The number of finance and other back-office jobs at big companies in North America and Europe will continue to decline over the next few years, although the pace of such job losses is slowing, according to a recent report by The Hackett Group.
Hackett revised up its forecast for the number of business services jobs that will be lost in coming years in response to the International Monetary Fund’s gloomier outlook on the global economy. The business advisory firm recently estimated that another 604,000 such jobs, including finance, HR, IT and procurement positions, will have disappeared by the end of 2017.
In the global business services unit model, companies have a separate unit that provides all the other business units with services like accounts payable and accounts receivable, IT or HR.
Honorio Padrón, a principal at Hackett and leader of its global business services practice, said 78% of the companies Hackett benchmarks now have a global business services unit that performs two or more functions, although he noted those units are at varying stages of maturity. “It is a winning strategy, and more and more companies are figuring that out,” said Padrón, pictured at left.