In-demand shared services skills for finance

Several locations have a strong supply of the most sought-after shared services skills.

Accounting experience is the most commonly sought-after competency for finance shared services, according to Gartner, Inc. A Gartner TalentNeuron™ analysis of job postings in the finance and accounting function between July 2020 and July 2021 revealed the top 10 in-demand competencies for finance shared services centers. Analytical thinking and change implementation were the second and third ranked in-demand competencies.

“Looking for the top finance shared services competencies in the same place as everyone else is costly,” said Jessica Kranish, senior principal, research, Gartner. “It’s important to understand there are locations where these top skills are in abundant supply without a high salary premium, and to consider these locations when setting up a shared service center.”

The 10 most sough-after shared services skills in the finance and accounting function in the past year are as follows:

1) Accounting Experience: Experience in accounting processes such as accounts payable. Although not one of the top overall locations, Ranchi, India, ranks highly for this skill with plentiful talent, lower hiring difficulty (based on supply-demand ratio), and annual salary costs of $5,000 for those with accounting experience. A good location outside India is the Valle de Mexico (which includes Mexico City). The region in central Mexico has a plentiful supply of employees skilled at accounting, but with higher annual salary costs ($12,000) and greater hiring difficulty than the top Indian cities.

2) Analytical Thinking: The ability to review, analyze and reconcile accounting information, interpret data and policies, and solve problems.  While central India’s Indore is a great location for this skill, Saratov, in southwestern Russia, offers similar advantages. Both cities have a strong supply of employees with this ability, low hiring difficulty, and salary costs that are similar ($7,000 per year in Indore compared to $8,000 in Saratov). São Paulo, Brazil and St. Petersburg, Russia are also good locations for this competency both with a plentiful supply of talent, but slightly higher salaries and greater hiring difficulty.

3) Change Implementation: The ability to design, put in place, or streamline new processes and tasks. Russia ranks highly, with Saratov and St. Petersburg taking the top two spots. Moscow’s higher salary costs makes it slightly less attractive for this skill. Preferred cities in India for this skill are Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Greater Mumbai, while Brazilian locations Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba all offer good opportunities for this skill.

4) Automation Implementation: The ability to identify automation candidates and automate processes, such as reporting tasks. Gurgaon is a strong location for sourcing this emerging digital skill, along with other Indian cities like Pune, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Two Russian locations, Saratov and Moscow, also rate highly.

5) KPI Monitoring: The ability to review and analyze progress against key performance indicators. Salaries trend slightly higher for this skill, which means that in addition to cities like Gurgaon and Greater Mumbai, some higher-cost locations, like Johannesburg, South Africa (annual salary $32,000) and Singapore ($58,000), look more competitive. Greater Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Kolkata are promising options because of their combination of strong supply, low hiring difficulty and low salary costs.

6) Experience with Business Analytics: Gurgaon is a top-rated location for this capability overall, as is São Paulo. However, the only top-ranked locations with “low” or “very low” hiring difficulty are Greater Mumbai, Surat and Chennai, India.

7) Experience in a Shared Services or BPO Environment: Experience working for a shared services organization or a business process outsourcing (BPO) company. Locations in India rate highly in this area. In addition to Greater Mumbai, Gurgaon and Bengaluru — the Indian cities of Chennai, Delhi, Pune and Hyderabad are good options for this skill.

8) Knowledge of GAAP: An understanding of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and of compliance with them. This skill is slightly more difficult to source, with fewer available candidates than other in-demand skills. Moscow is a good option for this skill, followed by the Indian cities of Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune.

9) Continuous Improvement: The ability to determine, develop and implement best practices to improve processes. With a plentiful supply of talent, lower hiring difficulty and salary costs of $12,000 annually, Kolkata is an excellent location to find this skill. Other top contenders include Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi.

10) Experience with ERP Systems:  Experience working with enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools. Moscow rates well for this skill, despite a relatively high hiring difficulty, because of its plentiful supply of talent. With a strong supply of candidates and lower hiring difficulty, Greater Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Delhi also are worthy of consideration for this skill.

By understanding better how the forces of talent supply, talent demand and wage expectations interact around specific competencies, it’s possible to identify prime locations where competition for in-demand competencies is lower,” said Kranish. “This could offer a finance organization significant advantages when certain skills are in such high demand as they are now.”




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