Challenges faced by CFOs
The role of today’s CFO is fundamentally changing, with fluid economic and political situations and the technology leaps. CFOs are expected to deliver more than just passive control of numbers, revenues and expenditures. CFOs need to support growth strategies of the organization and need to be agile in taking decisions. CFOs don’t have access to real-time information to be able to simulate business scenarios to make informed decisions, while managing risks and compliance.
ERPs are complex; finance users struggle with planning and forecasting process, which are time-consuming; closing cycle; data reconciliation; and availability of real-time reports and analytics. To survive in the competitive world, there is an acute need to change how finance processes are run, as well as the way information is delivered to the business.
To overcome these challenges, SAP provides an innovative approach to solve problems of financial operations by re-building its solution, by taking advantage of the power of HANA, which is called as S/4HANA Finance. This, in-turn, is making finance operations simple and more responsive to the business needs. It provides endless opportunities to renew, reimagine and reinvent business processes and transform the company’s financial processes into a constructive journey.
Below are the prime objectives of CFOs and how S/4HANA can help to achieve these objectives in an agile manner –
Support Corporate Growth
Organizations expect CFOs to support them in driving growth strategies either organic or inorganic growth. Decisions to expand business in various geographies, mergers and acquisitions play an important role in growth strategies.
S/4HANA provides real time financial reporting eliminating time consuming reconciliation process resulting into quick closing cycles. This is supported by analytical dashboards with simulations. This can help CFOs to take such strategic decisions with accuracy and agility.
Financial Planning, Data processing and analysis
Proper financial planning and availability of financial data for profitable growth is another strategic objective for organic growth. Financial planning need to be aligned with the growth strategies of the organization. Financial data needs to be analyzed to explore new products, markets, channels, etc.
S/4HANA with embedded BPC solution for planning provides flexibility, agility and accuracy in planning process, since it’s available in the enterprise core system. This avoids time-consuming data loads and data reconciliation issues. Past years’ actuals are available on the fly for making future plans.
Due to Hybrid transaction processing and analytical capability financial data can be churned easily to simulate various growth strategies and make an informed decision. Various KPIs can be monitored through a role-based analytical FIORI applications, dashboards in real- time.
Gaining Competitive Advantage
CFOs want to look at regulatory changes and changing domestic and international economic conditions, positively. They look at it as an opportunity to drive competitive advantage. This is possible with the support of technology. Digital and mobile technologies can help making right decisions.
S/4HANA is an innovation platform, which can help CFOs to reimagine and reinvent their processes, thereby bringing agility in decision making. Holistically managing cash flows and liquidity forecast, is possible with an enhanced cash management solution. This can help finance to manage their treasury decisions to convert it into a profit center, while taking care of internal liquidity requirements.
Agility and Accuracy of Financial Information for decision making
An ongoing concern for CFOs, is lack of agility in getting financial reporting and manual efforts required in data reconciliation, and some of the closing activities. This, in turn, results in inaccurate data.
With S/4HANA, financial reports will be available in real-time due to the simplification in data models & user interface. Universal Journal functionality brings in simplicity and flexibility, by storing data in a single table, which helps to slice and dice the data very easily. It is also easy to add new or custom dimension in this table. This makes reporting at multiple dimensions like segment, profit center, or any other custom dimension, simple and real-time. Account-based CO-PA has simplified Profitability Analysis drastically, since it is generated from finance tables, and there is no need for reconciliation.
In a nutshell, following are the key benefits –
- No need for reconciliation efforts
- No need for long running batch jobs
- Fast allocation process
- Fast financial closing
- Real-time Reporting due to simplified data model
- Analytical KPI Reporting for fast decision making
- Risk and Compliance
CFOs realise that managing evolving technology is not just about streamlining operations, but is now also essential for managing fraud detection, regulation and compliance. There are internal and external risks that need to be managed. Compliance requirements are becoming stringent globally and require systematic approach.
S/4HANA provides a comprehensive solution for risk, fraud management and compliance reporting though Governance Risk and Control. Internal risks like access control, process control, and fraud detection can be managed through the system. External risks like environmental risks, economic risks, etc. can also be managed through this solution. It also provides comprehensive solution for Audit Management.
Winning corporates will be those who can overcome economic uncertainty and use financial data for growth and to exploit new opportunities. They need to be able to embrace change, champion new technologies to support growth and efficiency, and act as trusted advisor to the board – whilst overseeing the job of managing cost and profitability. CFOs need to be a multi-tasker; S/4HANA provides the platform and tools, and assists the CFOs to make the right decisions.
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