Successful medium-sized companies often have very specific requirements with regards to the functionalities of a planning & consolidation tool. Tangible and immediate benefits as to process cycle times, data quality and transparency are expected. Nonetheless the system needs to be flexible and should be manageable by functional departments. In our recent project at a German chemicals company SAP BPC proved to be ideally suited for efficient consolidation solutions in SMEs.
Challenging Project Objectives
In the past, the client‘s financial consolidation process was based on Excel. Spreadsheet applications have many advantages when it comes to flexibility and user acceptance. Nevertheless, they also implicate high risks: „We depend on the knowledge of individual persons. At the same time, decentralized data storage implies a higher incidence of errors, which we wanted to eliminate“, the responsible manager stated before the project.
The expectations with regards to the new consolidation solution were clearly outlined at project start:
– Faster process times should bring significant savings of time and money.
– The new system should allow a simplified and automatized process handling
– Administration would have to be done by the functional departments
– Checks and analyses of data should be able on different organizational levels and on Group level
– Rear-view mirror of balance sheet valuation for the profit and loss account
– Multi-GAAP for mapping HGB and IFRS
– The application should be lightweight and should allow a fast training of users
The customer decided on Stampa & Partners as their consulting and implementation partner. Besides Stampa’s long experience and expertise in the field of Business Planning, Consolidation & Reporting its strengths in terms of reliability and strong customer focus played a role in the decision. Stampa & Partners implemented SAP BPC 10.1 on NetWeaver. It showed excellent results and proved to be very well suited for medium-sized companies.
«The time we save in our closings can now be spent for analytics and for strategic decisions, which are also supported by our new system»
„Now that our interim reporting works on the new process for the first time, we already benefit from faster process-times and consistent, reliable data.“ Directly after the Go-Live of the BPC-solution, its advantages became obvious and are convincing. Today, thanks to Stampa’s initial support, all users are well trained and sufficiently equipped to create their own reports according to the Company‘s specific needs. For instance, the information from the individual financial statement can be compressed on Group level and checked in terms of plausibility and accuracy. Their source and that of any further data added during the consolidation process can easily be identified in any audit. The automated and guided consolidation process during the financial closing also reduces the efforts of the users when they create needed group information. Since BPC collects its data from ERP and BW with transparent and monitored processes, the error rate has dropped. Additionally, the entities can now create standardized reports that replace the former Excel formulas. Not to forget, transaction errors are eliminated as reporting packages can store information directly in a data base.
In summary our client now benefits from a simplified, fast and transparent process. Unnecessary risks in terms of potential errors and reliance on individual Excel experts have been eliminated. The new solution offers a shorter cycle time and less uncertainties in the closing process. This sets time and resources free for other tasks like data analysis or strategic thinking, topics that are key for the long-term success of the company.