the future. One in ten have offshored some operations to their own facilities in another country.
The survey finds that most companies (51%) feel that their financial systems have met their original objectives. But this still leaves a significant minority, 35%, who are not completely satisfied and view their systems as only a qualified success.
Two reasons stand out for financial systems not delivering all the anticipated benefits – a poor or inappropriate approach to the implementation of the system, and a failure to change the internal business processes thus failing to take full advantage of the new capabilities (both cited by 39% of respondents) Other key factors identified are the fact that the system failed to operate in the way the company wanted (26%) and problems with the software (also 26%).
Although organisations feel the software works well, and welcome the frequency of upgrades to meet new requirements, there is widespread concern about the cost and impact of upgrades, along with the cost of maintenance and the cost of the overall implementation, all of which are at the bottom end of the spectrum in terms of customer satisfaction.
We surveyed a broad range of 100 private and public sector organisations, including those from the public sector (21%), banking & finance (17%), retail (14%), manufacturing (14%) and distribution & logistics (10%).
The respondents represented a spread of different sized companies with 11% having in excess of £5 billion turnover, 17% in the £1billion to £5 billion bracket and 17% in the £500 million to £1 billion range. In the mid-range 21% record a turnover of between £100 million and £500 million and 7% £50 million to £100 million. At the smaller end 14% have a turnover of between £10 million and £50 million and 6% £5 million to £10million. Not-for-profit organisations represented 7%.
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About PMP Research
PMP Research, (www.pmp.co.uk) founded in 1990, provides bespoke research, analysis and consultancy typically within the IT, telecoms and professional services markets.
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About the Evaluation Centre
The Evaluation Centre (www.evaluationcentre.com) is an interactive service for end users and consultants to assist them in the procurement process for software, services and technology.
For more information please contact Steve Markwell on 0870 908 8767 or email email@example.com.
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