The finance function is leading the drive for cost efficiencies in financial services companies. It is instrumental in supporting the other functions with this goal.

Finance is increasingly focussing on its ability to perform tasks in a timely and cost effective manner. In doing so processes, IT, locations and people come under the microscope.

Companies are starting to use and benefit from established techniques, such as leaner processes and standardisation. This is particularly prevalent in the financial services sector where there is often fragmented data, processes and (legacy) systems due to complex products and markets and continued growth through consolidation.

Increasingly, CFOs are deciding that moving activities to shared services or outsourcing them will be beneficial. The shift to global shared services and outsourcing is therefore an ongoing trend as businesses are continuing to globalise and find more innovative ways to make sure their processes and organisation are run efficiently.

PwC is engaged with many financial services clients, helping them work from the planning stage through to the post-delivery phases of major change programmes. These programmes include finance process standardisation and simplification, shared service centre strategies, offshoring initiatives and process efficiency programmes.