The new normal is no longer new in finance, according to SAP’s Martin Narachewski. The years since the economic crisis introduced omnipresent volatility, increased focus on risk, constantly changing regulatory requirements and other hardships that have become facts of life.
“Lots of things have made business difficult for customers,” Narachewski said Tuesday during his keynote presentation for Finance at SAP’s annual conference, SAPPHIRE NOW. “Finance functions need to deal with this.”
That involves innovating to do more with less. Running better can save firms three times what less efficient companies spend on finance costs, stated Narachewski, the vice president of Solution Management for LoB Finance. And it can result in 76 percent higher operating margins.
Representatives from satisfied customers Coca-Cola, ConAgra and Deloitte joined Narachewski on stage to share their stories.
Deloitte wanted to be more quick and nimble when responding to clients, customers and vendors. The New York-based professional services firm turned to SAP HANA, SAP Business Objects and other SAP solutions to solve several problems:
- Multiple points of contact for customers scattered across many formats
- Financial processes that ran for way too long
- Tax complications resulting from traveling employees
A bespoke SAP HANA solution solved the first problem, delivering every point of contact within a few milliseconds. Financial processes that once took up to six hours now execute in real time. Deloitte once had to estimate taxes based on a subset of its traveling population, but today can compare T&E for the entire firm for two weeks in less than one minute.
“It’s become so much more than a standard database,” Deloitte IT Leader Chris Dinkel said at SAPPHIRE NOW’s Finance Keynote on Tuesday. “There are so many functionalities, and they all work.”
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