Finance chiefs’ failure to include IT early in finance outsourcing deals is jeopardising their ability to realise maximum benefits from their contracts.
Despite the maturity of finance and accounting (F&A) business process outsourcing (BPO), IT is still too much of an afterthought outsourcing, according to Gartner research.
But excluding the IT team in early planning stages can impact the organisation’s IT and business intelligence strategies, warns Gartner. Software contracts managers, IT ERP and security specialists should all be involved upfront to prevent delays later in the deal. A sourcing team comprising IT, HR, sourcing, legal, and operational experts also needs to be set up from the outset.
We strongly advocate a joint approach by finance leaders and the CIO to ensure that BPO deals are successful. The CIO can help the CFO’s team to avoid common mistakes as well as taking proactive steps to ensure that team members are well briefed about all the technical and outsourcing implications, said Cathy Tornbohm, research vice president at Gartner.
These common mistakes include over-burdening the BPO provider with too many service-level agreements to monitor. The CIO team can help the CFO prioritise which SLAs require special focus.
IT can also help by evaluating the tools and processes the outsourcer intends to use for F&A processes, instead of racing towards the request for proposal (RFP) stage.