Finance Centre of Excellence

calendar icon2016-02-08 00:00:00
Finance Centre of Excellence

8-9 years ago the Shared Service Centre was set up, in a much smaller office, in the Spielberk Office Park. CSA, AP and Store Banking team were included in the first transitions, but with large part of the teams remaining in the UK. As we developed as a centre and our competence and skillsets grew, further roles were moved to the SSC from both the UK and the Nordics.

Today, we have more than 500 roles in the SSC, roughly 230 of which are within the Finance Function. We are covering areas like Financial Consolidation and Reporting, Treasury, Insurance Reporting, Direct and Indirect Tax, Fixed Assets and Cash Flow just to name a few. Our staff has developed along with the roles that have been brought in and today we have roughly 70 people that have either completed or are currently doing ACCA studies.

This trend will continue and in the future, a much higher share of our roles will be more senior, more value adding and much closer to the businesses and end markets we are serving. We are moving away from the role of a provider of financial transactional services to a Centre of Excellence for the Finance Function.

To transform into a Centre of Excellence we have to continue with the focus and rigour we have had so far. Our main priority is to develop the Finance staff further; continue with our ACCA studies, do more short term secondments, bring in more value adding roles and make sure that we retain the key talents within the Finance.

To enable this transformation, we also need to put in place an Organisational Structure that can support this big change. In the past we have been structured around function, meaning that we have had one shared AR team for both the UK and Nordics and one AP team across both markets as well. While this has been the key to keeping our operating costs down, and given room to some process alignment across the end markets, our management team has been stretched too wide to be able to support the end markets to the extent that we need.

With the increased responsibility and maturity in our services it has become more evident, that we need to change our structure to a business oriented one, where we have an overall Finance Operations Manager for each end market (UK and Nordics) and to have dedicated AR and AP managers serving each market as well. While this will not happen over night, we have already started making some baby steps and recently we have also appointed a new Finance Operations Manager for the UK&I, Blanka Cabakova, who joined us February 1st. Blanka will start by taking over the responsibilities from Alfred Jealouse who will leave the business at the end of February.  The Finance Operations Managers will be responsible for the overall Service Delivery for both AR and AP for their respective business including responsibility for KPIs, SLAs and stakeholder management.

We have opened vacancies for Nordic Finance Operations Manager, UK AR Manager, Nordic AP Manager and Nordic AR Manager, but don't expect many major changes immediately. It is a Finance structure for the future that will enable us to grow our scope in terms of complexity and maturity of services and will probably take us 9-12 months to deploy.

 

Petter Frisell, Head of Finance Operations

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