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.
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 However, as “The Planning Survey 14” from BARC describes, annual budgets are nearly outdated by the time the yearly planning cycle is over, rendering them ineffective as a performance management tool.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.
As the national library of the United Kingdom, The British Library is the world’s largest by number of items catalogued. Boasting more than 1.6 million visitors yearly, the Library places great emphasis on technological changes, according to Stewart Starr, Management Accounts Assistant for the Library,
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.
Accurate and timely Cost Center reporting is essential for tracking expenses, understanding which parts of the business are contributing to revenue growth, and improving operational efficiencies to ultimately maximize profits.
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.
User interfaces for ERP reporting tools are most often built with IT staff in mind – not the end user. In a recent survey of ERP user satisfaction, almost half of the approximately 1,500 respondents said they needed easier access to information, with 35% indicating that access to information takes too long. For users of Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS), data access is about to get a bit more difficult now that the company has phased out the Oracle Discoverer product, which many customers had used for reporting.