Automation: The Key to Better SAP Financial Process Efficiency
By Clinton Jones on Feb 22, 2017
Paper isn’t a buzz word around SAP finance customers – but we know it exists. We know there are still inbound exchanges between the accounts payable and receivable functions via paper. There are many solutions that help with paper handling, from scanning to full-blown optical character recognition solutions. These not only accelerate the performance of AP and AR, they also help with auditing, statement matching and reconciliation, and working with captive, hybrid and outsourced shared services groups.
Paper is only part of the problem. Many companies are savvy enough to do fund transfers electronically, send and receive electronic invoices, and delivery notes and statements. Businesses know that the old-school methods of purchase requisition and order books with carbon copies for accounting, filing, supplier and procurement are not the way a modern business should operate.
In the absence of an effective solution, many aren’t moving all of their processes into SAP system based processes. For example, they may run payroll through a third party, use Lotus Notes for purchase requisitions and use email with or without attachments for a host of other things. The problem is in the last mile of integration for many who are transcribing data or using clunky custom programs. Instead of having a mountain of never ending paperwork, many business today have disparate software applications that generate millions of megabytes of data every day. What was once a “paper everywhere” problem is now a “data everywhere” problem, and the same issues like not being able to verify if everything has been captured during a period close are still glaring.
Are you capturing everything during period close?
Having a flexible platform that supports incremental improvements of SAP finance operations has more benefits than using a custom developed solution. When Winshuttle customers discuss what they’ve accomplished with Winshuttle to improve finance operations, there are always a number of different automations. The processes they’ve started to govern or the data quality metrics they’ve improved are vast, and vary from company to company. For example, a sample of SAP finance Winshuttle users who don’t have Foundation or User Governance posted tens of thousands of clearing entries with FB05 across eleven industry segments, just since the beginning of the year.
In a perfect world, all journal postings get done with a high degree of precision in a timely fashion. But the reality is that precision, rounding and posting errors creep in, and to keep your GL in top condition, you have to clear sundries. Using a transaction like FB05 allows you to have all your vendor accounts cleared and the amounts moved to clearing accounts. You can also perform transfer postings with clearing using F-51 in a similar fashion to transfer and clear an open invoice from one vendor to another. Either way, consider how your company is clearing today and determine if this is a trivial or large problem. This might be something that would benefit from automation.
About the author
Clinton Jones is a Director for Finance Solutions Management at Winshuttle where he has worked since 2009. He is internationally experienced having worked on finance technologies and business process with a particular focus on integrated business solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Clinton serves as a technical consultant on technology and quality management as it relates to data and process management and governance for finance organizations globally. Prior to Winshuttle he served as a Technical Quality Manager at SAP and with Microsoft in their Global Foundation Services group.
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