The community for leaders in finance shared services

Tips for success in finance shared services

BlogSarah Feurey30.08.2012 Comments (0)Bookmark

Electronic invoicing, Finance shared services

We are getting excited about our forthcoming The Summit for Leaders in Finance Shared Services taking place in Atlanta this October 10th-12th. As the presentations are starting to come in, the key theme is loud and clear: How can shared services add value to the business?

The speakers will be presenting on a variety of issues facing shared services professionals, but looking at their sessions and what they will be addressing, there are some great tips for success overall, there are a few clear tips to success I’d like to share.

Standardising processes can save millions. Kim Rankel of Eli Lilly will share how standardising procure-to-pay globally contributed towards saving $1 billion in operational costs in just over one year.

Automating is essential for success. When a company is of a certain scale, processing invoices manually becomes impracticable. However outsourcing isn’t necessary if you can get the right degree of automation in-house. Cindy Hein of Mowhawk will discuss how she used OB10’s e-invoicing solution to process 2.5 million invoices per year with just 19 accounts payable clerks, and how they redeployed staff to add value to the business elsewhere.

Move up the value chain. Once you’ve shown your CEO and CFO how much you’ve saved with your shared services, the story doesn’t end there. What more can you do for the business? Ed Martinez of the Wendy’s Company will address how they focus on continuous value creation and how to develop and implement value creation plans.

Establish credibility. To justify investment in your department, you need to establish credibility through proven results and proven customer satisfaction. These are essential for any expansion in scope for your department.

Do the right work in the right places. As you move to standardise and automate processes, you will have to ask whether to keep certain process in-house, moved to shared service centre or outsourced. Adam Goldberg of the US Department of Treasury will discuss how they chose which financial processes were right to outsource, and how it has benefited them

Don’t bury your head in the sand. As accounts payable is a function that is ripe for automation, many companies have standardised AP and moved to a shared services model. There is some excellent advice out there on best practices, KPIs and performance metrics to ensure you’re delivering the best possible services. Our events and our website are full of great tips, so keep a look out for case studies and best practice guides.

We would love to see you at this conference in October, or involved in future events. If you’re interested in contributing, attending or would like some more information, please get in touch at

finance shared services, standardisation, automation, value chain, customer service, results, best practice

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