Finance sits at the heart of enterprise, reporting and monitoring on all processes key to the corporate health of companies. Finance organizations have been experiencing the impacts of a dramatic change in the way they work, as the world transitions to the digital economy. The impacts of global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerate this change:
- This is evident in every industry and across every line of business.
- This relentless shift along the digital paradigm will be accelerated by the need for innovation to drive efficiency and effectiveness at scale.
- New channels, products, services and consumer-centric models will proliferate once the world returns to some semblance of normality.
This shift will bring with it opportunity and challenge in equal measure – the opportunity to rebuild shareholder value and the challenge to find scalable, agile business platforms that can support a swift return to growth.
From bean counting to business partnering
Over the last few decades the Finance function has seen dramatic evolution. Companies have been engaged in transformational efforts to invert the hierarchical triangular shape of the typical Finance department to reflect the effort and focus now required in the digital economy.
Innovative automation can eliminate the manual work involved in simply extracting or manipulating data just to provide limited insight; businesses that take advantage of platforms delivering a single source of the truth will obtain a competitive edge.
- Finance professionals will work in multidisciplinary teams, involving people from IT, sales, production and so on, to deliver analysis, rather than just data, to the C-suite.
- Working from home through remotely connected Shared Services frameworks will become the new normal.
- CFOs will drive the execution of business strategy through actionable business insight in real time.
Innovative business platforms such as SAP S/4HANA have accelerated this re-shaping of the Finance department’s capabilities, enabling them to act as business partners. Employees are engaged in productive strategic analysis, not just number crunching.
Finance is central in building resilience through agility
Projects are no longer just “IT projects”. Business and IT must work together to build the resilience necessary during turbulent times, and deliver the platform required for a successful return to growth. IT is no longer merely another cost center; it needs to be seen as an investment center and investments result in ROI payback. Finance can help drive the strategy needed for the immediate response as well as the mid to longer term strategic horizons.
The need for cost-effective solutions that provide the agility required to adapt swiftly is paramount. CFOs are driving this value release agenda with benefits that flow directly to the bottom line through simplification, centralization, standardization and the use of automation.
What you can do right now
The after-effects of global shocks such as COVID-19 will no doubt keep the spotlight on the need for businesses to become highly adaptable, innovative and even more cost-conscious. The CFO’s ability to deal with these challenges will be brought into sharper focus; the entire enterprise will look to Finance to help navigate through unsettling times.
SAP offers solutions to address the immediate high priority needs: ensuring optimal cash and capital, enabling streamlined closing and reporting, meeting compliance requirements while safeguarding the enterprise, and ensuring the smooth running of the supply chain.
SAP’s Finance and Risk Value Advisory would welcome a conversation with you to demonstrate the most important aspects of SAP S/4HANA value and how you can accomplish your strategic objectives in this dynamically changing environment.