If you use a custom uploader (CU) for entering financial data into SAP, you may think you’re completely bypassing the tedious manual steps SAP imposes. While a CU does streamline data entry to some extent, most of them stop short of automating the process. In this blog, we’ll look at six signs that it’s time to retire your CU, as well as more flexible alternatives that leave more time for critical financial analysis and support faster decisions.
Organizations go to great lengths to implement enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like Oracle, SAP and PeopleSoft for good reasons. These systems support data centralization and eliminate islands of information caused by software applications that don’t communicate. Despite their overall benefits, many users find ERP systems rigid and difficult to adapt to certain workflows and business processes.
At Financials 2017, the March conference organized by SAPInsider for organizations that use SAP for financial processes, there was continued curiosity―and hesitance― about new solutions like S/4HANA. During the Las Vegas event, we also heard lots from attendees about challenges with nuts-and-bolts financial processes in SAP like reporting and uploading budget data and journal entries.
SAP started delivering financial planning functionality through its Controlling Module (CO) in the early 1980s, so you may wonder why planning processes are still so painful in the SAP environment. You may also question why this huge ERP investment has limited your ability for more frequent planning, like rolling forecasts. In the end, an alternative planning tool may seem like the answer, but is it?
Without accurate journal entries, your general ledger (GL) can have errors that prevent you from getting a clear picture of your company’s financial performance. Ultimately, journal errors can result in inaccurate financial statements and reports, as GL balances will contain either over- or understated revenue, expenses, assets, liabilities, equity or a combination of all.
Even when organizations have business intelligence (BI) solutions and ERP reporting tools like those from SAP or Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS), they often turn to Microsoft Excel for reporting and analysis because it’s easy and flexible.
As 2016 comes to an end and the books close on December 31, accountants and financial analysts know what’s on the menu first for 2017: the annual year-end closing period and audit. Whether your company is public or private, the year-end closing process can be stressful, lengthy and downright messy, especially if the wrong information systems are at the table.
If your company is like most, the July through September timeframe is when you put together next year’s annual budget. This annual budget can function as an effective means for spending control. However, as “The Planning Survey 14” from BARC describes, annual budgets are nearly outdated by the time the yearly planning cycle is over, rendering them ineffective as a performance management tool. This means most companies really need rolling forecasts to update their budget data throughout the year in monthly or quarterly intervals.
At an auditor’s recommendation, your company may have been asked to better manage its spreadsheets. It may have even learned the hard way how spreadsheets can be dangerous. The risks are not unfounded. According to sources, more than 90 percent of spreadsheets contain errors, yet more than 90 percent of spreadsheet users are confident their spreadsheets are error-free.
This was our fifth year participating at SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference, the largest global business technology event, and being part of the daily conversations in terms of addressing the current challenges and future opportunities for SAP users.