APAC & MEA Finance Accounting And Managed Services

Emerging Trends in APAC and MEA Finance and Accounting Managed Services


The finance and accounting functions for many organisations in the Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa regions are undergoing significant change. Traditional in-house finance teams are finding it difficult to keep up with increasing compliance requirements, rising customer expectations and the need to leverage new technologies. At the same time, outsourcing finance and accounting activities to specialist managed services providers is becoming more common and bringing multiple benefits.

Rise of Regulatory and Compliance Requirements
Regulations related to taxation, financial reporting and data privacy are increasing substantially across most countries in APAC and MEA. Complying with these evolving rules has become a major challenge for in-house teams which often lack dedicated compliance experts. Non-compliance can result in hefty penalties. To ensure ongoing adherence to all regulatory norms, many organisations are partnering with managed service providers that have skilled professionals and established processes for continuously monitoring changing compliance landscape in different markets.

Growing Adoption of Cloud and Automation Solutions
The finance function has been slower than other business units in adopting new technologies. However, cloud computing and robotic process automation (RPA) solutions are now enabling managed service providers to deliver APAC and MEA Finance and Accounting Managed Services more efficiently. Advanced tools allow automatic capturing and classification of invoices and receipts. Robotics help perform rule-based high-volume transactional tasks like data entry and bank reconciliations. Cloud-based platforms facilitate secure access to real-time data from any location. By leveraging such technologies, service providers are significantly improving productivity while reducing costs for their clients.

Shift from Input-based to Strategic Finance Partner
Traditionally, in-house finance teams focused mainly on transaction processing and financial reporting. However, today’s CFOs and finance leaders want their teams to play a more strategic role by providing insights that drive business decisions. Outsourcing non-critical tasks to managed services frees up in-house staff to concentrate on higher value activities like financial planning & analysis (FP&A), pricing advisory, M&A support and stakeholder management. Partnering with an experienced external provider also gives on-demand access to specialized skills and multi-country expertise that is difficult to develop in-house.

Improving Compliance and Controls Over Shared Services Centers
Many large corporates in APAC and MEA regions have set up centralized shared services or global business services centers in low-cost locations to consolidate finance and accounting operations. While this has delivered significant cost savings, controlling compliance and ensuring consistent service quality across different countries has become a challenge. Partnering with regulated finance managed services firms helps address these issues through their robust control environment, dedicated legal and audit capabilities and ISO/SSAE certified processes.

Need for Scalable and Flexible Resourcing Models
The business needs of organisations are rapidly evolving. Finance teams need to support changing business models and new products/services through scalable resourcing. In-house hiring and expansion is a slow and capital intensive process. Outsourcing provides an easily customizable alternative. Resources can be rapidly scaled up or down through a managed services agreement. The pay-as-you-use model also avoids long-term fixed cost commitments for uncertain business periods like post-pandemic times. This scalability and flexibility has become a critical capability for many finance functions.

Priority on Data Security and Privacy Protection
Given the sensitivity of financial and customer information handled by finance teams, data security is a top priority. Constantly evolving cyber threats and strict privacy regulations like GDP in APAC require best-in-class safeguards. As dedicated specialists, managed services providers make huge investments in advanced technologies and processes for access control, encryption, monitoring and response. By outsourcing to such accredited partners, companies can assure stakeholders of robust security posture while avoiding heavy investments in building in-house capabilities.

The finance and accounting landscape across APAC and MEA regions is being shaped significantly by growing regulatory complexities, fast advancements in technology and evolving customer demands. Outsourcing non-core tasks through managed services allows organisations to leverage deep expertise, stay compliant and compliant with minimal internal resource overhead. With experienced providers offering scalable, secure and cost-efficient services, finance and accounting outsourcing is emerging as a strategic choice for both mid-sized and large enterprises across the regions.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it