Currently, topics like intelligent solutions or the Intelligent Enterprise are on everyone’s lips. But it looks like not everybody knows exactly what they mean or if these are only new buzzwords which not really add value to organizations.
And to make a long story short – Intelligent Finance will bring a lot of value to finance organizations. More than that, it will be critical to the success of finance organizations on their way to transform themselves according the needs of the new role of the CFO.
- What’s the new role of the CFO and his finance organization?
While in the past, finance organizations have been mainly organized around financial accounting functions. Furthermore, all processes around accounting where perceived like a black box where everything was running accurately and reported in an appealing quarterly report. But internally, this was perceived like acting behind closed doors where the main interactions with other departments were based on shared services and ticket requests.
The most proactive and leading CFO’s are about to change that fundamentally:
A finance organization needs to transform and support the corporate strategy – not only on the C-Level, but as well inside the organization – supporting fact-based decisions and strategy on all levels of the organization. Providing business insights with business analytics on demand – more than that, having direct access to predictive information to allow a look into the future and to simulate the impact of important decisions before they are taken.
And when finally, the die is cast, CFO’s need to have a seat at the table in evaluating the success and ultimately the design and implementation of new business models and reflect organizational and procedural changes.
While focusing on new successes the CFO has to work with the GRC leadership team to holistically manage risks and compliance. Without systems which continuously detect and prevent fraud, it would never be possible to increase safety and trust during times of increasing business dynamics.
And last-not-least, finance organizations don’t have an increased workforce to manage this transformation. Finance humans have to be relieved from recurring manual tasks so that they are able to actively manage the new challenges. Moving the focus from manual tasks to high value-adding activities can only be achieved with a completely new level of automation that streamlines traditional processes and leverage opportunities for machine learning technology and pro-active context-sensitive user assistance.
- What’s the secret sauce to make intelligent finance a reality?
When we think back, many core processes have been shaped around limitations of technology! Smart people created workarounds around technical limitations which then were perceived as a commodity without being questioned. For example, to reach good response times in traditional systems, a lot of calculations were not made in real-time, but done in the background and stored in separate tables. For other time-consuming tasks, batch-jobs were built – at the price of inflexibility and delays.
After our first customers switched to the in-memory database SAP HANA, they were impressed of the acceleration of a variety of processes. However, customer started wondering what they could do with this new speed!
As a result, it’s not just about speed, but about completely rethinking processes to remove limitations and to turn speed into unprecedented business benefits.
Therefore, SAP S/4HANA Finance is more than just a new release. It has a redesigned architecture which removes limitations of the past and makes use of the new in-memory benefits.
On top of that new architecture we incorporated new technologies like Machine Learning or Predictive Analytics to leapfrog finance solution capabilities and to support the CFO’s agenda.
Plus, we added not only an intuitive user interface, supplemented with pro-active contextual user assistance to make financial experts’ life easier again.
And this is just the start. We are adding more and more valuable uses cases based on the power of this unique combination:
Formula: Intelligent Finance = A Strong Foundation of Core Finance Practices X In-Memory x Redesigned Architecture x New technologies x Assisting User Interface
- Business Example: SAP S/4HANA for Accounting and Financial Planning & Analysis
To give you a glimpse of what this means for your business we want to highlight the new capabilities for the core of finance – Accounting and Financial Planning & Analysis.
Enjoy this video with an extensive process overview about this topic:
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