Every chief executive owns a particular area and defines how that organization will move forward to support the corporate direction. But the story is different for CFOs: They are expected to take a much bigger interest in business ownership and decisions made throughout the company. Not only must they own the finance area, but also the entire business model – the go-forward plan, the strategic initiatives, and the investments to achieve it all.

Yes, CFOs are still concerned about governance and compliance. And yes, they are still the executive board’s “numbers person” who keeps the books and spending in line. While all of these functions are still their primary responsibility, the actions of all business areas – from HR, marketing, and sales to production, supply chain, and logistics – have a direct impact on CFOs’ valuations and assessments.

This is why a CFO’s effectiveness depends on instant access to all relevant and integrated data from one source. Such transparency brings insights that inevitably pave the way for innovative decision making. But to get the full story of the enterprise, CFOs need to derive insights from accurate data that’s based on complete processes running under one system.

Unfortunately, one system does not exist without costly, time-consuming merging of a variety of applications and databases. But it doesn’t have to be that way – an implementation scenario for central finance can lead to a level of visibility that enables instant insight at a lower cost.

Leading the charge to reimagined business performance with central finance

For CFOs, the ideal scenario is access to flexible, personalized, and on-time information that empowers every member of the organization to become profit managers. In fact, the entire business can take action in real time – seizing unique competitive differentiators and nontraditional, yet profitable, opportunities. And this time, the CFO will be leading the charge.

Managing such a transition successfully requires effort in specific areas, including risk control and informed decision making. Through a digital transformation enabled by a broad application of technology, confusion, delays, and inefficiencies can be eliminated across all areas, as represented by the inverted effort pyramid shown below.

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Figure: The inverted effort pyramid


By automating repetitive, administrative tasks and paving the way for proactive management, the entire business can dedicate more effort to innovating and architecting new business models that support the CFO’s ability to access the whole truth of the business – every area, at any time, from anywhere, without disruption.

Give your CFO the right platform to understand your business’ truth

Every decision a CFO makes greatly impact the enterprise. But the single, most important decision that needs to be made so that the CFO can do that is deciding on the path for your digital transformation journey. Whether that path involves upgrading your current SAP software landscape or starting with a clean digital slate, the goal is all the same.

The Digital Business Services organization at SAP provides four simple choices through flexible support based on your company’s individual needs

SAP ActiveEmbedded for planning and safeguarding of SAP S/4HANA: A dedicated technical quality manager and access to a mission control center from SAP provide insight into the potential competitive advantage, organizational impacts, and adoption obstacles related to your unique implementation of SAP S/4HANA.

SAP ActiveEmbedded for technical implementation of SAP S/4HANA: To transition your business system core to SAP S/4HANA without disruption, SAP offers best practices, detailed implementation planning, an innovation road map tailored to your needs, and personalized documentation on your technical architecture and infrastructure.

SAP ActiveEmbedded for functional implementation of SAP S/4HANA: SAP delivers the latest innovations and business scenarios, giving your business the freedom to innovate and focus on value-added business practices.

SAP MaxAttention for innovation with SAP S/4HANA: Advanced expertise covering the entire business potential of SAP S/4HANA provides the foresight you need to anticipate new business process scenarios required in the digital world.

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Interested in learning more? Digital Business Services is prepared to help you navigate it all. Join us at SAPPHIRE NOW and hear how we can help through these insightful sessions:

•  Use Central Finance for a Fast Start into SAP S/4HANA Finance

•  Benefit from Finance Innovation Even in Complex System Landscapes

•  Run Innovative Finance Systems Without Disruption

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