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.
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.
Like many companies that rely on the SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, Aigle ― and the company’s Hong Kong office in particular ― was concerned that reporting from SAP is time consuming and difficult.
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.
Business Intelligence (BI) projects can be lengthy, complex, costly and even risky. One of the top reasons such initiatives fail, according to a recent Business Intelligence Solutions Review, is user acceptance, because even the best analytics solutions still require skills some users don’t have.
It’s no secret that many finance users find standard ERP reporting tools difficult to use. Because of the complexity of data structures in systems like SAP and Oracle, these users often find themselves dependent on IT or consulting resources to create reports ― or waiting on lengthy downloads of static information from a warehouse to where it’s formatted and analyzed, which is usually in Microsoft Excel.