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General Ledger Benchmarking: Structure, Geography, Standardization, and Sourcing


A key component of a Peeriosity membership is the ability to benchmark quantitative performance in eight key process areas, and the ability to see differences in structure and design for 28 different business processes that are often candidates for Shared Services. This research abstract looks at the composite results of the structure and design survey as it relates to the General Ledger process.

General Ledger Organizational Structure

We will first look at the organizational structure for General Ledger.  Reviewing the survey results, the majority of companies (50%) include General Ledger as part of their Shared Services operation.  Additionally, 34% of the companies utilize a hybrid design (Combination of Two or More), with the traditional Corporate design being utilized by 13% of the organizations participating in the research.  Finally, and not surprisingly, the decentralized design had just 3% of the responses.

This research shows that Shared Services continues to expand its role as the preferred organizational structure for processes like General Ledger as companies proceed to consolidate Record-to-Report type functions into this type of environment.

General Ledger Geographic Design

When looking at the geographic design for any Record-to-Report process area, including General Ledger, due to the significant level of variation in regulatory requirements between countries, especially in the EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions, it is extremely challenging to implement a global approach to General Ledger. As the poll results below show, only 5% of the companies have incorporated a global center design, with a much larger percentage using a multi-regional (29%) or country-specific (26%) approach to geographic design.  Also fairly popular are the regional center and multi-country structures, both with 16% of the survey responses.

General Ledger Process Standardization

While much can be standardized across the globe as it relates to the General Ledger process, there will always be exceptions when dealing with so many countries and financial regulatory bodies.  However, as the survey results show below, 29% of the companies have already standardized this process on a global basis, which is now the most popular approach.  Looking at the other benchmark results in this area, the single-country approach is utilized by 24% of the companies followed by the multi-country and multi-regional approaches at 18% and 13% respectively

General Ledger Labor Sourcing

Outsourcing the General Ledger function has been an option for many years, but a significant majority of companies (70%) continue to perform this process in-house as an on-shore captive process, with another 5% that perform it off-shore as a captive process. For the remaining 25% of the surveyed companies, a mix of options, between onshore, offshore, and captive or outsourced, are used, with no single option accounting for at least 75% of the activity.

Further details regarding these survey results, including company-specific responses, are available to Peeriosity members in the Benchmarks section of the General Accounting research area.

How well does your company’s current General Ledger design support your company?  When was the last time your approach to General Ledger was evaluated?

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


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