The rise and rise of shared-service centres is a revolution that’s going under the radar

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Ian Herbert, Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Financial Management, and Will Seal, Professor of Accounting and Management, discuss their research into shared-service centres for the July/August 2013 edition of CIMA’s Financial Management magazine.

Title: “The rise and rise of shared-service centres is a revolution that’s going under the radar”


Please follow the link below to access the article: – Page 14

JAOC Special Issue is ‘Pick of the Month’ for CPA Australia‏


Ian Herbert, Deputy Director of the Centre for Global Sourcing and Services, and Will Seal, Professor of Accounting and Management, feature in July’s Journal of Accounting and Organizational Change, named ‘Pick of the Month’ for CPA Australia. Their article “Shared service centres and the role of the finance function: Advancing the Iron Cage?” explores the concept of finance shared service centres (SSCs) through an interpretive case study based on a structuration in organizational fields framework; the implications for the finance function, in terms of how finance both drives change within the multi-divisional organisation and also is affected by change; and interprets the SSC phenomenon in the light of the Iron Cage analogy.


Please follow the links below to access the article and blogs:

(Please note that users will need to be a member of an institution with access rights to download the article without charge)

Fiona Lu presents at first CGSS brown bag seminar


The first in a series of seminars aimed to predominantly support PhD students affiliated with the Centre for Global Sourcing and Services (CGSS) and to raise interest in the group’s research. These seminars provide a friendly and constructive environment to present research and gather feedback and suggestions. The seminars will also feature presentations from other members of the CGSS and will hopefully provide a valuable development tool for papers and research.

Title: The Charging Method of Support Services Provided By Shared Service Centres.  Wednesday, 10th July 2013 (12:30pm -1:30pm) in BE.0.40 (School of Business and Economics), Loughborough University

Abstract:  In the current global economic environment, managers are looking for ways to reduce costs, enhance performance and gain competitive advantages. Since supporting service costs have been continuously increasing in proportion to total costs, the managers’ focus is reducing not only production costs but also support service costs. Some organisations choose third party outsourcers while others choose to set up their own shared service centre (SSC) which consolidate support service activities into one separate business unit. Delivering high quality service across varied client divisions’ requirements within a changing business environment is the core business process of SSCs. However, the challenge faced by SSCs is how to deliver this at an appropriate cost or at a competitive price.

The charging of services provided by SSCs goes beyond a pure cost allocation problem and with increased service transparency and a greater demand for customised services, a more differentiated pricing method is required. Appropriate and efficient charging methods could drive best practice, change the service mix and thus improve organisational performance.

This literature research investigating the charging method chosen by different SSCs could start from theoretical origins. Drawing on work by Chandler (1962), Williamson (1975, 1979, 1985) and Eccles (1985), I set out the charging of support services provided by shared service centres from M-Form organisations, transaction costs economics and transfer pricing perspectives.

Financial directors want a ‘challenge’ from accountants

BusinessmanIan Herbert, Deputy Director of the Centre for Global Sourcing and Services, teamed up with Anil Swarup, Director of SKS Business Services, to discuss the results of a recent survey which looked at the most important factors financial directors cited when choosing an accounting firm.

Follow the links below to see their commentary.’challenge’+from+accountants#.UYtbULXvuSo