What is Shared Services?
Shared Services refers to a group of centralized, non-revenue-generating operations that support multiple divisions, or lines of business, of the company. This centralization (i.e., employees grouped in a single, central location) of support services allows these resources to be "shared" across the organization, and are typically associated with lower costs, higher productivity and increased standardization of work processes and outputs. Shared Services organizations typically include Finance, Master Data Management and Human Resources. In some cases, Shared Services organizations may also perform Procurement, Legal, and Information Technology-related tasks as well.
A typical Shared Services Group is composed of several common sub-functions, or teams, that work together to manage the firm’s long-term and day-to-day monetary operations and strategy (Finance), attract and train the employees of the company (Human Resources), develop, manage and maintain the organization’s technology-related assets (Information Technology), oversee the organization’s litigation and compliance with internal and external regulations and laws (Legal), manage the structure, quality and use of data by both internal and external users (Master Data Management) and purchase products from vendors to satisfy internal and external demand (Procurement). Browse our Shared Services organization chart page to learn about the roles and responsibilities of each major function. Then, download our org chart template (PDF, Visio) to plan and support shared services operations improvement efforts.
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Check out our shared services best practices page to view selected descriptions of work methods that have been proven to produce better results (as compared to other, similar methods). Want more? Download our Shared Services Best Practices Guide, which provides a healthy selection of valuable best practices that can be incorporated to improve shared services management operations. There might not be only one "best" way to perform every task. However, there is always a "better" way.