Central Finance: helping complex customers drastically reduce costs for shared services
SAP customers with heterogeneous or over-customized system landscapes have been choosing Central Finance as an approach to get transparency on what is going on from a finance perspective across their entire company. In this Central Finance system, your finance team can take advantage of the latest S/4 innovations for financial reporting, including the reporting flexibility and speed provided by the universal journal and SAP HANA.
The next evolutionary step is to use this centralized data for operational finance processes in shared service organizations. Accounts payables and receivables teams are often grouped into competency centers where they deliver finance operations support to multiple business units. Now they can do this based on finance data coming from the Central Finance instance. This means they can take advantage of the latest S/4 innovations for finance operations, including re-imagined transactions for recurring manual tasks like bank statement post-processing, improving efficiency.
Central Finance provides a single data platform for performing more standardized operational processes. These standardized processes improve scalability for global business services and support process governance initiatives. Standardized processes are less expensive to staff – since the training effort related to additional process variants and exceptional handling is reduced. Teams don’t have to work with updating master data or transactions in multiple ERP systems, but can focus on a single system. These standardized processes are also less costly to audit – fewer media breaks, fewer integration points.
Global shared services organizations are constantly trying to increase efficiency, since their performance is often measured against external outsourcers. If you can put high volumes of transactions through standardized processes, then the business case for automating manual steps via automation engines or robotics improves. These automation engines and robots can be deployed concentrated in a single system and can benefit a larger transactional base, rather than being deployed in multiple instances.
And like the rest of the Finance community, managers of shared services teams benefit from the architectural simplification associated with the in-memory database, where transactions and analytics have merged into one environment. Team leads can use built-in SAP Fiori analytics to view processing statistics and manage their teams based on current transactional data.
Finance solutions delivered by SAP can work seamlessly with Central Finance to provide additional tools for global shared service organizations. Many companies have advanced requirements around collaboration and communications management, activity tracking and reporting/service level management, and the documentation of semi-automated processes and proof that process steps were done (internal control requirements). These solutions can be combined to deliver superior support to all of your global business service customers – your internal groups outside of finance, your suppliers and your customers.
The Central Finance product and implementation approach has been expanding along with the plans of our customer base — first focused on establishing a single system of record, and since 1605 supporting finance processing.
Click here to read more about how Central Finance can provide a platform for your shared services initiatives.