6 Ways Top-Performing Finance Shared Services Organizations Thrive

Rachele Collins's picture

APQC partnered with management consulting firm ScottMadden (and ScottMadden subject matter experts Brad DeMent and Trey Robinson) on our latest cycle of the finance shared services centers (SSCs) benchmarking study evaluating key performance indicators and practices (delivery model, scope of services, staffing, performance, and technologies leveraged) of finance SSCs. The survey population was robust and diverse, with 468 organizations participating from across industries, geographies, and organization sizes.

Robust Change Management in Finance Takes More Than Wanting to Change

Rachele Collins's picture

The finance function continues to evolve and improve in response to the availability of new tools and technologies like RPA and AI, and corresponding changes in roles and responsibilities. APQC has spoken with numerous organizations of late in the process of investigating or implementing digital technologies, for example. While most employees desire to continuously learn and improve their processes, change due to the adoption of new tools and technologies (or due to any other kind of reason, like a change in organization structure) can involve a lot of uncertainty and sometimes fear.

What are the Biggest Priorities and Challenges for Financial Management in 2019?

Rachele Collins's picture

In December of 2018, APQC conducted its annual survey to understand the common challenges and priorities of financial practitioners’ agendas for the year to come.

A Look Ahead to APQC’s 2019 Financial Management Research

Rachele Collins's picture

Each year APQC strives to offer our members and customers actionable research across the breadth of transactional and strategic processes to help them optimize and improve their finance process performance. My colleague Lochlyn Morgan recently blogged to provide a recap of our 2018 research efforts.

The Top Characteristics of Best-in-Class Finance Functions

Rachele Collins's picture

Top finance functions are embarking on substantive changes to their processes and their organizational role. APQC conducted a case study research project throughout 2018 seeking best practices from organizations transforming their finance and accounting functions, and found some common themes shared among the organizations that we studied. Organizations on the journey to building a best-in-class finance function exhibited the following characteristics:

1) Align finance with business and organizational strategy.

Why Try to Improve What You Can Eliminate in Finance?

Rachele Collins's picture

APQC is engaged in current and ongoing research on planning, budgeting, and forecasting through our Open Standards Benchmarking Survey on Planning and Management Accounting.

The Benefits of Automating your Invoicing and Accounts Receivable Processes

Rachele Collins's picture

Invoicing and accounts receivable (AR) are core finance transactional processes that lie at the heart of an organization’s liquidity and working capital management. These two processes are flip sides of the same coin, with invoicing encompassing the activities involved in billing customers for goods and services received, and AR including the activities for processing and applying customer remittances and associated policies and accounting.

Three Keys to Successful Finance Process Management at Cargill

Rachele Collins's picture

Business process management is a proven operating model to help organizations reduce variability, increase standardization, and improve process performance. APQC recently interviewed the Global Credit-to-Cash Process Owner at Minnesota-based Cargill Inc., a multinational food, agriculture, nutrition, and risk management company. Prompted by a major reorganization, the finance function at Cargill centralized its operations to leverage a process focus and redesigned its service model in terms of people, processes, data, and technology.

5 Ways To Improve Accounts Receivable

Rachele Collins's picture

Accounts receivable (AR) is a core finance transactional process that lies at the heart of an organization’s liquidity and working capital management. APQC takes a process-based view in order to facilitate benchmarking and process improvement, and defines the AR process as all of the important activities to receive and apply cash from customers for goods and services, including establishing AR policies, receiving and depositing customer payments, applying cash remittances, preparing AR reports, and posting AR activity to the general ledger.

How to Develop Critical New Finance Competencies

Rachele Collins's picture

More and more, APQC is hearing talk of “the rise of the analytics competency” and the importance of finance professionals to develop knowledge, skills, and competencies not only in their operational finance areas (accounting, planning, auditing, internal controls, etc.), but also in analytics and data science.