SAP S/4HANA is a next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that offers a wide range of benefits for businesses of all sizes. With its simplified data structure, powerful analytics capabilities, and enhanced user experience, SAP S/4HANA can help businesses of all sizes with a variety of industry-specific processes and capabilities across various functions. Still, making the case to invest or upgrade should be approached with intent. In this piece, we outline four compelling reasons you should use in discussions with the CFO to support the case for an upgrade to S/4HANA. As you can imagine, you can start with the WIFM (what’s in it for me) in highlighting the features of the Finance module.
1. Real-time reporting for revenue and cost elements
Perhaps most critical of all the S/4HANA Finance benefits is the capacity of the technology to support a soft financial close or (essentially) real-time reporting for revenue and cost elements. In fact, this technology delivers a 40% improvement over ECC. This real-time reporting, automatic reconciliation and elimination of batch processes enables faster and responsive decision making and automatically provides multidimensional P&L reporting.
In a recent survey of senior finance executives conducted by CFO Research, 83% agree that demand for ad-hoc decision support and analysis from finance is likely to increase. In addition, 93% agree that improving the speed of the business analysis would provide substantial business benefit. SAPS/4HANA benchmarks measure 90% faster automatic revenue reconciliation and 70% faster ad-hoc requests against balance sheet and P&L when compared to ECC1.
2. Simple, role-based, integrated mobile experience
S/4HANA Finance also provides embedded analytics for on-the-go viewing by leveraging Fact Sheets and Dashboards. By integrating with SAP Fiori finance executives will finally have a simple, role-based, integrated mobile experience. The visualization capabilities of SAP Lumira significantly enhances the user experience of the finance executive. Consider the implications to mid-sized life sciences or consumer products companies if they could access real-time cash flow and liquidity planning metrics from their mobile phone. That would make conversations with bankers, auditors, and regulators seamless.
3. Replacing manual reconciliation with real-time, harmonized data
We all know that SAP ECC is not ideal for cross-module reporting. It’s challenging today. The only solution was expensive custom development or a separate Business Warehouse function. All of that goes away with the Central Journal in SAP S/4HANA. All data fields related to a journal entry can be viewed in real-time. Finance and Controlling data are harmonized automatically and without manual reconciliation.
4. Integrated security features
SAP S/4HANA offers several advantages for data security, primarily due to its integrated architecture security features. Its real-time data encryption, role-based access controls, and audit logging enhance data protection by safeguarding sensitive pharmaceutical and patient information. The platform’s ability to centralize data in a single, unified system also simplifies data governance and reduces potential vulnerabilities associated with data fragmentation. Additionally, S/4HANA includes tools for data anonymization, masking, and auditing, ensuring compliance with stringent data privacy regulations while offering pharmaceutical companies a robust foundation for maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of critical data throughout their operations.
Making the Case
I imagine you will have your Chief Financial Officer’s attention if you covered these highlighted efficiency and productivity gains for his team, but that’s obviously not all SAP S/4HANA will do for your organization. It’s also critical for any software implementation to be aligned to your corporate strategy. Even the many efficiencies that a technology upgrade could bring to your organization, it’s not money well spent if it’s not driving to your business goals.
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