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SAP BPC & EPM
Thought Leadership

Formatting in SAP BPC

Posted by Deb Silverman on Wed, Jan 06, 2016 @ 10:01 AM

The formatting strategy chosen for a report or input schedule is one of the most important decisions made in development because it influences performance, complexity and the “fun factor” for development.  I say this with humor because the report may take 4 hours to build and 8 hours to format!  There isn’t room enough to go into all aspects of formatting in detail, however the understanding of choices we have is critical and can certainly influence the overall life cycle (maintenance and productivity).

The EPMFormatting sheet is used to format dynamic reports and input templates.  It is an Excel sheet that can be copied and changed for multiple worksheets and reports.  Dynamic formatting means the formats are applied to levels of a hierarchy, types of members or column and page axis dimensions.

Topics: Best Practices, Excel, Data, best

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

The Integrity of Data Entered into SAP BPC via Input Schedules

Posted by Michael Sheard on Tue, Oct 20, 2015 @ 08:10 AM

SAP BPC systems receive data from a range of external sources.  The planning and configuration necessary to insert this data into the system is an important aspect of an implementation.  The integrity of data is vital, and invalid data can affect processes within SAP BPC, such as calculations and reporting.  Safeguards should be in place to prevent the entry of invalid data.

The main methods employed to enter external data into a SAP BPC system are:

  • Interfaces to source systems such as an ERP or SAP BW system.
  • Flat file uploads.
  • Input schedules for manual data entry.

The first two sources – interfaces and flat files – are tested, configured, and operated by experienced administrators and consultants who understand the data structures of source systems and SAP BPC, so these usually do not create problems.  The greatest risk is with data entered through input schedules by users who, whilst knowledgeable about the commercial functions of their organisations, are not experts in the data structures of financial information systems like SAP BPC.  The techniques available to ensure the integrity of data entered via input schedules are the focus of this article.

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

The Process is King

Posted by Richard Hynes on Tue, Jul 07, 2015 @ 07:07 AM

How to Get the Most from Business Process Flows in SAP BPC

Overview

The Process Flow Design is an integral part of any SAP BPC implementation project.  As a stage in the project it should come immediately after the Conceptual Design phase and before the essential Blueprinting step, as shown in the diagram, below which outlines the ten basic project stages.

Topics: Best Practices, Process Improvement, Thought Leadership, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Data, 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)

EPM Hierarchical Planning, Forecasting and Reporting

Posted by Jamison Chochrek on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 @ 09:11 AM

Column5's EPM Academy sets the industry standard in quality curriculum, with course content developed by top field experts on SAP products and delivered in a variety of formats.Software knowledge and skills are only as valuable as what's retained and applied in the real world. Column5's "360 Training Experience" ensures that your staff will not only develop good habits and acquire confidence while mastering the software—they'll build organizational enthusiasm for EPM that lasts long after implementation.

Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Training, Data, Forecasting

Spilled Beer and the Key to EPM Value

Posted by David Den Boer on Wed, May 22, 2013 @ 12:05 PM

"They spill more beer than we make in a year!" That line was from a great beer commercial for a small brewery that claimed small, handmade batches (or microbrews) were superior to the huge commercial operations of the beer manufacturing kings. Consequently, sales of "microbrews" took off, with consumers deciding that selecting a personal favorite from a market rich with a variety of choices was superior to buying beer from the monolith that had "regular" and "light" to choose from.

Topics: Thought Leadership, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Roadmap, Value, Data, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation)

HANA: Improving SAP One Customer At A Time

Posted by Martin Lloyd on Mon, May 13, 2013 @ 12:05 PM

If you’ve read anything which has come from SAP in the last few months you will have heard of HANA. I understood that SAP thought it was very important but didn’t really understand what it was and how it was going to affect me. After some reading, attending a couple of courses and being involved in some discussions with SAP I know a little more and would like to share it with you.

Topics: HANA, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Consolidation, Cloud, Roadmap, Value, Data, BPC (Business Planning & Consolidation)

Mobile Solutions - Changing The Risk/Reward Paradigm

Posted by David Den Boer on Wed, May 08, 2013 @ 12:05 PM

You've heard the staggering metrics; The fastest growing segment of computing and internet access is within the mobility segment. Countries that may have limited hardwired infrastructure rely on cutting edge wireless communication networks to get internet access in the most primitive and remote locations. Emerging markets have leapfrogged more developed and mature economies in terms of the role mobile devices play in initiating transactions, granting access, and maintaining connections.

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

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