Small companies are big business in Europe. It is estimated that almost 99% of all companies fall into the Small or Medium category, employing two thirds of the work force. These companies are the drivers of economic growth, jobs and innovation. However, it is a rough and tumble world to be in. An EU report estimated that almost half of all small companies started in 2001 didn’t survive their first five years!
Over the last decade, companies have invested in creating shared service centres in order to streamline their business processes and make operations more efficient. Speaking to Francisco Rodriguez, Director of Internal Controls at Genesys, a telecommunications company, who has had first-hand experience in building finance-shared service centres throughout his career, it is interesting to understand how these centres have come into being and since grown into something of a lucrative global enterprise.
Regulations have become as commonplace to the finance industry as bread to a duck pond since the banking collapse of 2008 and 2009, and the question now is, is the finance industry suffering from having too much of a good thing? From Basel III and EMIR to Dodd-Frank and MiFID II, regulations come in many forms.
Globalisation is no longer the buzzword that it was about 10-15 years ago. Domestic country politics and geopolitical tensions are pushing the world back into the protectionist cocoon of previous centuries. In the United States for example, President-elect Donald Trump, has been calling for massive tariffs to be imposed on imports from China.
Across the major financial capitals of the world, FinTech startups are booming. What initially started as essentially database solutions to store and protect data has now become the biggest driving force in finance. Whether it is the big banks or e-commerce firms utilising these new innovations, or the finance and accounting department.
Deutsche Bank has had a rough few months. Not only did it lose almost half of its market capitalisation, but its debt rating has been put on a negative watch by Fitch. Then of course there is the question of a multi-billion dollar penalty in the United States. But Deutsche Bank is not alone in the current crises, although it is its most recognisable name globally.
There have been some less obvious casualties of the recent political events in Europe and the US. The American and European Accounting Standards Boards are no longer participating in joint efforts to create a standardised global paradigm for accounting, like they used to in the past.
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