Published 31. August 2017
How is it possible to quantify the benefits achieved by making considerable investments in ERP technology roadmaps? And how can the functionalities of S/4 Hana be put to optimal use?
Latest generation ERP systems such as SAP S/4 Hana Finance are regarded as technological drivers of financial transformation and digitisation. A large number of CFOs consider new ERP technologies to be a substantial part of their digital transformation, and a basic prerequisite for big data and the key technologies of the future. In practice, this potential is not yet realised or is only partially taken advantage of, despite extensive investments in some cases. As in the past, many companies still have heterogeneous process and system landscapes, resulting in non-standardised master data and value flows in the financial function. The investments made in ERP technologies therefore do not contribute to the successful implementation of a company’s digitisation strategy.
Nevertheless, there is a need to take action. Given the rise in what is demanded and expected of the financial function, for many companies “doing nothing” does not represent a viable alternative.
There are numerous expectations placed on the digitisation of the financial function. For example:
- Improved reporting and a need for greater integration of accounting and controlling in order to achieve better transparency and controllability
- Meeting efficiency requirements and the target of reducing manual, non value-creating activities (e.g. manual data extraction, preparation and analysis)
- Shortening and improvement of account closure and planning processes
- Implementation of new, complex regulatory requirements (e.g. IFRS 9, 15, 16)
- The anticipation that new, forward-looking technological developments will be introduced in reporting (SAP Digital Boardroom), data analysis (predictive analytics) and automation (robotics and artificial intelligence)