Optimizing financial shared services

While financial shared services can increase efficiency for accounts payable departments, there are steps that organizations can take to get the most from the partnership.

In light of the reporting requirements mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, outsourcing certain accounting responsibilities, such as accounts payable, can help companies strengthen their financial reporting controls, AP Matters reports. However, managers must ensure that the new workers who will be handling these functions have the appropriate skill set. In order to build a high-performing team, a third party accounts payable recovery audit firm can be brought in to identify lost profits as a result of business process breakdown and provide root cause analysis to help managers target areas needing improvement.

Implementing process improvement methods such as Six Sigma can help the company achieve continuously strengthening performance. Technology should be leveraged as often as possible, as paper-based transactions take a long time to process, can be very expensive and are more prone to errors. It is important to choose the right technology, and thorough accounts payable analysis can help managers identify the best software solution. AP Matters also recommends holding supplier summits with vendors to discuss accounts payable, accounts receivable, and other financial processes. 

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