#080: How Offshoring is moving higher up the Finance Value Chain

with Jamie McBrien

Our Guest Mentor:

Jamie McBrien started his Finance career 20 years ago with PwC and then Deloitte. Having also spent a number of years as a management consultant, Jamie became a Director of optim2 & optiBPO who help organisations assess & improve their Finance operations (optim2), and help offshore and outsource (optiBPO).  They support companies around the globe, with offices in offices in Australia, UK, US and Hong Kong.

Jamie is currently based out of Sydney, Australia and holds an MBA from UNSW.

Key Quotes From the Episode:

“[On top two tips for ensuring successful finance transformation implementations ] It’s really important to make sure that we get a detailed understanding of the current state and engaging all of the right stakeholders on the way through.” [04:56]

 “[On importance of stakeholder engagement] I think all of us intuitively know from doing this as a profession what good likes like, and we all know where we want to get to but it’s all about bringing everyone else along with you and getting them to understand that as well … it’s easy to forget that all of these things on how things should work that are in my head aren’t necessarily in everyone elses’ heads.” [05:24]

“[On the idea that knowledge truly is global] … the idea that there is borders, that some leaders around the world would like to try and reinforce them, …, we can see that knowledge transfer is borderless and it’s becoming easier and easier to do that, and we’re seeing activities that are being outsourced and offshored changed, they’re moving upmarket … the idea that geography is a constraint is getting really reduced rapidly.” [08:28]

“[On why automation will not kill outsourcing completely] I think it changes the nature of outsourcing because people are still needed in terms of what they do, there’s always things coming along that are further automating those lower level transactional roles” [20:24]

“[On how to benefit from outsourcing] There’s a need for finance people to continually reskill themselves, to continuously change what they’re looking to achieve and the important part is being open to it … there’s not a big future in being against some of these initiatives you’ve kind of to get on the bus, build up your knowledge around it, understand what works and doesn’t work, because if your organisation is going to embark of this strategy and you can put your hand up and say well I know a fair bit about this you’re going to be a valuable person in that business to help them be successful.” [20:40]

(Other resources and how to connect with Jamie below).

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Key Points From the Episode:

  • A practical tip to improve our success in finance transformation implementations.
  • The importance of taking the time to engage and patience.
  • The drivers behind Finance offshoring and outsourcing moving upmarket.
  • Advice on how finance professionals can remain relevant in the face of offshoring

Time Stamped Show Notes:

[02:08] – Jamie shares his journey from auditing, the green pen, into risk management, finance & ops consulting and finance transformation.

[03:45] – Why auditing wasn’t for him and where he found his strengths.

[04:53] – A practical tip to improve our success in finance transformation implementations.

[05:05] – Shares a story about a client who wanted to know why it’s important to engage with stakeholders.

[06:55] – The importance of taking the time to engage and patience and why some projects take longer than others and how engaging with 58 stakeholders led to one of his most successful implementations.

[08:14] – What’s really exciting Jamie about what’s she’s working on now and how borderless knowledge transfer and the democratisation of knowledge is causing finance offshoring and outsourcing to move more upmarket (Treasury, M&A, FP&A).

[11:05] – We discuss a few of the drivers at clients behind Finance offshoring and outsourcing moving upmarket and Jamie shares a story about who won the race to find the right person for a Treasury role.

[14:00] – Jamie shares a story of how one client changed their attitude went from being totally against the idea of offshoring to fully embracing it as an opportunity.

[16:54] – We also talk about the financial controller who deliberately set himself an objective to make himself redundant and how it turned into a rewarding project.

[18:42] – The best opportunities for careers and success in finance offshoring.

[20:10] – Jamie gives advice on how finance professionals can remain relevant in the face of offshoring.

[21:51] – Jamie’s priorities for the next 12 months and which countries are most ahead in embracing offshoring.

[24:05] – The best bit of advice he’s every received that can help set you apart.

[26:15] – The resources she recommends our listeners check out.

[28:30] – How best to connect with Jamie.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Maverick!: The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace (2001), by Ricardo Semler
  • optiBPO (website)
  • optim2 (website)

Connect with today’s guest:

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Credit: Edited by Andrew Codd



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