Significant future opportunities for FDI investment and job creation potential in Ireland's growing shared services sector
21 February 2012
~ There is no recession in Shared Services – says Head of ACCA ~
Shared Services will be a significant engine for increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and has the potential to create and support additional jobs in a sector that already employs over 39,000 people in Ireland – an ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) conference was told today. The conference, which was attended by IDA Ireland, finance professionals and multinational companies such as Accenture, Yahoo, Coca Cola, Hertz and IBM Ireland focused on the significant growth and employment opportunities within the shared services sector based in Ireland.
Shared services are centralised activities within a multi-site global corporation. Ireland already is ranked no.3 in the world in terms of the number of Shared Service Centres (SSCs) operating in a single country with over 140 centres operating here. The sector currently employs over 35,000 people in foreign-owned companies supported by IDA Ireland, and a growing base of indigenous activity supported by Enterprise Ireland with 4,000 jobs.
Commenting today at the conference, Barry O’Leary, Chief Executive of IDA Ireland said: “Ireland’s proposition has transformed over the past 20 years from when Ireland first started to attract Shared Services Centres (SSCs) here. The requirements of the SSCs’ have changed significantly over the years, and now Ireland is focused on attracting global headquarters and centres of excellence that concentrate on highly technical, sophisticated services that add value on a corporate level. IDA Ireland is working to ensure that Ireland distinguishes itself from other countries and on providing an attractive environment that continues to position Ireland as the destination of choice for foreign direct investment.”
Julie Spillane, EMEA Director for Accenture Business Services, Accenture Ireland Finance Director and a member of ACCA’s forum on shared services said: “Accenture is a great example of the evolution of Shared Services Centres in Ireland. Thirteen years ago when we first established the centre in Dublin, we specialised in the provision of transaction processing and standard support services. Today we shape process, policy and technology for the global organisation, delivering high-end, enterprise-wide solutions combining finance, procurement, IT and HR. We have been successful because we continually look for opportunities to improve our competitive proposition and embrace our global delivery model. If Ireland is to remain a location of choice we need to look three to five years to the future, continue to build the right skills and embrace new developments, like analytics, which could have a great impact on the Shared Services Industry in Ireland.”
Liz Hughes, Head of ACCA said: “ACCA recognises the strategic importance of shared services to Ireland’s high-value services-driven economy, and sees the real opportunity for job creation, particularly among finance professionals in Ireland. In 2011, ACCA initiated a Shared Services Forum, which brought together high level executives operating within the sector. From our first roundtable, it became immediately apparent that there is no recession in shared service – we have talent, ability and the willingness to exploit our competitive advantage in the sector. This is grounded on a number of factors, namely: A culture of innovation in Irish SSCs; the availability of graduates with internationally recognised qualifications, such as ACCA; the flexibility of the Irish workforce and the attractiveness of Ireland as a place to locate; and a critical mass of SSCs already in Ireland, supported by a pool of expertise of international calibre.”