SAP is establishing a new cross-functional unit bringing together the people, ecosystem partners, integrated product portfolio and best practices specifically designed to help CFOs drive business performance, manage risk and optimize the financial value chain. SAP also today announced that it is extending its integrated portfolio of solutions for the CFO with the availability of the SAP® Business Profitability Management application by Acorn and SAP® GRC Risk Management. (See today’s related press release, titled “SAP Extends Portfolio of Solutions for the CFO; Signs Global Reseller Agreement with Acorn Systems for Profitability Management Software.”) The announcement was made at SAPPHIRE® ’07, SAP’s international customer conference, being held in Atlanta, Georgia, April 22 – 25, 2007.
In today’s highly regulated environment, CFOs are increasingly pressured by governance, risk and compliance concerns while at the same time needing to drive business performance, predictability and stakeholder confidence. The current approach to serving the office of the CFO is marked by two sets of problems: highly fragmented business processes and systems that compound the cost of managing governance, risk and compliance (GRC); and little or no investment in identifying and mapping out a phased approach to comprehensive financial GRC management and corporate performance management (CPM).
Within this context, the role of CFO has moved from corporate controller to having a strategic role in managing business performance and profitability and providing critical information and analysis for business decision-making. CFOs want to transform the finance function from its traditional transaction processing and reporting role to that of a strategic advisor to the business. As part of this transformation, CFOs must improve efficiencies around finance processes, freeing time and resources to focus on higher value-added activities, influence and manage business performance and support growth strategies – while also strengthening process controls, minimizing risks for the company and meeting regulatory and compliance requirements.
The CFO has been a key focus for SAP throughout the company’s 35-year history. The new cross-functional unit builds upon SAP’s multi-year commitment to holistically address organizations’ expanded business, financial and regulatory requirements via a comprehensive and integrated portfolio of SAP and partner solutions. Through this build/partner approach, supplemented by strategic tuck-in acquisitions, SAP has enabled CFOs to benefit from the most comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) and organizational performance solution spanning CPM, financial value chain optimization and integrated GRC. Working together, SAP experts and CFOs around the world have helped shape the role of business applications to meet the evolving and increasingly demanding requirements of the finance function. The cross-functional unit focused on the CFO will take strategic guidance and input from the many CFOs that work with SAP, tapping experts within the market, regulatory bodies and industry groups, and the rich expertise of SAP partners to continue to shape and drive financial transformation.
“The role of CFO has become more complex and its challenges have multiplied, especially as the bar has been raised on corporate governance, risk management and compliance,” said Lee Dittmar, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “As they strive to meet the demands of boards, the management team, analysts, investors, the media and employees, CFOs play the multiple roles of steward, operator, strategist and catalyst. Technology is central to effectiveness and efficiency in each of these important roles. SAP’s focus on the CFO is consistent with the views of the Deloitte member firm consulting practices. They see CFOs increasingly taking a leadership role in aligning IT projects, priorities and processes with business priorities and, with increased pressure to deliver value, CFOs are expecting more from their technology assets and investments.”
SAP GRC Risk Management
SAP solutions for GRC promote business viability by unifying corporate strategy, control initiatives, and discovery of new business opportunities while mitigating losses. With SAP GRC Risk Management, CFO’s can manage risk in the context of corporate strategy and business performance, ultimately turning risk into a strategic asset and growth driver. SAP GRC Risk Management is a new application providing CFO’s with an integrated framework and consistent approach for enterprise risk management, helping companies manage key risk exposures and balance business opportunities proactively and predictably. CFOs can guide risk measurement and risk appetite planning, identify and analyze risks, balance the costs of risk avoidance with opportunities for growth, and continuously monitor risk over time. SAP is demonstrating its new SAP GRC Risk Management application at SAPPHIRE ’07 at the SAP Demo Station, number 1606 in the “GRC, Performance Management and E-Sourcing Village.”
“CFOs today face increasing pressure to manage risk and drive efficiencies while at the same time playing a strategic role in driving the performance and profitability of the business,” said Doug Merritt, corporate officer and member of the Executive Council, head of Business User Development, SAP AG. “This increasing pressure requires integrity and clear unification of the processes associated with financials, governance, risk and compliance, strategy and profitability management to support business decisions. Only SAP takes this holistic approach in helping customers integrate processes across the business and across functions.”
SAP Business Profitability Management by Acorn
SAP solutions for corporate performance management enable CFO customers to drive business performance and make timely business decisions. Further extending its corporate performance management suite, SAP today announced that it will resell Acorn System’s profitability management software as SAP® Business Profitability Management by Acorn. Profitability Management provides a crucial component of CPM solutions by providing visibility into the products and customers that deliver the highest value to organizations, thus helping steer companies through their financial transformation.
SAP customers will gain greater value from their existing IT investments by extending their integrated ERP business processes to encompass deep profitability management capabilities. CFOs can leverage their trusted foundation built on SAP® ERP with rich functionality for integrated business controls, risk, strategy and profitability management and strategic procurement.
Cross-Functional Unit Focused on the Office of the CFO
SAP’s new cross-functional unit takes an integrated approach to helping CFOs transform the finance function via four key components: People, Partners, Integrated Product Portfolio and Best Practices. SAP expanded the resources and people dedicated to topics around the CFO with the creation of SAP’s GRC business unit, and the company continues to recruit talent and partner with companies to offer deep expertise to customers. SAP delivers an integrated product portfolio with SAP ERP to optimize the financial value chain, SAP solutions for GRC to help customers achieve clear visibility across the business and SAP solutions for CPM for comprehensive decision support. This end-to-end suite for the CFO delivers the foundation for managing financials, mapping compliance and process controls and providing clear decision support.
SAP is driving co-innovation with a global network of enterprise software vendors, professional services companies and customers organized around the single purpose of conceiving, designing and ultimately delivering new solutions for the CFO. Additionally, SAP is at the forefront of driving and adopting industry standards to streamline financial value chain processes. Beyond technology, SAP will offer new best practices and implementation strategies. SAP has also created new seminars to be held during the SAP World Tour 2007, exclusively designed for CFOs.