Establishing an efficient financial close is a challenge for many businesses due to the number of people and complexity of tasks involved, and yet it is key to a best-run finance organization. By understanding how financial transformation—including the use of automation to increase operational efficiency—can support finance teams in the close process and add more value to the business, finance teams can spend less time on mundane tasks and more time engaging in value-added activities. This article analyzes two workstreams that are essential to the financial close process, and how SAP solutions complemented by BlackLine applications can support these workstreams and improve the close process.
After reading this article you will be able to:
--Understand the stages of the financial close, which range from transactions to analytics;
--Explain how financial accounting, controlling, and planning work together to enable insight into the financial status of a company;
--Define the solutions that are available to support both the R2R and the FP&A workstreams; and
--Identify how BlackLine applications complement the solutions provided by SAP and how they fit into the overall financial close process.
MEET THE AUTHORS
Birgit Starmanns is the Global Head of oCFO COE Thought Leadership Strategy and Programs in the Global Center of Excellence for Finance and Risk. She also has responsibility for the go-to-market of new finance and risk solutions that leverage new technologies such as machine learning and cloud, and the business benefits they can bring to organizations. Her functional experience is in finance and management accounting, including SAP S/4HANA Finance, as well as core SAP ERP and SAP EPM. Birgit has over 30 years of experience across the Center of Excellence (COE), solution marketing, solution management, strategic customer communities, and management consulting organizations. Prior to SAP, she was a principal in management consulting organizations, including Price Waterhouse and several boutique firms. Birgit holds a BA and MBA from the College of William and Mary.