Firms urged to embrace shared services to cut costs

By: JOSHUA MASINDE

Companies have been urged to embrace the idea of shared services as a way of cutting costs and improving productivity of their employees.

Speaking with Nation in an interview, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) global chief executive officer, Hellen Brand, said shared services is a cost effective way of consolidating business operations by multiple units of the same organization to eliminate redundancies.

Shared services is a term defining an operational arrangement that involves centralizing those administrative functions of a company that were once performed in separate divisions or locations.

Companies that embrace shared services are better able to manage their talent, operate competitively in a globalised environment and pursue more business opportunities in foreign markets.

STANCHART

“Kenya has been developing in this area for five or six years now. We are seeing many major corporations such as Standard Chartered Bank creating shared service operations but this process is still in early stages but with much potential.

With skills and opportunities that exist in the Kenya, the country should become attractive location for the establishment of shared service operations,” Ms Brand said.

As countries across the world becoming increasingly interconnected, companies that operate across national borders are also progressively moving to create hubs for shared services in order to cut operational costs.

Going into the future, decisions on where to locate shared service centres or hubs will be driven primarily by the availability of talent, with countries such as Kenya emerging as key players on the African continent.