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Thought Leadership

Introduction to SAP Disclosure Management

Posted by David Den Boer on Thu, Feb 25, 2021 @ 11:02 AM


SAP Disclosure Management is an application within the Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) 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”.

Disclosure Management, as a process, is also known as the “last mile of finance”, where the culmination of all previous steps – financial close, variance analysis, and re-forecasting – are all key ingredients in what is reported to external stakeholders at the culmination of all subordinate tasks. In today’s world of increased expectations of closing faster, integrating financial and operational processes via advanced versions of EPM  – like xP&A – the appetite for more integration, automation, and on demand timing is at the highest point ever.

The business case for Disclosure Management is that it manages and streamlines the process of bringing together multiple data sources and text required in external reporting all of which are owned and authored by multiple teams and which require approval by multiple approvers.  Some clients choose to outsource performance of this function to a third-party service provider, while others purchase tools for in house use from vendors like Workiva and SAP. We won’t weigh the value of internal or external functionality in this space, but if a decision is taken to perform this function internally, this article provides an overview of the business case for and operational structure of SAP’s Disclosure Management product.

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, SAC, Group Reporting and BFC as well as 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

Is SAP BPC a BI Tool? Can SAP BPC be used as a BI Tool?

Posted by Aj Vaughn on Fri, Nov 30, 2018 @ 23:11 PM

The BPC in “SAP BPC” stands for “Business Objects Planning and Consolidation”.

Topics: Business Intelligence (BI), FUTURE OF SAP BPC, BPC11

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)

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

EPM Project Management Methodologies Untangled

Posted by Connie Folk on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 @ 08:04 AM

Do you ever wonder if you are keeping up with the plethora of project management methodologies? Waterfall, Scrum, Agile, Lean, ASAP,  Agile Waterfall and Sprints form just a handful of concepts. What is a project management methodology anyway and how do you choose the most appropriate one for your Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Business Planning & Consolidation (BPC) or Business Intelligence (BI) SAP project?

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

New Year's Resolutions for EPM - Happy 2013!

Posted by David Den Boer on Wed, Jan 16, 2013 @ 10:01 AM
It's the time of year when many of us make New Year's resolutions--and commit to improving specific aspects of our lives. Just for fun, let's apply the same assessment to your company's EPM processes. Continuous improvement is the theme, starting with a quick comparison to common goals we hear this time of year:
  1. Lose weight/get fit. Diet and exercise works to achieve and maintain a trim waistline for people, but what's the EPM equivalent? Well, one of the most common measurements for EPM effectiveness is cycle time. A bloated planning or consolidation process can leave participants feeling demotivated and fatigued. Why not commit to automating the EPM cycle as much as possible...shedding unwanted steps and promoting maximum efficiency?
  2. Spend more time with family and friends. One of the most rewarding aspects of a career in consulting is seeing firsthand the human impact you can make in project after project. When you see a customer with a team burning the midnight oil to manage linked workbooks or overcome a slow-running process...what that really means is their lives are on hold. Sometimes it means coming home late during the monthly close process; for others, it's being cooped up in the office till the wee hours getting voluminous data aligned during your annual budget. We often hear customers tell us that, with the changes our projects deliver, they "get their life back." We can't promise every project will improve the quality of marriages and friendships, or enable parents to participate more in their children's lives, but it has happened!
  3. Learn something new. On a personal level, this may mean returning to school, taking a class you've always wanted to take, or somehow enriching your base of knowledge. Applying that aspiration to your company, EPM can be enhanced to gain new insights about the cause and effect relationships about your business's drivers. Historical data can be analyzed to expose relationships that give you a new ability to predict future outcomes with more accuracy. Better use of EPM can help all decision makers in your organization learn something new about what makes your business operate. (And if you want to take learning literally, Column5's EPM Academy offers a wide array of EPM training options.)
  4. Get more organized. Most of us know our personal lives could be a little more organized, and that we could do a better job of managing the details. One of the most effective tools we can apply to do so personally is technology; and the same can be leveraged in business. Organizing an EPM process is easy when workflows are designed to enable reporting on each process. Don't just control the process in an organized way, but use reporting to monitor the process to encourage faster and faster process throughput. Know where you are in the process in real time.
  5. Help others. A lot of people make commitments to be more charitable and giving with their time to help those less fortunate. At work, being able to help decision makers improve their performances, potentially earning bigger bonuses, and enhancing their careers is one way to make a more beneficial contribution to others' lives. Bolstering the bottom line of the company through effective EPM can also improve the bottom lines of company leadership--and Column5 can help. Leveraging our proven processes to drive improved profitability to your company is a great way to make life a little brighter for others in your organization!
As 2013 kicks off, the Column5 team resolves to supporting the very peak of SAP EPM solutions for our customers. Happy New Year to all our current and future customers!

Topics: Thought Leadership, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Business Intelligence (BI), Training, Value, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation)

Beyond Spreadsheets: The Future of EPM

Posted by David Den Boer on Tue, Nov 06, 2012 @ 07:11 AM

Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) has come a long way from solutions that were first seen almost two decades ago. Of course, it could be argued that the first “EPM Technology” was the spreadsheet—dating back more than 30 years now.

Topics: Process Improvement, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Business Intelligence (BI), Performance, Roadmap

9/11: Reflecting on My Experience

Posted by David Den Boer on Tue, Sep 11, 2012 @ 11:09 AM

Like other watershed moments in history, here in the US, nearly everyone alive at the time remembers where they were on 9/11. My story is similar to millions of Americans in that the events of that day were simply unforgettable.

Topics: OutlookSoft, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Business Intelligence (BI)

You Might Be in Excel Hell If...

Posted by David Den Boer on Wed, May 23, 2012 @ 05:05 AM


There’s a lot of hype about Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) these days, and its time to clear up some common misconceptions. The most common disconnect I see is that companies buy an EPM solution to replace Excel, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, that is often all the inspiration they can muster when implementing…a decidedly bad thing.

Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Business Intelligence (BI), Performance, Implementation, Data

BPC User Data Collection Checklist

Posted by Charles Dagaev on Wed, Apr 18, 2012 @ 10:04 AM


When testing and enhancing BusinessObjects Planning & Consulting (BPC) performance, it's essential that users provide the correct information about what they are doing. The following checklist can help you ensure you are comparing apples to apples—in other words, that users that are performing the same processes (reports, input schedules, etc.) when determining user performance of that specific process.

Topics: Business Intelligence (BI), Innovation, Performance, Data


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