The world has changed since the pandemic took its grip in early 2020. Priorities have changed, budgets contracted and timelines stretched. Big ticket projects and programmes of work have been put on ice or cancelled.
For many clients, the thought of looking for suitable replacements to SAP BFC is simply not an option, so the announcement from SAP that mainstream maintenance will be extended to 2027 is particularly welcome.
One advantage, of course, with SAP BFC software is its ability to sit on top of, and interface with, third party platforms easily. This means that the application can be kept as an enterprise consolidation tool even if transactional systems or platforms are evolving.
As a robust and road-tested solution, Users can have confidence that it will deliver their financial consolidation and group reporting needs.
Group Finance Users know that their ever demanding workload always requires systems to be updated– whether regulatory, management focused or due to organisational changes.
Next to periodic “Business as Usual” maintenance, we would encourage Users to look at longer term SAP BFC system improvements
Keeping the show on the road does not mean “do nothing”. Indeed, keeping with the road analogy, sometimes the tyre needs changing or the engine serviced. Furthermore, if there are improvements one can make in order that the journey is more comfortable then why wouldn’t you?
Why is it important to assess a system that already works for you?
The chances are that your SAP BFC system was designed and implemented years ago, with additions over the intervening period. It works for you because you have made changes within an existing framework, with all the limitations and workarounds that entails. This is not necessarily a bad thing – SAP BFC systems should be designed with compliance and application best practice in mind.
Given the challenging business environment, and the pressure from CFOs to keep costs down, Users may think that they have to live with systems as they are, but it is possible to make significant improvements while keeping costs down.
An assessment of SAP BFC systems mapped against current business processes and upcoming requirements can help to flush out inefficiencies and elimination of manual work while setting a roadmap for functional changes in the application.
Internal administrators are normally able to cope with configuration changes, either with the existing in-house skill set or through coaching.
Any potential work identified as a result of the system assessment need not be intrusive either. By considering how to use versioning and defining clear project plans, we can avoid disrupting key reporting periods, staff absences, Business-as-Usual changes and other issues.
Choosing the right partner to assess a SAP BFC portfolio.
It is clearly important to engage with a SAP BFC expert who knows the application inside and out, both technically and functionally. This enables you to understand what improvements can be gained in the areas of performance and security.
From a functional perspective it is always advisable to partner with consultants that understand the underlying business processes and group reporting issues.
The best consultants are those who can talk to the Users in terms of Finance and successfully translate these requirements into functional specs which leverage the core functionality of SAP BFC whether Category Builder, Rules or Reporting modules.
Users should trust that any System Assessment should be customer-centric an supporting what offers best value vs. recommended actions.
We strongly advise SAP BFC users to think about taking a longer term perspective on their strategy for Financial Consolidation. No matter how complex your system it can pay to take advantage of a reliable software platform while making improvements for the future.