By Neil Krefsky, Sr. Director, Product Marketing, SAP Finance LoB
It’s a safe bet that tomorrow’s finance leaders will be applying a familiar skill set in response to the ongoing need to:
- Source capital at optimal cost
- Manage an increasing barrage of compliance requirements
- Provide ever more transparent reporting and forward-looking disclosure
However, how these leaders will truly enable strategic direction and profitable growth remains an open question. In fact, in a recent study indicates that 76% of finance executives have a growing need to work more closely with their companies’ operational units to guide the business.  How can you meet this need?
Translate data into analysis
A new business case by SAP, Run Finance a Simpler Way, focuses on the changing role of finance and the steps you need to employ to succeed. The findings from this research confirm that advances in information technology are enabling CFOs to provide significantly more financial data and information much faster to other line-of-business decision makers. But there is still a major gap in how to effectively translate the data into analysis so those outside of the finance function can understand and use it in a meaningful way. The study shows that:
- More than 60% of respondents say their information systems are largely “self-service” and that managers can get the financial and performance data they need on their own
- Nearly an equal number of respondents indicate that line-of-business managers have difficulty using the information systems to identify and understand the data they need to make effective decisions
Finance has made great strides in rapidly providing more information to their line-of-business counterparts. But to truly become a strategic partner they must determine how to better integrate operational metrics with financial impacts, and interpret the data to develop insights that all decision makers can turn into action.
Evolve into a more strategic role
Fragmented systems, processes, and information can hinder finance’s ability to transform into an organization focused on delivering value. To effectively translate data into analysis, finance organizations must put in place best practices that enable financial excellence. They need solutions that help solve business challenges and accommodate finance’s shift to a service organization within the company. These capabilities exist today in the SAP Simple Finance solution.
How SAP Simple Finance drives value
As a leader in finance solutions for the last several decades, SAP worked closely with customers around the world to identify the most complex tasks in finance and make them simpler to consume and perform. The result is SAP Simple Finance. This global financial solution is powered by SAP HANA and offers a complete choice of deployment options including cloud, on-premise, and hybrid.
SAP Simple Finance combines the power of the leading financial management software from SAP with the real-time analytics of the SAP HANA platform. It has been designed to drive simplicity across all finance processes and users by enabling:
- Business partnership: Engage with the business to drive value leveraging instant prediction, analysis, and planning across financial and operational processes
- Operational excellence: Extend finance processes across business networks for optimal collaboration with customers, suppliers, banks, and government authorities
- Compliance and risk: Maintain global regulatory compliance and controls of accounting and tax standards, across currencies, languages, and industries
SAP Simple Finance radically simplifies and removes the complexity of finance processes. This simplification without disruption enables CFOs to accelerate their finance transformation to become a true value-based strategic partner to the entire business.
To learn more about the innovative solutions that can help simplify your finance processes and deliver strategic value to your business, please visit “Build a Business Case for SAP Simple Finance.”
 Source: CFO Publishing LLC, Shaping the Finance Function of Tomorrow, December 2013.