Finance Transformation Roadmap: Operate with efficiency
By Jason Roling, Cloud Finance Solutions Architect and Finance Lead
Welcome to the first blog in the Finance Transformation Roadmap series – you can read the introduction to the series here.
This is the first of five blog instalments on how delaware’s Finance Transformation Roadmap can help you move your organisation towards becoming a ‘Best in Class’ business partner. We will explore three maturity waves: efficiency, effectiveness and value creation. Similar to a crawl, walk, run scenario for SAP where each customer is at a different stage of maturity, we will evaluate four main responsibility areas managed by the CFO. This will inspire you with a comprehensive set of approaches, tools and methodologies that will help you prepare your finance department for the future:
- Operate: finance operations with end-to-end processes, such as order to cash, procure to pay, record to report, travel and expense, treasury and tax management
- Analyse: management accounting processes, including activities around control structures, product costing, actual costing, profitability analysis and data analytics
- Steer: processes ranging from financial budgeting to value-driven S&OP planning, including financial and management reporting activities
- Comply: statutory and regulatory compliance processes and activities owned by finance.
Throughout this series, we will discuss the added value of each area and the considerations you need to make when evaluating its use in your financial department. These are proven solutions that have already been implemented and turned into best practices.
Bear in mind that you don’t need to approach finance imperatives in a fixed sequence. Consider your priorities and focus your attention wisely to processes needing the most improvement. At delaware, we go beyond concepts. We help you implement and customise them to suit your business needs, and we’ll train you to use them going forward. Your journey starts here.
Transforming financial transactional operations
Efficiency: For the last few decades, ERP systems have focused on integrating financial operations with logistics processes to boost finance department efficiencies. Your company’s logistics processes automatically and efficiently fill 90% of your accounting transactions in every domain. However, it’s no longer enough to close the books within the first few days of the next accounting period.Your company’s management team also relies on you to help them make instantaneous decisions. They want to be informed throughout the month on trends in sales, margins, production, and be able to accurately forecast P&L and working capital at the end of the month to take action in case of deviations.
Efficacy: Finance optimisation doesn’t stop with the basics. Your company’s management team wants accurate, real-time accounting data and KPIs. With SAP’s Universal Journal approach, continuous close functionality, and embedded analytics, you can make the shift from a fast close towards an environment where monthly activity is spread more evenly and analysis is immediate.
Value Creation: Robotic process automation (RPA) and Machine Learning (ML) can help your finance office create real value. This SAP software enables fully automated processing of cumbersome, high-volume, multi-application financial transactions. For example, automating the application of cash based on historical activity or matching goods receipts/invoice receipts with limited human intervention are two key use cases. SAP’s products have matured in this space and are becoming more deeply embedded in managing routine accounting activities.
Keep an eye out for the next instalment, where we move from focusing on Operate activities to look at Analyse responsibilities for your finance organisation.