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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Beyond shared services-Unbundling the finance organization by outsourcing the ‘core’

Till now, I believed that only certain activities were capable of being outsourced in toto. However, a landscape view of financial report and articles in the press, have made me reconsider this view, and hence this blog post. Please note, reference to organizations is basis my limited familiarity and does not constitute an endorsement of their services.

Some examples of the shared services transition or Uberization of professional whitecollar services are as below

    CFO-Virtual CFO services-these offer services as below
o   Interim Management to firms with CXO vacuum(eg after hostile takeover) 
o   Full time management on long term contracts(1-3 years)
·         Investor Relations
o   Earlier, annual report prepared using help of firms like TRISYS
o   Now, advisors like Strategic Growth Advisors Pvt. Ltd, prepare presentations, schedule conferences and are points of contact along with the company

·         FP&A in shared services(eg Unilever)-whitepapers
·         ERP moving to the third party cloud-a Quickbooks taking over Tally/SAP due to user friendlines

Even earlier, temporary requirements (such as fund raising) were met using merchant bankers who provided the expertise and relationships. But now, even recurring requirements, which would otherwise necessitate full time hires, is now being managed by parties external to the organization

What are the implications of this trend increasing?
  • ·    Finance going the way of IT services-becoming commoditized body shops
  • ·         Large organizations now hiring selectively, and reskilling the team.
  • ·         Startups pay differential to narrow-this option means lesser need to pay top dollar for talent

Will this run the risk of hollowing out the core, when the remaining team members are no longer able to manage the strategic relationships? A well known telecom company which pioneered the novel IT contracts, has now renegotiated the contracts to better manage in house and get control over it. Will these things happen in India? Only time will tell.

However, as a professional, one should prepare themselves by not only having subject matter expertise, but honing communication and business partnering skills, so that the eventual outsourced setup can be managed by  you

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