Peeriosity Insights: Recent Research Findings Summarized insights. To view detailed research results, contact us to inquire about membership.

Annual Shared Services Structure Benchmarking Highlights

Peeriosity members recently participated in an annual benchmarking survey within the Shared Services Leadership research area. The survey includes information on 28 specific services that are candidates for Shared Services and gathers, by company, data on the current functional owner of the service, geographic delivery model, level of standardization, and the sourcing of labor.

Peeriosity members have access to the details results of this survey, as well as others by functional area, that include cost and productivity benchmarks. A few highlights from this survey are outlined below.

Organizational Structure of Support Services

Most commonly found within Shared Services:

·         Accounts Payable

·         Travel Expense

·         Purchasing Card

·         Fixed Assets

·         Payroll

Most commonly centralized within Corporate and not prevalent within Shared Services:

·         Internal Audit

·         Treasury

·         Real Estate

·         Tax (non- transaction related)

Trending toward Shared Services (compared to last year’s survey):

·         Customer Contact Centers

·         Indirect Purchasing

·         Benefits Administration

Geographic Design of Support Services

·         Services in which employees are the customer (Payroll, Benefits Administration, Card Administration) have a higher prevalence of being located within the country of the employees.

·         Services with little to no external customer contact tend to be managed through regional service centers (Accounts Payable, Customer Payment Processing, General Ledger).

·         Higher-level financial-related services continue to be directed and managed through a Corporate location (Internal Audit, Treasury), however, there is a trend for other services that are highly standardized to move to global service centers (Reporting, Transactional Related Tax, Account Reconciliations, Intercompany Accounting). 


Highly Standardized:

·         Purchasing Card

·         Travel Expense

·         Accounts Payable

·         Fixed Assets

·         Intercompany Accounting

·         Financial Reporting

·         Information Technology

Greatest Opportunities for Standardization:

·         Facilities Management

·         Cost Accounting

·         Customer Billing

·         Credit and Collections

·         Supplier Relations

·         Information Technology

Information Technology standardization made both lists. The results indicate many organizations have made technology standardization (common systems/single instance) a key initiative and many have achieved global or regional scale. However, many are still grappling with how to move to global or regional standards:

 Information Technology Standardization:

·         Global (53%)

·         Multiple Regions (13%)

·         Regional (13%)

·         Not Standardized (21%)


The majority of survey respondents use a combination of sourcing options and remain flexible as their priorities change. While captive onshore centers are the most prevalent, in almost every service there were examples of captive offshore and/or outsourcing being used. Some of these examples include:

·         Accounts Payable had the most diverse sourcing responses with an almost even split amongst captive onshore centers (51%) and a combination of onshore/offshore captive, outsourcing, and hybrid models combining for the balance (49%).

·         Information Technology was the most prevalent service to be a hybrid model, with over 60% indicating components were outsourced.

·         Order-to-Cash (O2C) functions are the least likely to be offshored or outsourced. While there were Billing, Customer Payment Processing, and Collections hybrid models in use, the vast majority of the process activities are sourced using onshore captives.

·         Travel Management was the most prevalent service to be outsourced in its entirety. 

Peeriosity members have access to the complete detailed results for this survey, as well as individual surveys by functional area that provide quantitative benchmarking results for cost and productivity.

How are you benchmarking your Shared Services structure, geographic model, standardization, and sourcing models?

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?

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