australian benchmark initiative

Finance benchmarks and better practice


130 leading Australian companies have submitted responses in the 2017 Australian Benchmark Initiative. The responses are providing interesting trends and insights into the way Australian companies are performing, and what their future improvement strategies are.
The results were released on Thursday 15 February 2018 by webinar.  The webinar can be watched on YouTube below.

Participants will have been distributed the reports.

If you didn't participate in the 2017 study, but would like a copy of any of the reports, they are available to purchase here.


The 2017 results provide you with the following insights:

  • A detailed analysis on better practice, including “what does good look like
  • Benchmark key metrics by quartile - “poor”, “average” and “good"
  • An understanding of future improvement strategies and trends
  • An analysis of your performance against other organisations

For those that didn't participate, the report can be purchased here.  

Benchmark and better practice reviews

Many organisation's are looking to understand how they are performing against benchmark results and better practice process maturity.  The Australian Benchmark Initiative offers both desktop assessments (questionnaire based) and accelerated assessment (interviews & workshops) based on the benchmark studies.   These assist organisation's in rapidly identifying improvement opportunities to realise benefits.  More information can be found here.


The Australian Benchmark Initiative was established to build a set of Finance benchmarks and facilitate the sharing of Finance better practice between Australian companies.

The studies will allow you to assess: 

What does good look like?
How am I performing against my peers?
What are the attributes of a high performing function?
What is the optimal headcount for my team?
What should the cost of my function be?
What are the key trends?

Our sponsors

The Australian Benchmark Initiative is proudly sponsored by optim2 and optiBPO:


optim2 is a management consultancy that works with leading Australian companies to assess and improve their Finance organisation.  In building a high performing and partnering Finance organisation, the four big questions we work with clients on are:

  1. ASSESSING FINANCE: Do we have the right Finance operating model?
  2. IMPROVING PROCESSES: How doe we build high performing processes?
  3. MEASURING PERFORMANCE: What does good look like, and how do we compare?
  4. BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING: What are the opportunities to outsource or offshore?

optim2 has built an enviable client list, with a large number of ASX listed, multinational and private enterprise references.

optiBPO assists Australian & New Zealand companies setup offshore operations in the Philippines.  The optiBPO model is unique, in that it sits between traditional outsourcing, and setting up your own offshore business.

The Association for Payroll Specialists (TAPS), established in 1990 is Australia's original Association representing the payroll industry. As the voice of the payroll community TAPS represent over 6,500 payroll professionals and businesses including every sector of the economy, from small and medium sized enterprises to major corporations and government departments. TAPS provide a number of specialised benefits necessary to acknowledge and assist payroll people and keep them up to date with Australia's unique payroll environment.

Benchmark metrics

Along with a range of qualitative information in relation to process attributes, a range of metrics are collected and analysed.   The Australian Benchmark Initiative has attempted to choose a straightforward set of metrics that would be easily understood across the broad range of participants.

For each metric quartile measures will be provided (bottom, median, top) for the following:

Purchase to Pay

1. Full Time Equivalents (FTEs)
2. Average gross salary
3. Invoices processed per FTE
4. Purchase Order penetration
5. Purchase Orders after the event (%)
6. Matching tolerance ($ and %)
7. Payment cycles (#)
8. Standard payment terms


1. Full Time Equivalents (FTEs)
2. Average gross salary
3. Payruns per pay cycle type

4. Headcount processed per pay cycle
5. Timesheets processed per pay cycle
6. Percentage of "out of cycle" payments


1. Full Time Equivalents (FTEs)
2. Average gross salary
3. Active customer accounts managed per FTE
4. Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)

5. Percentage of debtors > 60 days
6. Remittances processed per FTE
7. Payment types (electronic/cash)
8. Standard trading terms