Australian Benchmark Initiative

The Australian Benchmark Initiative was established to build a set of Finance benchmarks and facilitate the sharing of Finance better practice between Australian companies.  Now entering its fifth year, and as the leading source of Finance benchmarks in Australia, the 2014 Australian Benchmark Initiative studies are not to be missed and include:

 Purchase to Pay

In 2014, 80 of Australia’s leading organisation participated. With median revenue of $850 million, median headcount of 1500 employees, and 35% being ASX listed, the 2014 studies provided a good quantity and quality of respondent. The studies 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?

The responses provide interesting trends and insights into the way Australian companies are performing, and where their future strategies lie.


2014 results were published on 12 February 2015, and provided to those organisations that participated in the study.

For organisations that did not particpate, but would like to have access to the results, they can purchase their choice of studies here.

Benchmark and better practice reviews

Many organisation's are looking to rapidly 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.

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.  optim2 has deep expertise in:

> Strategic reviews of the Finance organisation
> Re-designing Finance processes
> Measuring the performance of Finance
> Leading Finance transformation initiatives

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 Accounting & Back Office operations in the Philippines.  The optiBPO model is unique, in that it sits between traditional outsourcing, and setting up your own offshore business.


2014 metrics collected

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

In 2014, for each metric quartile measures will be provided (bottom quartile, median, top quartile), across each of the following principal metrics, and those that can be calculated from this baseline:

Purchase to Pay

1. Number of Full Time Equivalents (FTEs)
2. Average gross salary of AP team members
3. Number of invoices processed in an average month
4. Purchase Order penetration
5. Purchase Orders after the event (%)
6. What tolerances do you apply to invoice matching ($ and %)
7. Payment cycles (#)
8. Standard payment terms


1. Number of Full Time Equivalents (FTEs)
2. Average gross salary of Payroll team members
3. Number of pay runs for each type of pay cycle
4. Number of headcount processed per pay cycle in an average pay run
5. Number of timesheets processed per pay cycle type in an average pay run (may be "0" for some organisations)
6. Percentage of avoidable "out of cycle" payments per month


1. Number of Full Time Equivalents (FTEs)
2. Average gross salary of Receivables team members
3. How many active cusomter accounts do you have (#)
4. Average Days Sales Outstanding (DSO). Measured from the point of the debtor being raised.
5. Number of remittances processed in an average month
6. Percentage of payments received by payment types (i.e. cheque, EFT, direct debit, credit card, cash)
7. Standard trading terms

Chartered Magazine article

Chartered Magazine, in their April 2014 edition ran an article on the Australian Benchmark Initiative.   That article can be downloaded here.