Knowledge Executive, a strategic research partner of cxi.today, has released a global finance & accounting outsourcing survey that profiles, among other trends, service provider requirements.
The 2017-2018 Global Finance & Accounting Outsourcing (FAO) Market Intelligence Survey, that quantifies and surveys key trends, predictions and forecasts for the international finance & accounting (F&A) sector, has been officially released in Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.
A total of 126 large enterprises – and their respective C-Level and director level finance and accounting decision makers – participated in the survey that has been published by specialist research firm, Knowledge Executive. Participants disclosed their finance and accounting (F&A) investment plans; pain points and challenges; skills, technology and service provider requirements; and their favourite, global offshore destinations.
The top five offshore F&A locations (according to the participants in the survey) are India, the Philippines, New Zealand, Malaysia and Poland. The top two, India and the Philippines, are mature F&A markets offering great labour arbitrage at low cost points, with vast, motivated workforces.
South Africa’s significant rise (in 8th place) is due in part to its high-end, specialised F&A skills, while the increased popularity of Central and Eastern European countries such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic mainly due to their multi-language skills. In fact, the Global Sourcing Association recently awarded South Africa the top Offshoring Destination of 2016. New Zealand is clearly a favourite of Australia due to its near-shore location and cultural affinity, while Canada is viewed positively by the United States.
Offshore versus Outcomes
Qualitative interviews were also held with associate sponsors of the report, Deloitte and WNS, with additional insights from Accenture. “When looking at offshore location favourability the global village does come into play and each client’s F&A needs should be taken into account,” says Francois Burger, Finance & Accounting Outsourcing Leader at Deloitte.
“There is a move towards providing innovative and value added solutions. More clients want inventive, automated, cloud-based technology solutions that integrate with their technology platforms and transform business processes.”
WNS cites transformational capabilities and experience as key criteria that offshore clients look for. “This is linked to streamlining end-to-end processes, removing wastage and improving F&A performance,” says Alicia Kistan, Senior General Manager: Shared Services at WNS. “Business analytics and insights, propelled by robotics, and technological innovations are also required by companies if you want to win, or retain, their outsourced F&A services. Deep F&A domain skills and vertical industry-specific knowledge will be key differentiators for where, or how, global organisations outsource their F&A operations.”
Accenture advocates the rise of a network of F&A nodes and liquid, responsive workforces that would enable F&A activities to be moved around centres of excellence based on available skilled expertise, as opposed to location favourability. “Location will become less of an issue and business outcomes will take centre stage,” says John Watling, Managing Director Accenture Operations: South Africa.
“The future lies in driving business value through the finance function. This will be powered by intelligent automated F&A platforms that bring together the brainpower of a multi-skilled workforce in different locations who perform specialist components of F&A functions. This will be underpinned by analytics and insights and all delivered in the cloud as-a-service.”
To download a copy of the survey, please click here