Case Study

 

ConAgra Foods Saves Time with Automated Financial Entry Uploads

by Dave Hannon | insiderPROFILES

January 1, 2011

ConAgra Foods, a food giant with brands found in 97% of America’s households, has an incredibly busy finance department that is always looking for ways to save time and money. Learn how the finance team improved its financial system’s flexibility and streamlined its process for uploading financial journal entries to SAP ERP Financials by using an automated tool to post these entries.
 

When ConAgra Foods migrated its business data from its existing financial system to SAP ERP Financials, it identified some areas it needed to address. One of these areas was the ability to electronically upload journal entries from a spreadsheet tool into SAP ERP Financials. “This was a must-do for us when we implemented SAP ERP Financials,” says Ken Meyer, Manager of Finance at ConAgra Foods.

ConAgra Foods’ prior ERP system had a feature that allowed for electronically uploading journal entries, and the company was looking for a solution with a familiar interface, preferably with a Microsoft Excel front end. In Z Option’s GLSU, ConAgra Foods found a solution that not only solved the current problem, but actually improved the finance team’s flexibility and streamlined the process for uploading financial journal entries.

“We have four primary GLSU templates for our 300 users so they don’t have to manipulate or make any changes,” says Meyer. In fact, ConAgra Foods’ finance users can change these GLSU templates themselves without relying on the IT organization, and the finance department designed the templates to look similar to those used in its previous financial system.  

“It’s the best of both worlds. We get the functionality of SAP software and the user-friendliness of the Microsoft Excel front end.”
— Ken Meyer, Manager of Finance, ConAgra Foods
 

“Having the new templates resemble our previous system made it a lot easier for users to get up to speed more quickly,” says Teri Gann, Finance Team Lead at ConAgra Foods. The timing worked out well also, as the company included the GLSU training in the SAP training program for the appropriate users.

Today, the finance team routinely uploads GLSU journal entries into SAP ERP Financials and says it’s a significant time-saver compared to inputting that data directly. By keeping the journal entry and its supporting documents in a spreadsheet format, the team can electronically save the information in a repository as part of a validation process and for those who can’t access the financial system.

Perhaps the feature within GLSU that impressed the finance team the most is its ability to attach supporting documentation to general ledger entries in SAP ERP Financials. “There’s a tab with each entry for backup data so anyone in the system can see the backup data that was used to make the entry,” says Shirley Kawula, Senior Business Analyst for IT at ConAgra Foods.

“It’s sort of the best of both worlds,” says Meyer. “We get the functionality of SAP software and the user-friendliness of the Microsoft Excel front end.”

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