Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Potential in high-level finance outsourcing services

High-level finance outsourcing services can be a potential avenue for Malaysia to differentiate itself from other business process outsourcing (BPO) markets.

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) director of strategic development Rick Sturge said China and India were currently catering to low-level finance outsourcing activities, which provided Malaysia an opportunity to venture into high-level services.

“There is a market (for Malaysia) to provide higher-value services, such as investment research analysis,” he told a briefing on BPO opportunities in Malaysia.

Sturge said traditional finance outsourcing focused on low-level transactional activities, such as general accounting services like sales accounting.

Higher-value offerings, he said, included financial-reporting services such as investment-research analysis and knowledge-process outsourcing.

Sturge said the “war for talent” globally was creating difficulty for companies to achieve continuity and consistency in providing services.

“BPO and shared-services operators are being pushed to deliver higher-value services to clients and this is putting a strain on their resources and talents.

“They have to address this by bringing in more skilled people in an effective and efficient manner,” he said, adding that BPO operators saw value in having CIMA-trained professionals due to their skills.

CIMA is a leading membership body that offers an internationally recognised professional qualification in management accountancy.

Sturge said CIMA professionals were equipped with strategic management skills and expertise in accounting, business and financial management.

“It’s about effective analytical work to make the right decisions, manage performance and risks and drive business success. That’s what we are training people to be,” he said.

Sturge, meanwhile, said the global finance-outsourcing market, which is estimated to be worth US$70bil annually at present, was expected to grow to US$100bil within three years.