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Are you a line manager and fighting with limited budgets every day? Do you have to manage costs like traveling to customers, meetings and internal events, purchasing third-party services and products as well as driving marketing campaigns?

Do you know exactly how much budget you have left at the end of a fiscal period?

I’m a product manager at SAP and try to understand how we can support you in these questions. For example situations where you have been entirely sure that you would stick within your budget (this time), but then surprised by an expense that was not on your list? Travel costs from couple of months ago, not yet reimbursed to the traveler. I have been told by one of my customers, “It feels like being hit by a bus, if you are on track the one day when all was looking perfect. You got the best out of the budget and next day, totally unexpected, you have the red flag.”

To avoid these last-minute surprises and unpleasant e-mails from controlling, we – the development team of the Innovation Center in Potsdam, Germany – developed SAP RealSpend. This easy-to-use cloud application helps you to keep track of actuals, committed and even requested and approved expenses.

Just in time for SAPPHIRE NOW 2018 in Orlando, we have made the solution more intelligent and are now able to detect anomalies with the help of machine learning. I would like to give you in the next couple of lines more insights into these new capabilities.

Based on the SAP Cloud Platform, SAP RealSpend uses cloud technology to read data from core financial systems, SAP S/4HANA. Augmenting financial data through specific custom dimensions enables flexible grouping and reporting beyond the classical ERP data model.

The application auto-detects and points out any unusual postings on your cost center and helps to follow-up for clarification. Based on the activities of the manager, the algorithm will learn and become more effective spotting issues.

This machine learning functionality can be consumed in the usual intuitive way, for which SAP RealSpend is known, and is carried out in three easy steps.

 

First, activate the anomaly detection.
“We expect that end-users might never switch it off, when they get used to this supportive behavior of the tool, but for the beginning we like to give the freedom to deactivate it” said Christian Karaschewitz, Product Owner SAP RealSpend.

 

Second, the graph is showing all detected anomalies highlighted. Drilling down into the connected line items is just one click away. This helps to get more details for a profound decision.

 

Third, take a sound decision, if this is a potential anomaly by following-up or rejecting the anomalies. The best of all, your decision will help the algorithms to learn and become better and better.

SAP RealSpend is a cloud application that helps line managers to move from static cost center reporting to a real-time consumption of all financial postings. The intuitive way of starting from a yearly overview, combined with the ability to drill down to the respective line items with a single click, is tailor-made for users that do not want to spend longer than necessary with the optimization of their financial figures.

The new machine learning capability that will be presented at SAPPHIRE NOW to auto-detect and highlight potential anomalies again enhances this approach to free the line managers schedule. That way you can focus your time on your main job, run your team and business!

For more information, check out the following links:

  • See RealSpend with the new machine learning functions at SAPPHIRE NOW 2018, here.
  • You like to dive deeper into it, sign-up for ASUG user testing session 16.
  • You like more information or try out SAP RealSpend, visit us here.
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