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F&A clients are going beyond BPO, prioritizing data and analytics services


Finance leaders aim to make the best use of their data to understand business operations better with data and analytics. Finance and accounting (F&A) clients are buying more data and analytics services than pure business process outsourcing (BPO) capabilities. The HFS Pulse study shows that nearly 41% of F&A leaders consider data and analytics a critical initiative, and almost 37% of F&A leaders work with BPOs across multiple capabilities, pointing to a higher level of engagement with the service providers.

  • From our ongoing F&A research, we see that service providers are enhancing their data and analytics capability and developing interesting use cases in liquidity management, cash flow forecasting, revenue leakages, cost optimization, and ledger intelligence. Also, the data point implies that F&A clients are frequently outsourcing data and analytics-related work to business service providers, as they may not have sufficient in-house capabilities.

  • Data is becoming crucial for organizations running deep analyses of operational workflows and what-if scenarios, enabling them to predict and mitigate future risks.

  • In this context, a CFO of a healthcare company shared, “Data mining is probably the most significant area where I am looking for support. There is a whole lot of data. I need someone to do the assessment, highlight the hotspots, and provide recommendations for me to build a results-driven strategy instead of just giving me a report with a lot of data. Additionally, the quality of data is of utmost importance. I want people to look at data creatively to make new moves, or we will continue losing money.”

  • It is evident that the correct interpretation of data is a must. This will not only enable the organization to strengthen the backbone of the business by building an evidence-based strategy but also allow them to stay ahead of the curve, beating the unforeseen market risks and competition and tying back the insights with effective decision making.

The Bottom Line: Data and analytics will become pivotal to what F&A clients want to buy and engage with third-party partners. This calls for an urgency for the service providers to be more proficient with their data and analytics capability.
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