Exploring the value-add of advanced technology for your finance organisation

Apr 02, 2020
  • finance
  • Microsoft

As a CFO, you hear a lot about how new technologies like the next-gen ERP systems which have the potential to revolutionise your job. Yet, how exactly can these new technologies help you improve your finance processes and add value to your company? Our finance experts follow a proven approach to help you build your business case, demonstrate the value of the technology to the finance team and unveil the opportunities for process digitisation.

While the benefits of new technology like SAP S/4HANA and MS Dynamics 365 are real, they differ greatly from company to company and from business to business. So, before embarking upon your digital transformation journey, it is crucial to first identify the added value that you want to achieve and map out how adopting the new technology helps you reach your business goals. 

Identifying the value-add

Finance process optimisation can offer a host of benefits across your organisation. While many companies mainly think about added value in terms of increased efficiency or process optimisation, advanced technology also helps improve the user experience and can take finance and controlling to the next level.

Benefits can be classified into the following fields:

  • Optimising processes: Introducing standardised processes and new technology that drives productivity, helps boost the effectiveness of business processes and makes your business smarter.
  • Automating processes: Today’s technology, such as analytics that ensure real-time insights, machine learning, artificial intelligence and collaboration tools, converts manual process into automated processes. In addition, new functionalities and modules become available. 
  • Next-level finance/controlling: Every organisation is subject to change, as is its business model. The introduction of new technology is a good moment to reflect on existing finance and controlling models. Both SAP and MS software take (integrated) controlling to new levels, with significant potential to increase business value while reducing (reconciliation) efforts. 
  • Ensuring an effortless user experience: Next-gen ERP systems are designed to align with the new way of working, centered around simplicity and embedded analytics, all in a persona-based way. They make day-to-day operations easier for all users. 

Three steps to building your business case

Based on many years of experience with finance processes and deep-rooted familiarity with SAP and Microsoft technology, Delaware’s finance experts have developed a pragmatic approach to help you understand how SAP S/4HANA or MS 365 can change the way you operate. 

In this business optimisation journey, Delaware pinpoints the constraints of your existing ERP system and identifies and prioritizes opportunities within your existing as well as your future business processes. To achieve the required insights, we

  • assess your business performance 
  • perform a root-cause analysis, specifying what processes you could improve in order to generate business value 
  • map your existing applications and their functionalities against SAP S/4HANA and MS 365 
  • perform a cost/benefit analysis 

This exercise follows a three-phase approach: discover, capture and orient. During each phase, delaware considers the process domains that impact or are impacted by the finance organisation. In this way, we can reveal the potential to synchronize benefits across different (end-to-end) processes: 

  1. Discover: The ‘discover’ phase focuses on understanding your business objectives and activities, your organisation and the ambition of the CFO office. We use delaware’s ‘Finance digital transformation roadmap’ and a process heatmap based on a Process Classification Framework (PFC) to collect this information. The goal of the ‘discover’ phase is to functionally define the scope of the transformation for each of the finance business domains, including an overview of possible areas for improvement –which will then be discussed in more detail in the ‘capture’ phase. 
  2. Capture: In the ‘capture’ phase, we dive deeper into the pain points, comparing these with previously defined opportunities, process efficiency gains and ambitions. Where possible, this step is underpinned with data.
  3. Orient: During the ‘orient’ phase, we identify how to embrace business optimization opportunities (people – process – systems – organisation) and document how new technology can help to achieve them. 

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