Thinking

Here you’ll find our opinions, viewpoints and rants. But don’t forget to add your comments – good or bad – on anything you like or loathe. We value your feedback.

Buzzword Bingo: The Cloud Confusion Game
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Whether you are a leader in Finance, Shared Services, IT, Risk management, Audit or Compliance, the promise of everything getting simpler has become a haunting concept. It’s not just the general promise of technology, it goes far beyond that to the principles of business functions and as always, the devil is in the detail…

Experience tell us things are never as good as promised or as bad as we feared.… Read More

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Shared Services Leaders’ Summit, Chicago 2019: Notes From the Chair
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It was a privilege to co-chair the Shared Services’ Leaders Summit in Chicago last week. The event was great fun and very thought provoking. I have had many messages to the same effect, so it seems the feeling was mutual!

We discussed and brainstormed a number of issues over the two days and I think (hope!) we all came away with some new perspectives and ideas to nurture within our organizations and some specific actions to initiate.… Read More

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Driving Value With Enterprise Risk Management
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Are you getting the expected value from your ERM implementation?

There is a growing focus on Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) as a framework for effective management decision making to optimise business results. We observe 3 major challenges to making ERM work in an organization;

  • Common Understanding and Purpose
  • Process Definition/Enablement
  • Technology Enablement/Optimization

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Predictions and Contradictions for 2019
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In 1983, Isaac Asimov was asked to predict the world of 2019, 35 years into his future. It is weirdly disorienting to read his words, somewhat akin to reading George Orwell’s “1984” if you were around to enjoy that serendipity.

He observed that three considerations should dominate their thoughts at the time; Nuclear war, Computerization and Space utilization.… Read More

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Predictions & Contradictions: Talent
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Talent

There is a gap in skills between what we aspire to and what we are, and what we have. How will finance leaders re-invent themselves to embrace and exploit the full potential of new digital technologies, insights, intelligence, and analytics?… Read More

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Predictions & Contradictions: Sourcing, Procurement & Supply
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Sourcing, Procurement & Supply

In addition to end-to-end process thinking with “Source to Pay” global process initiatives, there is considerable focus on procurement transformation to speed the process up, drive down barriers, reduce complexity and deliver more value. Agile Procurement methodologies are being developed,  to separate high complexity/low agility requirements from those requiring low complexity/high agility, enabling greater automation focus on the latter and expert focus on the former.… Read More

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Predictions & Contradictions: Technology, Operations and Shared Services
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Technology, Operations and Shared Services functions combine under common leadership

CFOs are no longer managing the “rear view mirror” of business and have an important input on technology decisions. The boundaries between technology, operations and shared services are blurring. The concept of Global Business Services, which comes in and out of focus as a trend, embodies a solution to this dilemma.… Read More

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Predictions & Contradictions: Risk & Risk Management
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Risk & Risk Management

Fraud and Cybercrime remain the highest reported systemic risks for CFOs, although economic headwinds, regional trade issues, and consumer demand concerns seem to be spiking as we enter 2019.

Reports indicate that 62 per cent of businesses expect cyber risk to cause disruption within the next three years, yet nearly three-quarters reported poor cyber maturity.… Read More

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Predictions & Contradictions: Regulatory Change
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Regulatory Change

There has been a continued growth in consumer driven regulatory change from the “sugar tax”, taxes on single use plastics, to GDPR data protection. The environment and consumer protection remain big themes, and impacted businesses are very focussed on these topics.… Read More

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Predictions & Contradictions: Process Placement, Outsourcing and Offshoring
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Process Placement, Outsourcing and Offshoring

In the post-digital world, no one cares much about “offshore” as a strategy. It is now just one of the many tactical options. Increasing numbers of traditional outsourcing customers aren’t looking to increase offshore investments. The offshore model is being disrupted by intelligent automation in a similar way Amazon completely disrupted the traditional retail supply chain.… Read More

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