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5 key innovations from SAP S/4HANA that power the finance role

Paul Smitherman |

From day-to-day operations to strategic support, the ability to proactively lead the business with advanced analytics and predictive information is becoming an important part of the CFO's evolving role and core business.

Explore ways that you can innovate in finance with the power of SAP S/4HANA.

5 Key innovations you should know about:

  1. 360-degree view in the universal journal

The SAP S/4HANA database architecture has been simplified by significantly reducing the number of tables in the system. The universal journal covering general ledger, profitability analysis, control, asset accounting and inventory is combined in a single table, providing multi-dimensional reports almost immediately.

This frees up valuable time for the finance team from unnecessary administrative tasks. Reporting and reconciliation are faster and easier, providing 360-degree view, and the risk of discrepancies and variances between the different modules is reduced.

  1. Management by exception

Standard and custom KPIs or indicators are displayed on the home screen cockpit, providing a single source of truth where exceptions are immediately reported. Whether the exception is a late customer payment or a DSO analysis, the finance team can explore and focus on immediate management needs.

  1. Simulation to predict the future

The finance team can use simulations to predict the future. The accounting scope is extended from just considering actual payments, such as invoice payments, to include offers and customer orders. The CFO can anticipate future revenues and prospective cash flow information, with predictive accounting at the bid or sales order stage.

  1. Anticipate financial closing centrally

Consolidation of figures happens at a centralised group level, rather than inter-company, so the closing process is faster, more accurate and simpler. Decentralised financial administration has previously caused many problems for the month-end closing process, but new tools in SAP S/4HANA reduce manual effort and time to close, as well as increase proactive decision-making.

  1. Extend the reach of finance

SAP S/4HANA extends the reach of finance with dedicated cloud applications. For example, credit management is integrated, either with the SOA People Ready4 Credit Management tool or with standard SAP tools. E-learning applications also help the finance team perform cash reconciliation and payment clearance.

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