How to Optimize Vendor Performance Appraisal with Automatic Vendor Evaluation

Learn how automatic Vendor Evaluation in an SAP system can be implemented to optimize the appraisal of vendors’ performances and significantly reduce your supply chain risk, cut financial waste, and enhance your procurement process performance. Key Concept Use of Vendor Evaluation is sometimes not considered an important requirement during SAP system implementations, but it is...

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Reinventing Finance for a Digital Business Landscape

As technology innovations continue to shift the business landscape, many of the biggest — such as big data and the cloud — at first glance may not seem directly related to finance, which is why digital finance technologies sometimes do not get the attention they should. But if a company truly wants to reinvent itself for the digital age, it has to make finance a primary component of that reinvention.

Finance is at the core of any business, and the processes completed in the finance department are essential for keeping an organization up and running. If finance isn’t running properly — if performance bottlenecks are slowing down key processes or manual data entry is introducing errors, for instance — the effects will ripple out across the business.

Only by digitizing these core financial processes can a business truly become innovative and modern. So what, exactly, does digital finance look like? It includes four key characteristics: agility, automation, access, and action.

1. Agility

Today’s businesses move fast, and finance departments need to move faster to provide organizations with the data they need to make critical decisions. Quick closes and agile financial planning cycles are vital for a truly flexible business that can respond to changing business needs in real time.

2. Automation

Manual processes are error prone and inefficient. Modern finance departments often find that automation is essential for keeping up with a digital business, particularly when it comes to managing fixed asset accounting, income tax provisioning, and data uploads.

3. Access

Like most employees, finance employees are seeking easier, more efficient ways of doing their jobs. That means greater process efficiency, real-time access to data, a single source of truth, and integration with modern technologies, such as the cloud or machine learning. Businesses that provide these features with solid access controls will benefit from productivity increases while minimizing risks.

4. Action

Finance is often seen as a background function, but the changing business landscape means that it is poised to become a primary business driver. Finance departments that take advantage of innovative technologies can transition from providing the business with historical reporting to being a key source of real-time analytics and guidance for the future.

Learn more

For more information on how you can transform your business with digital finance, view the featured articles of the January-March issue of SAPinsider or browse the Financial Transformation special report. 


Back to Basics: An Introduction to Some Key Changes in SAP Solution Manager 7.2

Learn how Solution Documentation has changed in SAP Solution Manager 7.2 to an enhanced single source of truth for all aspects of a delivered solution.

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Modernizing supply chains for the digital age

The way consumers think about the products they purchase has changed dramatically, which has triggered an equally dramatic change in the way supply chains operate. This means that modern supply chains look very different from those of just a few years ago — they are more connected, more intelligent, and more agile.

So, what’s driving this change? The short answer is technology. Innovative enterprise solutions and changes in consumer technologies are creating a faster pace of business, the need for greater agility to respond to changing markets, and consumers who are demanding more personalized products. If an organization’s supply chain cannot keep pace with these trends, that business is likely to fall behind the competition.

Standard, traditional methods of manufacturing goods and moving them from one place to another are no longer sufficient to keep up in the digital age. So how do you modernize your supply chain? There are four key areas in which you can make changes that will help you on your way.

1. Automated and simplified processes

Rapid business changes and immediate customer demand leave little room for manual, error-prone processes. Automation for tasks such as order management has become essential, reducing the risk of mistakes and making the entire supply chain more streamlined.

2. Accurate, high-quality data

Data is essential for every part of modern business operations, and the supply chain is no exception. Clean, accurate data enables enhanced visibility, accurate labeling, more efficiency, and higher customer satisfaction. 

3. Use of innovative technologies

Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things are here, and supply chains must be ready. Strategic use of these technologies will enable organizations to establish a seamless connection among every aspect of the digital supply chain and move the business forward at a more rapid rate.  

4. Flexibility for constant reinvention

As supply chains move forward into the digital age, it’s important to look beyond traditional expectations. Resistance to change can hold organizations back from achieving their full potential. More than anything, businesses must be open to reinvention — wherever that may lead.

How do I get there?

To learn more about how to achieve a successful digital supply chain, view the Extended Supply Chain special report in the January-March 2017 issue of SAPinsider.  


Mexico Moves Beyond eInvoicing and Is Now Tracking Payments

Mexico continues to push through the most comprehensive electronic invoicing initiatives in the world. The newest addition transitions its invoice tracking for tax payments from registration to collections. In other words, Mexico is now tracking the money. 

Other countries have adopted similar “recipient acknowledgement” processes, including Brazil with the Manifestação do Destinatário and Chile with their version of the Acuse de Recibos. But no country to date has released a mandate like this to track the actual payment receipts.

This is a major change in the Mexican government’s ability to address value added tax (VAT) remittances. Fundamentally, they are asking for information about when taxes are actually collected. Remember that in countries such as Mexico, VAT is due within a certain time period after collections. This differs from other markets, such as Brazil, where VAT is most often triggered by the physical delivery of the goods.

Why is this new Pagos – or “payments” – requirement being implemented by the Mexico Tax Administration Service (SAT)? There are a few reasons:

  • The SAT was not able to track partial payments. With this new complemento, you won’t lose the relationship between the invoices and the payments.
  • The SAT wanted an easier way to distinguish invoices from payments.
  • Companies were paying invoices without VAT.
  • Suppliers were cancelling invoices after being paid by the client and avoiding VAT collections.

Once this law is in effect, the following payments scenarios will be impacted:

  • Payments where there is a government VAT associated. You will have to produce a Pagos in these situations. The main exception is if you are paid at time of invoice, such as in a point of sale retail transaction.
  • Anticipos, or down payments, regardless of whether goods are delivered upon down payment or not until after all payments are made.
  • Partial payments or installment payments, such as project milestone payments.
  • Payment terms, i.e. net 30/60/90 days.
  • Payments that are realized without exchange of currency, i.e. services paid for via fixed asset exchange, designated as “XXX.”

This regulation takes effect in July, 2017, along with the new CFDI 3.3 regulations.

It’s important to remember that Mexico’s tax authority, the SAT, announced its implementation of real-time, electronic audits late last year based on the collections of eAccounting reports. eAudits are designed to speed up the auditing process and minimize the time it takes for taxpayers to correct compliance errors, therefore increasing the likelihood that they will pay the appropriate taxes and fines. This new requirement only creates another audit data point for the government. Now they will know what you sold, what you paid, and what you actually collected. 

These changes will require an overhaul of financial SAP processes for businesses with operations in Mexico. And with the deadline quickly approaching, the potential penalties of noncompliance are too great to risk not getting a solution in place today. Are your SAP systems prepared for this new initiative?

To speak with an expert about preparing for the upcoming requirements, contact us here.


Quick Tip: Best Practices for Designing SAP BW BEx Queries and a Comparison of Connection Options

This checklist helps you learn SAP BW BEx Query design best practices to enable you to build performance-optimized SAP BW BEx Queries. Also see a quick comparison of the three SAP BusinessObjects connection types: Business Intelligence Consumer Services (BICS), relational, and Business Application Programming Interface (BAPI) connections. This quick tip also helps you decide which SAP BusinessObjects connection type is right for your scenario.

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How to Configure the SAP SuccessFactors Variable Pay Module with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Integration

Learn the step-by-step process for integrating SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and the SAP SuccessFactors Variable Pay module. Learn an in-depth configuration solution. Key Concept SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central is a cloud-based application that stores and processes employee information (job, time, employment, and job relationships) throughout the employee’s life cycle in an organization (from hire to…...

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How Big Data and AI Help Us Tackle the World’s Biggest Problems in 2017 and Beyond

Some of the world's most troubling issues — climate change, the energy crisis, healthcare, and overall safety — are being addressed with emerging technology such as artificial intelligence and big data. Analysts are gleaning more and more insights everyday to help make the world a better and safer place.

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5 Key Criteria for Successful Business Planning

Business is changing, and this isn’t news to anyone. From managing larger data loads to enabling faster supply chains, companies across industries are developing new ways of doing things ― ways that are faster, smarter, and more agile. To support these changes, organizations need to update their business planning and financial consolidation processes, yet many organizations continue to use the same static processes that have powered those business functions for decades.

While it can be difficult to alter processes that underlie how an organization operates, it is critical to adapt these processes to modern needs precisely because they form the foundation of the enterprise. If you don’t, you risk slowing your business and falling behind competitors. To keep up in the digital age, your business planning and financial consolidation processes must be able to function in five key ways.

1. Respond rapidly to changing business conditions

The business landscape is always evolving, but the rate of change today has reached a fever pitch. Businesses must be able to move quickly, both in terms of everyday accounting activities and in terms of strategic budging, forecasting, and planning capabilities. Financial closes need to happen rapidly, and business forecasting tools must be able to process new information in real time to produce strategic insights that will take the organization ahead of the competition.

2. Harness increasing data volumes

Organizations are dealing with more data than ever before, and a key marker of success in today’s economy is how well a company harnesses that data. When it comes to business planning, that means leveraging your enterprise’s data to create more accurate budgets, real-time forecasts, and consolidated sources of truth. It also means that the software you use for financial transactions needs to be robust enough to manage growing amounts of financial data.

3. Ensure compliance with regulatory and audit requirements

A growing number of regulations and more stringent audit requirements can mean increased compliance risks. To minimize this risk, finance departments need to be both faster and more accurate in financial closing and reporting. This means upgrading the financial consolidation process to enable efficient reporting that leaves a complete, clear audit trail.

4. Enable self-service and mobile applications

End-user expectations have changed significantly. Today’s end users expect a consumer-grade experience from their business applications, including sophisticated interfaces and the ability to complete tasks on their own rather than wait for IT to do it. By leveraging self-service applications and applications that support HTML5 and mobile interfaces, organizations can bring greater efficiency, productivity, and end-user input to the business planning process.

5. Stay ahead of the curve with financial intelligence

Traditional budgeting, planning, and forecasting processes simply aren’t robust or agile enough to meet business needs in a digital economy. Instead of historical analysis, businesses need predictive insights. Financial intelligence is critical, and organizations that leverage tools that provide real-time forecast models, what-if scenarios, and faster planning cycles will be well positioned for success ― both today and in the future.

Does your organization offer something unique to those who wish to improve their business planning processes? Do you have experience helping to develop critical business planning strategies or implementing SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation? Consider contributing your insights to the next issue of SAPinsider, to be distributed at SAPPHIRE NOW in May 2017.

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