- Leadership: The leadership team must define the reason for change, a strategy, and set objectives. They must have a vision of what the change will lead to and what benefits will accrue. Employees and stakeholders must be engaged and motivated. This can be done by setting targets, measuring performance, and providing financial and non-financial rewards to reinforce changes in behavior.
- Training: A globalization effort is a catalyst that forces people to learn new, standardized
processes. This requires training in both adapting skills and learning new processes across the enterprise. Whether the change is new functionality or adherence to naming
standards, simply publishing a training manual is not enough to bridge integrating
changed practices into daily operations. Implementing a more personalized approach that promotes conceptual buy-in alongside the new information often garners more success.
- Communication: Lack of appropriate and sufficient internal communication is often the biggest obstacle to business transformation. It is critical that discussions and initiatives are clear, that requirements are gathered and considered for all locations, and that all requirements be incorporated into a deliverable solution for every location involved. This communication plan must be carried out early and consistently to ensure acceptance and rapid adoption of the changing global landscape.
- Cultural Diversity: To create a common culture and unify worldwide business processes, companies must consider regional holidays, multiple languages, conflicting time zones, and cultural differences. By embracing this diversity, the organization is exposed to a wider variety of business practices and experiences. Leveraging these attributes can facilitate the transfer of best-of-breed practices across the enterprise, in addition to providing
opportunities for system maintenance windows.
- Governance: The implementation of effective controls and governance allows enterprises to manage the shared assets that result from the fusion of people, processes, and technology. Global governance structures should be designed to maximize expertise and leverage scale. Although the specifics will vary for each organization, some common processes such as corporate treasury, invoice processing, receivables processing, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, account maintenance, corporate reporting, expense processing, and HR maintenance benefit from the oversight and operation of a shared services center.
Automation continues to transform whole industries – and finance and audit are no exception. Specific to the financial audit, most of the high-volume, routine, non-judgmental activities in real time are...