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Half of shared service leaders will continue in the same capacity in their next role, says new ACCA report


13 Feb 2017


Euro & Finance

Shared services leaders increasingly see a career in shared services as a long-term option, as a development opportunity and a gateway to other business careers, according to the latest report from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

The report challenges commonly-held beliefs about shared services careers and draws on the insights of executives to provide advice on how to navigate the shared services finance function.

It offers clues on how the finance function may evolve its career pathways and makes the following key observations about shared services:

·         Shared services roles are increasingly seen as an attractive career choice;

·         Finance leaders electing to pursue shared services careers are challenged and engaged by the variety these roles offer and are not necessarily looking for a path out;

·         The skills required for success in a shared services leadership role generally start—but do not end—with finance;

·         Shared services are now seen as a strategic imperative and a real creator of business value and, by association, so are their leaders;

·         Technological innovation is defining the future of finance shared services.

Jamie Lyon, head of corporate sector, ACCA says: “As new finance operating models mature, finance leaders increasingly see time spent in shared services as a long term development opportunity and less as career limiting. Shared services offer a unique opportunity to broaden their capabilities and soft skills increasingly sought by the business.

“Our findings suggest that technological innovation and the future application of automation and artificial intelligence is likely to further transform shared services and shape many of the skills most valued.”

Almost 80% of respondents agree or strongly agree that technology will allow shared services professionals to focus on higher value-adding activity, ultimately putting to rest the ‘finance factory’ reputation of shared services.

“Whilst new opportunities will emerge, so will new challenges and pressures on finance shared services professionals. Leaders will have to ensure they keep themselves abreast of technological advances, not only to satisfy businesses’ ever-growing appetite for data insights but also to attract and retain the best and brightest talent,” concludes Jamie Lyon.

ACCA surveyed over 260 shared service executives to gain their insights about what attracts them to a finance role in shared services or in a more encompassing Global Business Services (GBS) model.

The full report entitled: Finance shared services careers: opportunity or end game? can be found here:




For media enquiries, contact:

Lali Sindi, ACCA Newsroom
T: +44 (0)20 7059 5643
M: +44 (0)7921 698 085
Twitter @ACCANews

Notes to Editors

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants. It offers business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

ACCA supports its 188,000 members and 480,000 students in 178 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 100 offices and centres and more than 7,110 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. It believes that accountants bring value to economies in all stages of development and seek to develop capacity in the profession and encourage the adoption of global standards. ACCA’s core values are aligned to the needs of employers in all sectors and it ensures that through its range of qualifications, it prepares accountants for business. ACCA seeks to open up the profession to people of all backgrounds and remove artificial barriers, innovating its qualifications and delivery to meet the diverse needs of trainee professionals and their employers. More information is here:


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