Managing outsourcing and shared services projects in accounting and finance sector

Islam, R 2019, Managing outsourcing and shared services projects in accounting and finance sector , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Enterprise project in outsourcing and shared services have been gaining prominence in different sectors globally. Outsourcing and shared services projects in accounting and finance has been gaining momentum in the UK and most of the developed world. With the growth in information technology, and availability of platforms for remote collaboration, outsourcing and shared services are going to grow further in the future. However, outsourcing and shared services projects in accounting and finance come with its own unique sets of drivers, challenges, benefits and skills requirements. The aim of this thesis is to develop a better understanding of outsourcing and shared services projects in the accounting and finance sector in the UK.
The thesis has taken a mixed method approach. Through an extensive review of literature initial issues were documented and this led to development of a semistructured interview questionnaire for 41 respondents which included: a) Academics b) Professional Bodies c) Clients, and d) Vendors e) Shared Services. The findings from this stage were presented to six experts who validated the findings and provided further insights through a brainstorming session. The data collected from the brainstorming session was used to conduct Interpretive Structural Modelling (ISM) of project drivers, and Interpretive Ranking Process (IRP) of drivers to benefits, skills to benefits and skills to management levels.
The major conclusions from the ISM and IRP are: 1) Compliance and legal issues is the most important driver which initiates an outsourcing project and is followed by access to specialist knowledge, advanced technology, management support, efficiency aspiration, need to focus on core business, pressure to improve customer experience leading to expansion of the business. One important finding is that proximity has become less important due to availability of advanced information and communication technology and the recent developments in remote collaborative technological platforms mean that one can pursue outsourcing projects anywhere irrespective of location of client or vendor; 2) When it comes to harnessing benefits, the ability to be able to access specialist knowledge without having to invest in your own workforce is the most important driver. This is followed by advanced technology, management support, efficiency improvements, compliance, focus on core business, business expansion, proximity and customer experience; 3) In order to facilitate a successful implementation the order of importance of skills that leads to most benefits are: Interpersonal skills, technical skills, management skills, IT skills, intellectual skills and personal skills; and 4) Interpersonal skills, intellectual skills, IT skills and personal skills are needed at all levels of management in a client organisation, management skills are needed at middle and higher levels of management, technical skills become very important for lower and middle level managers who have to communicate effectively with outsourcing and shared services vendors on a daily basis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Depositing User: Rubina Islam
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2019 13:39
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:28

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