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A business environment of permanent complexity and volatility is creating significant challenges for finance organizations. In this paper, Accenture argues that the evolution of business process outsourcing (BPO) makes it a potential solution for those CFOs who want to deliver more value to the enterprise and help speed the journey to achieve high performance.
CFOs are seeking to become business partners within their organizations through strategic alignments between finance and operations that can create real value. Yet these executives must also navigate major disruptions from macroeconomic shifts, regulatory uncertainty, and other hard-to-predict events—at times on a daily basis.
The result is a dual challenge: CFOs have to operate smarter, and do so in an environment characterized by increasing complexity and volatility. Complicating this challenge is the sheer volume of information that finance organizations have access to. With more data than ever before, on both financial and enterprise performance, many finance departments struggle to synthesize it into actionable intelligence.
Business process outsourcing offers a potential solution: finance and accounting expertise tailored to the specific needs of the company. This is in large measure due to the evolution of finance and accounting BPO, which has become much more complex and geared to delivering value—while continuing to deliver significant cost reduction.
This conclusion is borne out by the findings of the recent Accenture High Performance Finance survey.
Specifically, evolved finance and accounting BPO can help CFOs deal with three key challenges identified in the survey:
Complexity and volatility. Analytics tools can give finance executives more immediate insights into how external events are likely to impact the performance of the finance function and the enterprise as a whole.
Managing data. Data volumes are increasing dramatically, and BPO can help companies optimize back-office functions while providing a layer of analytics that can deliver insights from the data.
Retention and development of talent within the finance organization. By helping finance organizations play a more strategic role and function at a higher level, BPO services can help create an environment that fosters individual growth and development.
Survey results also indicate that many CFOs doubt that their departments have the capability to address these challenges themselves.
A more challenging business environment requires correspondingly greater capabilities in the finance organization. While some companies will be able to address these challenges by upgrading internal resources, others may opt for a BPO partnership to address needed gaps in capabilities.
Ideally, this solution includes analytics, which can help a finance organization make sense of enterprise data, delivering key insights to drive better performance. Given the pace at which the business world grows more interconnected and dynamic, the goal for CFOs should not be to merely catch up, but to leverage information in order to get ahead of the numbers.
Accenture is a leading provider of finance and accounting BPO services. Contact us to learn how we can help your finance organization achieve high performance in today’s challenging business climate.
January 18, 2012
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