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SAP Drives Innovation in Continuous Accounting

March 21, 2017 by SAP News

WALLDORF SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced the availability of a new research study that explores the concept of continuous accounting and how technology can serve as a catalyst for change.

Continuous accounting is a paradigm shift in the approach to the financial close and period-end reporting. Organizations can now use modern applications to move from batch mode to live accounting processes that mirror how an organization actually runs. Authored by Ventana Research and sponsored by SAP, the study coincides with the recent release of financial consolidation functionality in SAP S/4HANA using the SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation application.

Ventana Research coined the term “continuous accounting” to describe how recent advances in information technology can help finance organizations to fundamentally restructure their departmental operations to transform their function. According to the study, “The continuous accounting approach integrates people, processes, information and technology to achieve a transformation of the finance function and its corporate role,” and it is based on three principles:

  • Use of technology to distribute departmental workloads continuously across accounting periods
  • Support for continuous, end-to-end process management to enhance efficiency and increase data integrity
  • Adoption of a continuous improvement approach to overcome inertia and the “we’ve always done it this way” mind-set common among finance staff

Click here to download a copy of the continuous accounting study.

New functionality from SAP will help enable continuous accounting by allowing customers to run a financial consolidation directly on transactional data in the SAP S/4HANA instance with the consolidation functionality of SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation. This eliminates the need for time-consuming reconciliation processes and data inconsistencies and allows customers to “soft close” and act on information before the end of the period to impact results. Combined with real-time planning capabilities, customers have one financial management system for planning, financial consolidation and transactions, improving business agility and lowering total cost of ownership. Other vendors’ planning or consolidation applications require extracting and replicating data outside of SAP S/4HANA. This results in increased maintenance, potential errors, and the inability to plan or consolidate directly on live SAP S/4HANA transactional data.

SAP enables customers to implement new processes to distribute workloads throughout the period, making the period-end process less cumbersome. SAP makes continuous accounting possible by supporting a soft close and the ability to account continuously without having to wait for period end to identify and correct issues, resulting in better operational decisions. The ability to review data earlier can reduce the hours spent by finance and accounting departments at period end.

For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews and @sapfinance.

Media Contact:

Dana Dye, +1 (415) 928-1310, dana.dye@sap.com, PT

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