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Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Capgemini Group

Performance Reporting – It’s just numbers isn’t it?

Category : Banking

There are many functions within a bank, whether it’s front office (Sales and Trading), middle office (Operations) or back office (Legal and Compliance). What all of these functions have in common is that they all report their performance into or via Finance.
Performance reporting is essential to large international businesses to inform the highest decision making body (usually the Management Board). Decision makers are told whether targets are met or not, and in turn they have the power to course-correct if the business is going awry.
In a bank, Financial Management Information (MI) informs decision making and can take a variety of forms from as basic as revenue figures for an Equities desk to more complex ones such as FX-Adjusted Global Trading Forecasts. Irrespective of the forms MI takes, these reports have to be produced in a timely and efficient manner to get businesses back on track.
So what’s the issue?
MI takes time and effort to produce – the task is complex, requires specialist knowledge and understanding of the industry and above all, has to be accurate.
Over the last 20 years, institutions across the world have been outsourcing various functions to cheaper locations, predominantly back-office or customer service roles, to reduce their cost bases. Parts of Finance functions were being outsourced to countries such as India, and the outsourced roles were low-complexity, high-output in format.  Whilst the knowledge remained on-shore in head offices, data would be ‘crunched’ off-shore. Nowadays, banks are transferring knowledge off-shore and only remnants are retained in Head Offices. Workforces in countries like India, are becoming more skilled and knowledgeable and companies are utilising this transition.
Within the Finance function of a large European bank, Capgemini Consulting are investigating what reports are being produced, how they are being produced and how they are used. Currently much of the data extraction and basic reporting is completed in off-shore centres which is no surprise.
However some divisions are using a ‘Team Extension Model’ to pass over more responsibility to their off-shore resources. Each division has allocated resources in off-shore locations (‘Agency or Landlord Model’) and direct reporting lines have been established.
But is the Agency Model the best approach? A ‘Shared Services Model’ is commonly seen in IT support - where an entire business has access to the same resource. Would this be appropriate for a Finance function of a large bank? Or would they be restricted by regulatory guidelines (e.g. Chinese Walls) or by the expertise and knowledge required to produce performance reports?
Capgemini are running a series of virtual workshops with Financial Directors and Analysts across the globe to map the processes of the bank’s financial reporting function. As a CDCer (Consultant Development Community member) on the project, my role is primarily to live-map the processes on a process mapping software program, as well as to co-facilitate the sessions. These are core skills for a consultant and to develop these in a challenging environment has been immensely rewarding from a development perspective.
The project’s approach is a modern twist on one of Capgemini’s core approaches of using ‘brown paper’ and maximising client engagement and interaction. By using virtual methods the need to travel has been eliminated keeping the cost of the project to a minimum and it ensures Capgemini live their mantra of being digital!
A consultant will inevitably describe his or her project as unique. The reason why this is the case in mine is the fast pace and highly efficient working environment that provides tremendous opportunity to increase my own learning – time to make the most of it!

About the author

Nirav Ghantiwala
Nirav Ghantiwala
Nirav joined Capgemini in 2014 and is part of the Strategy and Operating Model team. Nirav has worked across a number of sectors in digital transformation roles and has a specific interest in Consumer Products and Retail. He studied at the University of Bristol and University College London.

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