If you are wondering about the hype around S/4HANA® – you are not alone. As my colleague Sham Karim pointed out in his post last month about S4/HANA Wait or Full Steam Ahead there is a lot of debate among IT professionals in the consumer products and life sciences industries on this topic. In an effort to deliver some new thoughts for deliberation, I have prepared three 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.
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. Stay tuned to our blog series as we highlight key benefits and drawbacks of the platform and what it might mean for your organization. Don’t forget, my colleague Sham mentioned in our last post that it’s 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.