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EPM Thought Leadership

3 Key Findings from the Close Cycle Rankings 2016 You Need to Know

Posted by David Jones on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 @ 08:08 AM

Does Unilever breakthrough into the Global Top 10 for speed of year end reporting herald a dramatic shift in European reporting efficiency? Sadly not.

The summary report for our annual Close Cycle Ranking research has just been published. It contains research into Q4/Year End Financial Results announcements for the year ending 31st December 2015 for over 1,000 of the world’s largest corporations.

The key findings from the research are summarised in the Global Summary report now available on the EPM International website and the Column5 website which can be downloaded on registration.

There are some key developments in the research in 2016:

Topics: Financial Close

EPM Summit – Learn, Share, and Collaborate

Posted by Surya Tamada on Mon, Aug 01, 2016 @ 09:08 AM

Column5’s EMEA EPM Summit 2016, which took place on 30th June and 1st July 2016 at St James’s London, United Kingdom, promised to facilitate a platform to bring together customers, SAP product development and management teams (SAP BPC and BFC), and EPM Practitioners. The primary objective was to enable these participating groups to share their views, experiences, and future goals to take their EPM journey to the next level. As a first time participant and a presenter at the Column5 EMEA EPM summit, I was really thrilled to see the response from all these groups and as a result the final outcome. In this blog, I would like to share my views on the Summit and the key takeaways.

Topics: Process Improvement, EPM Landscape

The Changing Role of Finance: Results Reporting to Business Partner

Posted by Connie Folk on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 @ 10:06 AM

Maximizing the value of your EPM BPC Implementation

The Need for Change

The Finance function is central to the successful operation of any organization.   Finance organizations are not immune to today’s pressure faced by businesses to reduce costs of business transactions while improving processes in alignment with the overall strategy and direction for the organization.  Faced with the demand to increase their role in the EPM lifecycle, Finance functions are moving away from a transactional data management focus to becoming deliberate business partners by providing assistance to the CEO and the organization in the development of strategic direction and key business decisions.

Topics: Financial Information Management, Investment Comparisons

Momentous Events in London this June - Even for SAP EPM users 

Posted by David Jones on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 @ 08:06 AM

June is a month of momentous events in London. While those events unfold, SAP BPC, FC and EPM users will also gather in London on 30th June and 1st July to share in their own very special event. 

June 2016 in London will see a momentous celebration, commemoration and decision. The people of Britain will be celebrating the 90th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest serving monarch and a rock of stability through the last 7 decades as the British Head of State. They will be commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, a horrific episode in World War I which saw tens of thousands of European citizens killed and wounded for no obvious or significant reward. And finally, the people of Britain will be making a dramatic and historic decision in their referendum on membership of the European Community. These events all have their own special significance for European history and Europe’s future and we will all be watching them unfold with great interest.

Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Training

EPM vs Analysis Office

Posted by Richard Hynes on Tue, May 24, 2016 @ 15:05 PM

Many of you will have heard that the EPM Add-In is being replaced with Analysis Office. This is not quite true: the EPM Add-In is being replaced by the EPM Plug-In which is a part of the new Analysis Office Add-In which also contains a Plug-In called Analysis. I hope that is clear.

If not, let me explain further.

Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), EPM 10, EPM Landscape, Analysis Office

SAP BW-IP, SAP BPC NW 10.1 Standard and SAP BPC NW 10.1 Embedded Compared

Posted by Richard Hynes on Thu, May 05, 2016 @ 15:05 PM

This blog will present a comparison of BW-IP, BPC NW 10.1 Standard and BPC NW 10.1 Embedded. Each of these products is currently offered by SAP as planning solutions, but each has characteristics and functionality which will influence the decision to use one rather than another. This article aims to clarify the differences between each of the products and aid in the decision as to which of them to implement. Each product will be better suited to a given company’s needs according to certain criteria, and this blog will set out to identify which product is best in each case.

Topics: BPC, sap

SAP BPC: Top 5 Most Viewed Blog Posts of 2016 (So Far)

Posted by Gracie Arnold on Mon, May 02, 2016 @ 13:05 PM

For those who missed our 2016 blog posts! Here at Column5, we believe that user education is paramount. Because of this we provide our viewers and clients many free educational resources. If you love a post or want us to post something specific, throw us a comment below! 

Topics: best

Designing EPM Reports Around the Campfire

Posted by Steve Way on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 @ 08:04 AM

Here in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, people are either “fair weather” campers or “all weather” campers. When I was a young Boy Scout, my Scoutmaster (a former Marine) could politely be described as an “all weather” camper. He had no regard for cold blowing horizontal rain or snow….we went camping anyway. The best part of the trip was roasting marshmallows and drying out around the campfire, weather permitting. To distract all of us cold campers from turning it into a complaint party, he would engage us in games and stories. His favorite was the age old game of one person telling a story to your neighbor, and that person tells it to his neighbor and so on. Of course the story that is told by the last person bears little resemblance to the original story.

Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), EPM 10, best practices for epm

Integrated Planning with SAP BPC 10.1 Standard

Posted by Richard Hynes on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 @ 08:04 AM

SAP BPC is a tool that can be customised to facilitate planning, budgeting and forecasting processes for different functional areas such as Revenue, Human Capital Management, Operating Expenses, and Capital Expenditure. In this blog we will talk about how to integrate these functional areas into one unified BPC reporting model, for fully integrated planning.

The different functional areas require different data structures and consequently we  will need to use a separate BPC model for each area. To give some common examples:

The Revenue model may, depending on the modelling requirements, need to have Product dimensionality in order to plan the sales volumes and calculate planned revenue according to the price by product, and a Customer dimension to plan sales and analyse the outstanding payments by customer or channel.

The Labour planning, or HCM model may need to include a role dimension, in order to plan the salary by role or grade, or an Employee dimension to enable planning by employee or job grade.

The Operating Expenses or OPEX model should enable the user to plan the expense related General Ledger accounts at the required level of detail, for example, by collecting the number of flights and hotel nights and using forecast unit costs to calculate travel expenses.

The Capital Expenditure or CAPEX model should include an asset dimension which will include the company’s asset list and allow the user to plan new asset purchases and the corresponding depreciation for the planning period.

Topics: Thought Leadership, Financial Information Management, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation), Forecasting, sap

EPM Execute API - SAP BPC

Posted by Deb Silverman on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 @ 11:04 AM

When comparing BPC to other products, a big factor to consider is the user interface experience. SaaS based EPM solutions often have significant constraints to the available options when designing the experience users will 


interact with, due to the inherent design limitations of those solutions. BPC’s robust Excel interface has an unlimited ability to meet any user experience requirement. In addition to the significant numbers of Excel functions included in the EPM Add-in that can be applied creatively to meet any need, sometimes it is necessary to leverage Visual Basic to create highly specific behavior in the interface.

Topics: Excel, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation), best practices for epm, API, VB