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Agile. Connected. Metric-driven.

These were the words I used to describe the characteristics of a Best-Run Finance organization in the SAP InSight, first published in 2008, which I summarized in my blog, Best-Run Finance – What are the Key Factors?

In the course of two years, it’s amazing what changes – and what does not. IFRS considerations have gained momentum. A new benchmarking survey focusing on Financial Shared Services was launched in 2009, which provided updated statistics, and which also looked at the maturity level of organizations using shared services.

We found that companies continue to reap the rewards of squeezing efficiencies out of their transactional processes, and spending more of their resources on strategic and analytic activities; companies realized benefits in the operating margin of +38% (published in the 2008 paper), now +36% (published in the 2010 paper). The accompanying change in the cost of finance as a percentage of revenue is more staggering – by becoming more strategic, the cost of finance dropped 30% (in 2008); today, the cost of finance  dropped by up to 52%, no doubt reflecting the focus on cost-cutting due to the recent business environment.

And, of course, there are many new stories that highlight the benefits that our customers have achieved!

Read the updated SAP InSight.

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