What you control is governed by the metrics you measure and report on. But are the right metrics being measured? Traditionally, the functional and back-office metrics have been linked to the respective functional areas and the linkage to enterprise objectives, if at all, may not be evident. The Business Level Agreements (BLAs) framework can help fill this vacuum and ensure that the reported metrics are linked to the business priorities.
Some of the typical BLAs used in F&A processes:
- Accounts Payable: Error free payments, DPO, PO penetration
- Accounts Receivable: DSO, Cash Application Time, Average Time to Bill
- General Accounting: Days to close month-end, Reconciliation Cycle Time
A well thought out set of BLAs is a great mechanism for the support functions (and service providers) to see their impact on the business and the other way round. Enterprises are increasingly embedding these in the contracts to drive risk-sharing and partnership behaviours.