Overcoming 3 Challenges to Faster Close and Better Reporting
Improving record to report processes through integrated data management and process automation
Companies rely on their record to report (R2R) departments to manage the financial closing process and produce accurate and timely reports. Unfortunately, for many enterprises, there are systemic challenges in their processes that make it difficult to close the books fast or develop reports in which CFOs have full confidence.
If you’re responsible for managing your company’s R2R, closing, or reporting processes, this eBook is for you. In it, we will examine three of the underlying challenges that make it difficult to improve your closing speed and generate accurate financial reports.
Closing & reporting: The end of a much larger process
Before diving into the challenges facing R2R teams, we should acknowledge that they are the endpoint of many complicated financial data processes. By incorporating information from accounts receivable, accounts payable, asset accounting, sales and distribution, controlling, and other functions, the closing process can be daunting. Yet, the challenges that face the closing and reporting teams are ones that are frequently endemic to SAP data processes throughout an enterprise.
- Slow, manual data management processes
- Poor data quality
- Risky, ungoverned processes
Precisely Automate software delivers a platform that you can apply across your SAP ERP environment to mitigate these challenges and more.
Slow data entry processes
Slow, manual data entry processes for reconciliation and journal entries challenge your R2R team’s ability to deliver a faster close. This is especially true when your team is forced to enter data through the complicated steps required by the SAP GUI.
For instance, during engagements with new customers, we have had heard numerous stories outlining how they manage financial information, such as journal entries, in Excel files before having to enter the data into SAP manually. This process often led to long closing periods, late nights, and unhappy employees.
of finance teams are still operating in a manually intensive, spreadsheet driven system. Is yours one of them?
Journal of Accountancy
of finance teams report working overtime during the financial close process.
Journal of Accountancy
“Manual processes make it difficult for finance executives to run an efficient and effective operation.”
Automate and manage SAP data using Excel or web forms for faster, more efficient financial processes.
Automate data entry processes
Precisely Automate enables finance teams to build flexible process automation solutions that allow members to manage SAP data using Excel or business-friendly web forms. With Precisely Automate, you can handle mass transaction volumes automatically, including validating the data against SAP before posting. For R2R processes such as journal entries, general ledger account updates, and reconciliation, automating SAP data management processes supports your ability to close the books faster.
Through process automation focused on SAP data management, your finance department can enter more data faster, reducing overtime and giving people time to do more valuable work for the business.
Error-prone data management processes
It may seem hard to believe, but according to Accountancy Age, only half of CFOs trust their numbers.
In recent years, the amount of business-critical data has exploded while manual data entry has failed to become more accurate. As a result, much of the closing period involves manual corrective journal postings, general ledger account updates, and adjustments that are tedious and time-consuming.
“It is far more cost-efficient to prevent data issues than to resolve them. If a company has 500,000 records and 30% are inaccurate, then it would need to spend $15 million to correct the issues versus $150,000 to prevent them.”
Dun & Bradstreet
Validate data against SAP before posting
Precisely Automate delivers a range of capabilities that help you eliminate manual data entry errors, validate SAP data before posting, and improve closing period activities while maintaining full compliance and auditability. We enable you to do this using either Excel or web forms.
For example, our enterprise journal entry solution enables your finance team to manage their period end SAP journal entries using Excel files that validate the data against SAP before being submitted for review and approval. And the solution centrally manages the entire process, tracking every activity and interaction, before it is queued on a server to be auto-posted to SAP.
While the enterprise journal entry solution is increasingly popular, many of the largest companies in the world use Automate Studio as a desktop solution to manage their day-to-day journal entry and general ledger management activities.
Non-complaint data management processes
Remember, 73% of finance teams are still operating in a manually intensive, spreadsheet-driven system.
For many R2R departments, spreadsheets and email routing are both the core and bane of their existence. Excel files can be difficult to govern and almost impossible to audit. Add manual email routing for review and approval, and you have a recipe for a failed SOX audit. The net result is that finance departments who rely on ungoverned, manual processes that manage SAP data using spreadsheets, are unacceptably risky.
“Up to 88% of spreadsheets contain errors.”
Easy audit reporting: See at a glance who did what and when.
Centralized process management
Precisely Automate offers you a way to use Excel spreadsheets or web-based forms to automate and manage SAP data processes while adhering to strict governance and compliance guidelines. By centrally managing, routing, and tracking workflows across your R2R processes, Automate Evolve enables users to remain compliant without having to change the way they work or manually route and track Excel reporting files.
In addition to being governed and compliant, all the processes managed through Automate Evolve can quickly be reviewed by an audit team. By enhancing your ability to conduct and pass SOX audits, we help reduce risk across the finance processes you rely on for closing and reporting.
Driving faster close and better reporting with Precisely
By eliminating manual data management processes, improving data quality, and applying centralized governance to your SAP R2R processes, you can reap the benefits of a faster close and better reporting. And Precisely Automate can help you get there.
“We don’t ever want to go back to our lives before Precisely Automate—especially with how easy it’s made annual statements!”
Administrative & Financial Director