“May you live in interesting times.” This ironic expression accurately conjures the current turbulent political atmosphere, both in Europe and the United States. For example, the process of Brexit has only just begun, and its consequences are just now becoming apparent. This turbulence is felt not only in our personal lives, but also in the corporate world where companies need fast, accurate business data to adapt as best as possible to the consequences of political outcomes.
At Collaborate17, we heard about a number of exciting improvements to PeopleSoft from the Quest International Users Group that are gaining traction with users. Collaborate demonstrated Oracle’s continued commitment to improving the PeopleSoft user experience in terms of functionality and delivery as we describe here, but there remains room for improvement in the reporting realm where the nVision tool falls short in its overall usability.
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.
As a former financial analyst and current Microsoft Certified trainer, I’ve watched Microsoft Excel undergo a myriad of changes since its introduction in the mid-1980s. When I’m approached about how to solve a particular problem in Excel, I’m happy to tell people that the Microsoft development team has a renewed emphasis on creating new calculation functions that can help them simplify formulas and be more efficient.
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 budgetary planning process hasn’t evolved over time, you may still be working with a manual, time-intensive process each year that inspires resignation and dread from planners and line managers alike. To adjust for accelerating technological and market forces, you may want to transform this yearly low-return exercise into a rolling forecast that truly helps your company effectively plan and measure performance.
The recent SAP TechEd conference in Las Vegas once again provided an excellent opportunity to hear from SAP developers about the technical direction of their software offerings, as well as from SAP users and partners.