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SAP BPC & EPM
Thought Leadership

A Great Financial Consolidation Solution for Statutory and Regulatory Reporting in Complex Multinational Organisations

Posted by Paul Coleman on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 @ 09:02 AM

SAP has a portfolio of Consolidation solutions with their own unique positioning and the SAP Financial Consolidation (FC) software is an enterprise solution offered to companies looking to improve and speed up their financial close – without sacrificing quality control and compliance.

FC became part of the SAP EPM portfolio through the acquisition of BusinessObjects in 2007.  BusinessObjects itself acquired the French software vendor Cartesis who originally marketed Financial Consolidation as Cartesis Magnitude.  With a large and loyal customer base throughout Europe and Japan, FC has a particularly strong focus on statutory consolidation requirements within large multinational organisations that have complex and evolving corporate structures across multiple reporting standards (e.g. IFRS and local GAAP).

Topics: Best Practices, Analytics, Consolidation, Financial Close, Value

Introduction to SAP Disclosure Management

Posted by Michael Sheard on Tue, Dec 01, 2015 @ 08:12 AM

Overview

SAP Disclosure Management is an application within the Enterprise Performance Management suite.  It is used to improve organisations’ reporting where multiple users need to contribute to reports, and accuracy and consistency is critical. Key examples are the Annual Report and Accounts, returns to financial markets and regulators, and internal reports such as board report “books”.

The business case for Disclosure Management is that it manages and streamlines the process of bringing together multiple data sources and text required in reporting all of which are owned and authored by multiple teams and which require approval by multiple approvers.  This article provides an overview of the business case for and operational structure of SAP Disclosure Management.

Business Case

The below diagram created by SAP demonstrates the issues faced in reporting that Disclosure Management is designed to streamline.

A typical process leading to a major reporting output such as an annual report or regulatory filing will often have a wide range of data sources  For example, General Ledger systems - Enterprise Performance Management applications such as SAP BPC and BFC and manually created inputs such as written text.  These data sources often feed into numerous Excel and Word documents that form part of the reporting output.  The report sections require approvals and collaboration within the organisation that can be difficult to monitor and coordinate.  The sections of the report that have been created separately need to be put together into the final output.  In the past, the output may have only been a printable format such as a Word document or PDF file, but a number of legal and regulatory filings require electronic submission, notably via XBRL.

Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Business Intelligence (BI), Analytics, Financial Information Management, Data

Analytics, EPM, and Managed Service

Posted by Jonathon Pause on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 @ 10:06 AM

Analytics?  Analytics.  Analytics!  Let us simply get it out there – analytics are the newest, hottest technology that everyone is talking about.  “The CFO’s Technology Imperatives for 2015” by Financial Executives International (FEI) and Gartner states, “many IT organizations have made initial investments, but these tend to be tactically focused and do not address the more fundamental issues of data quality and consistency.”  The market is in such a fervor over the promise of analytics that we often lose sight of our greater IT goals, and we do not effectively outline a strategy that can move us toward the new promised land.  

Surveys from Gartner reaffirm these assertions in a study on Top Big Data Challenges.  The top three challenges include how to derive value, how to define strategy, and how to obtain the skills and capabilities needed related to a big data initiative.

Topics: Best Practices, Thought Leadership, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Analytics, Performance, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation)

How EPM Caught The Pizza Bandit!

Posted by Jamison Chochrek on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 @ 09:08 AM

This is a 100% true story.  The names have been altered to protect the innocent (and the guilty)!

Everyone likes a great story.  What makes a story great is a plot, a villain, and a hero.  What makes this particular story more interesting is that it is a business story. It also one that clients keep asking me to repeat to their teams, peers and even their executive staff.

Topics: Best Practices, Thought Leadership, Analytics, EPM ROI, Microsoft, Implementation

Using the Power of Visual Basic in EPM 10 Reporting

Posted by Michael Sheard on Wed, Aug 06, 2014 @ 07:08 AM

The Excel Add-In reporting tool of EPM 10 combines the features of Excel with EPM functionality.  A feature within Excel that is sometimes useful to meet more advanced reporting needs is macros programmed using Visual Basic (VBA).  This can achieve features that are not achievable through EPM 10 functionality.

Topics: Best Practices, Excel, Thought Leadership, Analytics, EPM 10, Value

Business Intelligence: A Core Business Competency

Posted by David Den Boer on Thu, Mar 13, 2014 @ 15:03 PM
Economic challenges are all around today’s market. We hear about struggling companies that are suffering from poor performance. We know that companies don’t exactly come with manuals for the CEO to reference when things aren’t going well. In the past, conventional wisdom was to focus on the core money making operations of the enterprise. A car manufacturer that also dabbles in satellite technology, a TV manufacturer that also makes laptops, and newspaper that also owns real estate are examples of companies that, when times get difficult, have decided to dump ventures not aligned with the company’s core competencies. That’s what makes Gartner’s assessment ( Business Intelligence: A Core Business Competency) extremely important.

Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Business Intelligence (BI), Analytics, EPM ROI, Value, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation)

Replace a Working Spreadsheet Based Forecasting Model with SAP BPC?

Posted by Michael Sheard on Wed, Mar 05, 2014 @ 14:03 PM
SAP BPC forecasting model implementations frequently replace existing spreadsheet forecasting models.  A key question to be asked when implementing SAP BPC is to consider how it will improve a forecasting process that works and therefore justify the disruption the change may involve and the expense, both internal and external.

Topics: Excel, Analytics, Value, Implementation, Data, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation), Forecasting

Meeting SLAs Before You Start Development

Posted by Jonathon Pause on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 @ 08:02 AM

Without fail, every project I have ever worked on includes a requirement for input schedule or report performance. 

Topics: Best Practices, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Analytics, EPM ROI, Performance, Data, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation)

BPC Heaven vs. Excel Hell

Posted by Rick Bryant on Fri, Jan 24, 2014 @ 09:01 AM

Way back in 2009 while I was working in the EPM practice at SAP I routinely cited a Gartner survey stating that 70% of organizations still relied on spreadsheets for their budgeting, planning and forecasting processes when speaking with customers or at events. Fast forward four years to 2013 and amazingly a new Aberdeen study found that a whopping 89% of organizations use spreadsheets for these processes! What gives? We've all heard over and over about the pitfalls of using spreadsheets for these processes, often referred to as “Excel Hell”.  The bottom line is that business users love spreadsheets for their ease of use and flexibility.  So how do we let business users continue to use their tool of choice AND have the qualities of a planning system such as security, workflow, common formulas and logic, a single source of data, multi-dimensional analysis, etc.?

Topics: Center of Excellence, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Analytics, Financial Close, Implementation, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation)

How To Avoid The EPM Black Swan Catastrophe

Posted by Jamison Chochrek on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 @ 11:08 AM

We have all heard of the Big Bang Theory. It is one idea of how the universe was created. Certainly not the only one, but a prevailing trend in modern astrophysics. It is one of the least successful ways a project can achieve success. The “Big Bang Project” is more likely to create a big “Black Swan”. If you are a business leader, project manager or stakeholder, you know that Black Swans leave “black eyes” for you and the business. If you are looking at a Business Intelligence, Analytics or Enterprise Performance Management project then you may want to read this.

Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Business Intelligence (BI), Analytics, Rapid Deployment Systems, Implementation

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