One-third of organisations are looking for outside help
Work performed by in-house finance departments is being farmed out to shared services centres as organisations look for fresh opportunities to save money.
Almost one-third of businesses (31 per cent) surveyed by the National Computing Centre, a body representing corporate IT users, have migrated their finance and accounting systems over to shared services centres, while another five per cent are planning to do so.
The decision to use this model for financial services is due to the desire to save money via the economies of scale that shared services offers, the survey of 100 private and public sector organisations found.
Almost two-thirds of organisations felt that shared services centres deliver a better level of service than purely relying on an in-house team, with almost one-third (30 per cent) of respondents saying the centres offer access to a larger and more knowledgeable pool of employees than is available internally.
The move towards shared services centres doesn't automatically mean that in-house finance departments are being shut down however, with 30 per cent of organisations saying a benefit of using shared services is that it frees up the in-house finance team to focus on "strategic issues".
Moving towards a shared services delivery for a wide range of back office functions, such as HR, was also seen as a way of standardising the systems used by different departments, allowing information to be shared more efficiently internally.