Often lost amidst the talk about making SAP financial processes more efficient are the struggles enterprises face around journal entries. Most of the attention is focused on accounts receivable and accounts payable invoicing and the challenges they present. While those are critically important, many customers are looking for help with general ledger journal entries.
Journal entries present SAP customers with a set of unique problems that are often difficult to address due to either entrenched internal approval processes, or the requirements of accounting timelines that don’t change despite the increasing volume of data being managed. General ledger journal entries frequently require complex workflows for routing and approval, prior to posting. For many companies, this collection, routing, and management is accomplished with spreadsheet files living in a shared drive or attached to multiple emails. This approach, by nature, is error prone and unsustainable.
Combine these challenges with other bottlenecks that impede the process, and the struggles with journal entries are as much of a problem for enterprise finance organizations as invoicing. These bottlenecks include:
- Consolidating financial data from multiple systems of record: Some SAP customers are manually consolidating and re-uploading data from many different ERP systems (in one example, over 40) to create consolidated reports from a single SAP instance.
- Overwhelming volume of journal entries during period close: Imagine the effort it takes to post 20,000 journal entries in less than four days in order to close the books every month.
- Suboptimal processes: Highly trained professionals spending days or weeks at a time manually entering journal entries into the SAP system reduces the time available for higher-value work. Manual processes are slow and error prone, and they can be expensive and often the root cause of audit failures.
For enterprise finance organizations, fixing the problems around journal entries is not as straightforward as it might seem. Many companies want solutions that:
- Are nondisruptive, allowing continued work in spreadsheets
- Include centralized workflow management for multi-level review and approval tracking
- Can scale and grow as their data needs increase or change
- Eliminate as much manual data input as possible
- Are not reliant on IT for basic or simple changes such as routing and approval levels
The first step to address the challenges in the SAP general ledger journal entry process is understanding the complex relationship between the issues that companies face and the features they want in a solution. When you can match those dueling sets of criteria, you understand that it is possible for even giant global enterprises to regain control over their SAP general ledger.
Today, Winshuttle is helping some of the largest companies in the world manage journal entry struggles that previously seemed insurmountable. By delivering a business-focused, spreadsheet-based workflow solution that features deep integration with SAP software, we are enabling them to eliminate manual data entry errors, track and manage multi-level review and approval processes faster, and better utilize their SAP systems. Winshuttle offers Enterprise Journal Entry solutions as part of a comprehensive SAP data management platform. For more information, visit winshuttle.com/finance.