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This is Blog #8 in our Record to Report Blog Series. You can find the complete series outlined HERE.

Author: Constantin Holzner, Lead — SAP Business Group Finance Transformation, Accenture

Finance transformation is now a business imperative. In recent years, technological disruption and subdued growth have highlighted the requirement for agile, forward-looking, and decision-centric finance organizations in enterprises. The widespread economic turmoil caused by COVID-19 has made this need even more urgent.

Fortunately, the response to this imperative is clear. By analyzing the huge volumes of data flowing across enterprise ERP systems, CFOs and their teams can arm their business with the insights it needs to make the right decisions. But to do this effectively, finance needs to be empowered with agile information technologies and solutions.

Unify your data with SAP S/4HANA for Central Finance

SAP Central Finance underpins finance transformation through a unified, global reporting structure. The solution brings together master data, reporting attributes, and organizational entities in upstream systems to a single reporting structure that includes general ledger account, profit center, cost center, and more.

By combing all finance data in a single source of truth, SAP Central Finance enhances finance’s analytics capabilities and provides a platform for improved decision-making and strategic planning.

SAP Central Finance is a powerful solution for finance teams looking to transform their capabilities. Reducing the time needed to close books, driving process efficiency and harmonizing data to improve organizational decision-making, SAP Central Finance can empower finance teams and help them steer their business through todays’ unprecedented economic challenges.

5 steps to success

Through our experience of helping clients transform their finance function with SAP technologies, we have distilled five key best practices for successful implementations of SAP Central Finance.

  1. Perform upfront analysis of configuration. Given the high level of alignment of the SAP Central Finance configuration required with the source systems, it’s important to conduct an upfront analysis of existing configuration and master data settings as early as possible, establish standards and manage the process through a configuration governance council.

  2. Establish effective master data and replication governance. Before you test, determine your master data conversion strategy. Apply governance procedures to all finance master data being replicated centrally and maintain master data centrally and replicate it in both the source and SAP Central Finance. Do not allow source systems to update master data.

  3. Anticipate issues with your initial load. Make sure you schedule enough initial load cycles for testing. Use production-quality data for tests and practice reconciliation and the posting of adjusted entries.

  4. Communicate effectively to resolve errors. Manage errors with a dedicated team. Communicate with finance users regularly as you will likely have to accrue for outstanding errors and adjust and reconcile, something that requires close collaboration between IT and Finance.

  5. Monitor for errors, reconciliations, and accrual postings. Robust governance processes can only do so much, and there will still be some errors in reconciliations and accruals at month end. These need to be monitored closely and status updates should be sent daily, with a close eye on reporting.

For more information on how you can best drive finance transformation and implement SAP Central Finance in your organization, visit our website.

This blog has been reposted with permission the original post can be found HERE

Call to action: To learn more digital transformation with SAP S/4HANA for Central Finance, join us and customers at the SAP Central Finance Virtual Event.

Check out the rest of our series:

R2R Series Blog #1: Record to Report Blog Series Kick Off | SAP Blogs

R2R Series Blog #2: How to increase process efficiency in the financial close leveraging SAP’s Moder...

R2R Series Blog #3: Why did the accountant cross the road? | SAP Blogs

R2R Series Blog #4: Ignite Your Growth of Bottom Line with SAP S/4HANA GR/IR | SAP Blogs

R2R Series Blog #5: Hard Close, Fast Close, Soft Close and Continuous Accounting | SAP Blogs

R2R Series Blog #6: Build vs Buy – 3rd Party Data Integration for SAP Central Finance | SAP Blogs

R2R Series Blog #7: Market Overview – SAP Contract and Lease Management | SAP Blogs

R2R Series Blog #8: Make your SAP S/4HANA for Central Finance implementation a success | SAP Blogs

R2R Series Blog #9 Automated Revenue Management | SAP Blogs

R2R Series Blog #10: Why You Need SAP Account Substantiation & Automation by BlackLine if you’re run...