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SAP EPM
Thought Leadership

Introduction to SAP Disclosure Management

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

Overview

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

6 Housekeeping Hacks To Enhance Your SAP BPC Performance for NetWeaver

Posted by Vishal Goradia on Wed, Feb 03, 2021 @ 04:02 AM

Bad performance can make even a well-designed EPM system unusable, and if you’ve got more aggressive expectations like those required for an xP&A solution...even suboptimal performance can be a total block to realizing your goals. Performance issues have got to be attacked quickly and decisively.

Many users feel a poorly performing system is a fatal condition and they blame the software, as if the system is working as expected when the user experience is slowed. This is not only a false belief, but it can also be a very costly one. If there’s nothing that can be done to improve an unworkable software product, then replacing it is the only option. However, poor performance is an indicator of your solution working, but it must not be tolerated. That’s right, more users adding more data to an expanding EPM or xP&A solution will eventually create poor performance. The trouble begins when you don’t know what to do about this eventuality. Don’t react rashly, instead follow the practical steps below to get a grip on the root cause of the degraded performance...in this case, for SAP BPC for NetWeaver.

If you're a support team member or power user of SAP BPC for NetWeaver, you probably know there are many standard SAP BW layer housekeeping jobs that are provided by SAP.  Most of these generate system information required for analyzing SAP BPC performance, system/error logs retention, completed job logs, etc. and are run at their default frequency. These can be scheduled in SM36, though you can't stop here. 

Keep reading to find out how to avoid poor performance by following the 6 steps below.

Topics: NetWeaver, Performance, sap bpc, Performance Tuning

Get SAP EPM Training 24x7at The EPM Summit Network

Posted by John Bergquist on Mon, Nov 30, 2020 @ 06:11 AM

Attn: SAP EPM & Analytics Professionals

How to supercharge your EPM (SAP BPC, SAC, S4) training

(this works whether you're an executive, power user, or technical user)

Did you know that over the course of 30 days you forget close to 80% of what you learn?  

Here is the problem you face:  After you learn something new at an  SAP BPC or SAP Analytics Cloud course for example,  your ability to retain that information declines over time unless you review it repeatedly.

Most people try to take a single course with no repetition.

On top of that, you attempt to keep your career current by taking old fashioned lecture style or recorded video courses.  These outdated training methods lack the repetition and interactive exercises you need for strong memorization. This means you'll never achieve the career, skill level, or EPM system performance you would if you only had taken  effective training on a regular basis. This applies to you whether you're an executive, power user, or technical support staff, and whether you run SAP BPC, Analytics Cloud, and/or S/4HANA. 

Luckily for you, there's now a solution so you don't have to count on your scribbled notes from that one-time training course to improve your SAP EPM skills or further your career. Introducing the all-new EPM Summit Network, an online Community for SAP EPM & Analytics Professionals that will supercharge your career while providing year-round EPM (SAP BPC, SAC, S4) training in addition to community forums, private groups, and events.

You'll remember the latest BPC, SAC, and S4 course material on the EPM Summit Network like a scholar due to its hands-on exercises. Interactive exercises and tests drive home lesson retention so you'll feel confident implementing your new-found skills.

 

Topics: EPM, sap bpc, User Experience, EPM Roadmap, epm summit, technology

SAP EPM & Analytics Professionals: Give Your Career & System the Support They're Missing

Posted by John Bergquist on Thu, Nov 19, 2020 @ 11:11 AM

Attn: SAP EPM & Analytics Professionals

How to supercharge your career, get trained, get insider tricks from peers, and take your EPM (SAP BPC, SAC, S4) skills to leadership level all in one place.

(this works whether you're an executive, power user, or technical user)

Did you know that according to our research across 100s of implementations, 75% of EPM solutions fail to achieve the initiative’s anticipated goals? Even if your implementation was in the top 25% it has likely suffered over time from bloated data volumes, more users, old hardware, version upgrades (or lack of), and expanding complexity. 

Here is the problem you face: most people like to try to go at it alone.

SAP EPM training | community |  forums for SAP BPC, SAC, S4 users

You attempt to figure out SAP's roadmap, plus manage your own SAP EPM processes, plus teach yourself some new skills in your spare time - all by yourself. Which means you'll never achieve the career success, skill level, or EPM system/process performance you could have if you only had gotten some help along the way. This applies to you whether you are an executive, power user, or technical support staff, and whether you run SAP BPC, Analytics Cloud, and/or S/4HANA. 

Luckily for you, there's now a solution so you don't have to go at it alone anymore. 

Leadership Online Community for SAP EPM and Analytics ProfessionalsEverybody works faster and gets further with a "better half", a buddy, or a support system.  Batman has Robin, Miss Piggy has Kermit, and Mickey has Minnie. Now you've got a support system too.  Let me introduce you to the all-new EPM Summit Network, an online Leadership Community for SAP EPM & Analytics Professionals that will supercharge your career and your EPM (SAP BPC, SAC, S4) skills all in one place

 

Topics: EPM, sap bpc, User Experience, EPM Roadmap, epm summit, technology

The Impact of Covid-19 on the role of the Group Financial Controller

Posted by David Jones on Wed, Oct 28, 2020 @ 08:10 AM

On September 29th Column5 hosted a quarterly meeting of the UK100 Group Financial Controllers (GFC) forum on the web. This is a quarterly meeting that Column5 hosts to give GFC’s from the UK’s largest listed Companies opportunity to hear from experts about topics of mutual interest, network and share experiences. This meeting was to understand how Covid-19 was impacting their role as GFC’s, how well prepared they felt when the lock-down arrived in late March 2020 and what they plan to change going forward, particularly given the likelihood of more home working over the next 6 months due to Covid-19, and whether there will be permanent changes to their role as GFC going forward. 

Key Take-Aways: 

Key elements of the discussions are set out below and make an interesting read, but everyone agreed that the key points to take away were: 

Topics: Financial Close, Financial Information Management, User Experience

S/4HANA Group Reporting – Bringing Transaction Processing and Group Reporting together to “bridge the gap”

Posted by David Jones on Thu, Sep 10, 2020 @ 03:09 AM

For 30 years there has been a divergent view as to the best approach to using technology to support the key finance process of consolidation and reporting, generally known today as the “record to report process”.

To deliver excellence in the record to report process SAP now offers S/4HANA Group Reporting.  Read on to see if it's the best technology for you:

Topics: sap bpc, User Experience, group reporting

SAP BPC Training - 5 Reasons Your Skills Might Be Lacking

Posted by Andrew Ford on Fri, Aug 14, 2020 @ 10:08 AM

Should you and/or your BPC power users and support staff use traditional classroom training or online learning for your SAP BPC training? The divide exists between the single fundamental belief that online learning lacks the “humanistic” aspect of training. While many could go back and forth about the pros and cons of each side, both share a commonality: the idea of competency-based training (CBT). CBT is a methodology that believes in focusing training on single units or competencies for the learner to be able to fully consume. This methodology breaks down into the 3 components below related to improving your BPC software implementation:

  • Functional: Technical Skills for a position (Accountant vs. Consultant)
  • Personal: Individual Attributes and Personality (Ability to communicate, collaborate, etc.)
  • Business: Problem Solving in the Workplace (Critical Thinking)

The basic reason why a lot of companies are making the shift toward CBT is to have the ability to run data analysis on each learner. Due to the nature of this training, learners are challenged to complete tasks within a target goal and must retry the skill in order to continue.  If you're not using this style of training for you, your BPC power users and support staff, keep reading to learn why Competency-Based Training is the way to go!

Since the beginning of 2020, Column5 Academy has implemented this methodology to have better insight to our learners, course content, and overall effectiveness of our training. With your EPM software features, users, and support needs changing constantly, it is important to know what content needs to be developed, reorganized, and possibly retired.

Topics: Training, sap bpc, User Experience, Epm Academy

[TECH ALERT] Critical vulnerability for SAP Systems on SAP JAVA Stack

Posted by Vishal Goradia on Wed, Aug 12, 2020 @ 09:08 AM

Description:
Critical vulnerability identified for SAP Systems based on SAP JAVA Stack.
The RECON (Remotely Exploitable Code On NetWeaver) vulnerability has a CVSS score of 10 out of 10 (the most severe)

Symptom:
LM Configuration Wizard of SAP NetWeaver AS JAVA, does not perform an authentication check which allows an attacker without prior authentication, to execute configuration tasks to perform critical actions against the SAP Java system, including the ability to create an administrative user, and therefore compromising Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability of the system.

Topics: Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Performance, Technical

COVID-19: How To Update your EPM Solution & Avoid Exposure by Long Planning Turnaround Times

Posted by David Den Boer on Wed, Jul 15, 2020 @ 12:07 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic hit just like the children’s game of musical chairs. As the music of our economy stopped, if you were not near a safe place to sit, you were caught out in the open…finding yourself at risk. Similarly, your EPM solution was likely being enhanced, and upgraded on a certain path before the virus came into being. Any EPM strategy not ready for intensified operations learned the hidden weaknesses of their solution.

To make you feel better, almost no EPM solution was ready for this.

Whatever the state was of your EPM solution, that is the tool you had to wield as you navigated your organization through  the impacts of the virus. As we said in part one of this blog series, the jarring impact to the market doesn’t specifically need to be the virus, it could be anything. Just some unpredictable market influence that won’t wait for long running processes.

Topics: Thought Leadership, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Performance, Performance Tuning

How SAP BPC Training is Shifting in Today’s Climate

Posted by Andrew Ford on Tue, Jul 07, 2020 @ 09:07 AM

How many children are now learning via laptop or pad on the couch?  And how many of you are now having to take virtual SAP BPC training since face-to-face training has been affected due to social distancing?

Many of us in the workforce have taken eLearning courses ourselves – which can be defined as educational content that is consumed via digital technology. This may surprise some, but eLearning has been around for about 22 years now and has been evolving at an explosive pace. From plastic laminated slides, to CD-ROM disks, and now micro-eLearning on your cell phone, learning and development has been continuously impacting our youth as well as ourselves.

Topics: Training, User Experience, Epm Academy

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