Outsourcing F&A processes frees up staff to focus on strategic finance activities

Whitbread 

Fully offshored Finance & Accounting processes for intelligent cost management by freeing up internal finance specialists to focus on providing the business with timely and relevant information.

Challenge summary

The hospitality giant employs over 34,000 people and serves 10 million customers every month in its 1,900 outlets. It’s a competitive environment and they recognised that many of their Finance and Accounting (F&A) processes could be simplified in order to free up their F&A team to focus on more strategic activity, such as providing the business with management information.

This was part of a wider company change programme making sure Whitbread were focusing on the right things by allowing their people to do what they do best – running and operating a successful business.

Solution

With prior experience of outsourcing its technology services, Whitbread was comfortable with the idea of business process outsourcing (BPO) as a means to achieve its key objective of freeing up internal personnel. The added potential for cost savings was another attraction.

The service is now delivered almost entirely from our Indian operations in Chennai and Noida and employs 65 full time equivalents covering accounts payable, accounts receivable, banking, ledger postings, fixed assets & projects, VAT returns and Oracle administration.

While Whitbread hadn’t previously considered an almost 100% offshore service delivery model, they quickly saw its merits, both from an efficiency and cost perspective.

Client view

“Has it been worth it? Yes, absolutely. And yes, I would go through the process again because I believe it has been a good experience for everyone involved. There is no doubt that Whitbread’s transition to a new way of providing F&A services has been a shining light to the business.” Andrew Brothers, Information Systems and Change Director at Whitbread