Finance transformation is now a business imperative. In recent years, technological disruption and subdued growth have highlighted the requirement for agile, forward-looking, and decision-centric finance organizations in enterprises. The widespread economic turmoil caused by COVID-19 has made this need even more urgent.
Fortunately, the response to this imperative is clear. By analyzing the huge volumes of data flowing across enterprise ERP systems, CFOs and their teams can arm their business with the insights it needs to make the right decisions. But to do this effectively, finance needs to be empowered with agile information technologies and solutions.
Unify your data with SAP Central Finance
SAP® Central Finance underpins finance transformation through a unified, global reporting structure. The solution brings together master data, reporting attributes, and organizational entities in upstream systems to a single reporting structure that includes general ledger account, profit center, cost center, and more.
By combing all finance data in a single source of truth, SAP Central Finance enhances finance’s analytics capabilities and provides a platform for improved decision-making and strategic planning.
SAP Central Finance is a powerful solution for finance teams looking to transform their capabilities. Reducing the time needed to close books, driving process efficiency and harmonizing data to improve organizational decision-making, Central Finance can empower finance teams and help them steer their business through todays’ unprecedented economic challenges.
5 steps to success
Through our experience of helping clients transform their finance function with SAP technologies, we have distilled five key best practices for successful implementations of SAP Central Finance.
1. Perform upfront analysis of configuration. Given the high level of alignment of the Central Finance configuration required with the source systems, it’s important to conduct an upfront analysis of existing configuration and master data settings as early as possible, establish standards and manage the process through a configuration governance council.
2. Establish effective master data and replication governance. Before you test, determine your master data conversion strategy. Apply governance procedures to all finance master data being replicated centrally and maintain master data centrally and replicate it in both the source and Central Finance. Do not allow source systems to update master data.
3. Anticipate issues with your initial load. Make sure you schedule enough initial load cycles for testing. Use production-quality data for tests and practice reconciliation and the posting of adjusted entries.
4. Communicate effectively to resolve errors. Manage errors with a dedicated team. Communicate with finance users regularly as you will likely have to accrue for outstanding errors and adjust and reconcile, something that requires close collaboration between IT and Finance.
5. Monitor for errors, reconciliations, and accrual postings. Robust governance processes can only do so much, and there will still be some errors in reconciliations and accruals at month end. These need to be monitored closely and status updates should be sent daily, with a close eye on reporting.
For more information on how you can best drive finance transformation and implement SAP Central Finance in your organization, visit our website.
A special thanks to my colleague Tony Rogan for his expertise and insights in preparing the above blog post.
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