School of Business and Economics


20 Mar 2015

Loughborough meeting highlights the changing face of finance

Roy Waight, Former Controller, Royal Dutch Shell Roy Waight, former controller at Royal Dutch Shell

The Global Sourcing Research Interest Group was pleased to host two senior members from the finance function of Royal Dutch Shell recently at an MBA Masterclass event.

To an audience of MBA students and invited industry figures, Ian Robertson and Roy Waight explained the drivers of transformation and how the company’s unique approach to shared services centres has created end-to-end processes that align with the business to produce both increased efficiency and new insights into finance in the business.

Rick Payne from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales presented an overview of finance transformation in Royal Dutch Shell over 50 years from 1963 to 2014.

The meeting also marked the start of the second phase of a longitudinal research project into the role of finance shared service centres in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

Peter Simons, CIMA’s specialist on the future of finance, said:

“It is essential that we understand the changing requirements of employers who rely on the expertise of management accountants across a range of finance roles including those in shared service centres and those retained closer to the business.

"The work with Loughborough University has enabled us to engage with leading employers to be at the forefront of these changes. It is important that our syllabus and qualification continues to support finance professionals as they operate in all fields.

"The learning from this research and the relationships developed at this forum will help us ensure that the CIMA qualification equips management accountants to perform in diverse roles.”

Ian Herbert , Senior Lecturer at the School of Business and Economics, who led the research project, said:

“The SSC research project brings together industry practitioners, business professionals, representatives from leading consultancy firms and academics involved in finance shared services.

"In addition to sharing best practice, events such as this provide an important voice to topical matters in a rapidly emerging field."

The next events are:

  1. The Opportunities for Data Analytics in SSCs – Singapore, 25/26th March 2015*
  2. Continuous Improvement in SSCs – Sheffield, 15th April 2015
  3. Collaboration and Sharing in the Public Sector – Loughborough, 22nd April 2015
  4. Transfer Pricing – Manchester (Venue to be announced), 13th May 2015
  5. Transforming the Finance Function: The Design, Development and Management of Shared Services – Bristol, 16th May 2015
  6. Big Data and Retained Finance – Singapore, 15th July 2015

*Ian Herbert will speak at the SSON Conference on Data Analytics in Shared Services.

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