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The insideEdge (SAPinsider Vol. 2, Iss. 4)

by Hans-Dieter Scheuermann | SAPinsider

October 1, 2001

by Hans-Dieter Scheuermann, Senior Vice President, mySAP Financials SAPinsider - 2001 (Volume 2), October (Issue 4)

     In the new world of e-business, as each corporate function goes "e," should Finance follow suit? The answer is indisputably "yes." Your sales, marketing, and product teams are already embracing e-business strategies to help your company run leaner, smarter, and faster - and so too must your finance organization.

     Consider that on average, inefficient processes can rack up 60 percent of a finance department's overall costs:

  • Most large companies struggle to reach a fast "close," plagued at period end with clumsy batch processing and extensive manual reconciliation across diverse, non-integrated systems. Today, via automated processes and seamless systems integration, we can deliver that close 35 to 80 percent faster and in a much more efficient way.

  • By eliminating manual collection and processing of bills through Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP), you can save millions of dollars, reduce DSO (Days Sales Outstanding), and improve customer relationships. On the opposite end of your financial supply chain, Internet-driven financing, payment and settlement processes - for example, through a centralized "payment factory" - also stand to save your company millions of dollars, allow you to gain attractive trade finance terms (like Orbian credits), and improve collaborative processes with your corporate business partners and banks.

     But introducing cost-saving and working-capital reduction efficiencies into your financial supply chain is only a small part of the overall benefits picture. Systems integration across a heterogeneous business ecosystem confers far more strategic benefits. Accounting functions can synch up with financial transactions - and with CRM, HR, Manufacturing, and Supply Chain activities - in real time. Add a robust layer of data collection, analytic functions, and simulation above this layer of integration, and you gain an unprecedented 360-degree view of your financial and overall business situation, which can be leveraged for:

  • Better target setting and action planning
  • More accurate forecasting, auditing, and performance reporting
  • Better alignment of R&D, logistics, manufacturing, marketing, and sales activities with your financial and strategic goals
  • More timely, accurate communication with stakeholders and analysts
  • Real closed-loop strategic planning (SEM)

     Market conditions dictate that it is time to reinvent your company's financial functions for an e-business economy. Clearly, the approach must be evolutionary, not revolutionary; inclusive, not proprietary. This is precisely what we offer with mySAP Financials, a solution that integrates our proven FI/CO functions with new e-finance and analytic functions. It runs with other business applications - not just with SAP systems, and not just in-house systems, but with heterogeneous systems throughout your entire business ecosystem.

     The e-business world is here, and your financial solutions must be extended accordingly. No viable enterprise can afford the status quo.

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