NAIROBI, Kenya — Managing and leveraging information has become a vital competitive tool for the success and sustainability of any business. Businesses burn up significant resources in order to manage information, to cope with the impacts of complicated regulatory requirements and globalisation. The Chief Financial Officer and members of the Finance team play a major role in this time of change, as they are responsible for collecting, processing and the reporting on business-critical information for the entire organisation. When it comes to innovation, it has not been easy to simplify and optimise the finance processes mainly due to the multipurpose nature of the fundamental processes and policies involved, but also for the reason that analytical tools and systems have been limited in their technical capabilities and did not always provide users with the means to keep up with changing market needs.
SAP Simple Finance, the result of a close collaboration between SAP and customers to identify the most complex functions and tasks in finance and make them simpler, is a major step forward in transforming finance. It brings the simplicity of the SAP Cloud to finance departments worldwide. SAP Simple Finance delivers real-time insights to CFOs and finance departments to help them model different financial scenarios, so they can stay abreast of rapidly changing market conditions and deliver strategic outcomes to the business.
Speaking at the Financial Transformation event held in Nairobi, Merlin Knott, Director of Business Analytics at SAP Africa said “SAP software has often been regarded as being robust, functionally rich yet inflexible. Related to this are specific issues identified by our customers, the need to simplify the complexity of our solutions, flexibility in the way they interact with their data, suppliers and customers and empowering their own workforce. These issues are real and SAP is addressing each of these areas in our new approach, to help businesses Run Simple,” he added
The main innovations for driving simplicity in the finance industry are:
Integrated business planning and analysis
Unified models cut out discrepancies in enterprise-wide financial planning and reporting scenarios, the estimated potential value of this innovation that allows financial systems to provide a forward looking view into both the operational and the financial performance is a 76% higher operating margin.
Speedy inter-company reconciliations
A single, unified general ledger automatically achieves inter-company reconciliations – cutting out tedious and time-consuming long-running transactions and batch processes, enabling unlimited simulations and predictive analysis to enhance a company’s ability to plan and stay ahead of the competition.
Minimisation of cash management risks
New cash management capabilities enable global bank balances and cash positions to be analysed based on real-time connections to banks and other institutions rather than outdated or manually updated spreadsheets.
A common information source
A common data source for all transactions and analytics; and regulatory and managerial accounting processes eliminates duplication and the costs and risks associated with running multiple, separate systems and documents – a simpler way of doing things and a significant enabler for achieving a true, real time enterprise
A reduced data footprint and increased throughput
Now, Information Technology departments can drive massive simplification using the capabilities of SAP HANA. Removing data redundancies and pre-generated aggregates simplifies the overall system, minimises the potential for errors and allows customers to respond to change faster and more consistently across the organisation.
For companies in Africa, the benefits of simpler and more efficient finance solutions, such as SAP Simple Finance are translated into simpler code bases eliminating the need to write additional and unnecessary reports or customising of the code, a simpler user interface that operates across desktops and mobile devices, as well as simple implementation wizard-like tools built into the application to guide and configure applications for the end-user.
“These integrated solutions drive agility and flexibility in business helping CFOs to accelerate the transformation of finance and deliver strategic outcomes to the business. They can now augment their strategic role in driving business performance with efficient, manageable and real-time analytics and planning capabilities,” concludes Knott.
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 253,500 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com/africa/.
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