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2024 Predications for SAP Finance Teams

insightsoftware -
December 8, 2023

insightsoftware is a global provider of reporting, analytics, and performance management solutions, empowering organizations to unlock business data and transform the way finance and data teams operate.

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Next year, finance teams utilizing SAP will face unparalleled pressure due to a confluence of economic challenges. The demand for actionable insights will grow amidst a landscape marred by economic recession and escalating inflation rates. These adversities heighten the necessity for finance professionals to adeptly translate raw data into strategic guidance. Our recent Finance Team Trends Report indicates that last year, over 48% of finance teams experienced efficiency losses amidst global economic disruptions, emphasizing the critical need for adaptability and agility in 2024.

Increased Pressure from Leadership on Finance Efficiency

Leadership expectations for finance teams have dramatically increased over the last few years and will continue to increase pressure on process efficiency in 2024. The same report found that recently a new set of obstacles has emerged for finance teams. Previous issues such as technology adoption and data constraints have reduced in priority, while budgetary limitations and skill gaps on teams have emerged as more urgent concerns.

Sustaining growth amidst economic uncertainty demands immediate, clear insights from your SAP data to inform strategic decision-making. The aftershocks of pandemic disruption continue to put pressure on supply chains, increasing the need for robust oversight to maintain operational stability and customer satisfaction. Financial insights must not only be rapid and timely, but also easy to understand. Your leadership has come to expect engaging visualizations and dashboards to help them understand and dive into results.

Skills Shortages and IT Overreliance

In 2024, the skills gap will remain a global challenge for finance teams using SAP, significantly slowing the migration to SAP S/4HANA. Robert Half recruitment data underscores the struggle, with nearly 90% of hiring managers facing difficulties in finding suitable candidates for finance roles. In fact, our recent report found that 41% of finance decision-makers see skills shortages as a top factor impacting overall team performance.

The UK and Ireland SAP user group’s annual survey revealed that 92% of organizations yet to transition to S/4HANA are concerned that a lack of available skills will slow their cloud migration. The complexity inherent in SAP reporting tools amplifies user frustrations, creating dependencies on scarce IT resources. Interestingly, our report found that organizations in 2023 are far less likely than in 2022 to be completely satisfied with the relationship between Finance and IT, decreasing from 54% to 28%. This is a significant drop that’s likely due to skills shortages, as well as delayed IT response times that occur due to limited capacity and more requests.

SAP is powerful, but intricate by necessity, which poses challenges for finance and accounting users. Processes like month-end closing require extensive ad hoc analysis, from information gathering to reconciling balances and identifying discrepancies. Overcoming the skills gap is a pressing priority for leadership as they strive to drive more value from their SAP data in the upcoming year.

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Cloud Push to S/4HANA

The transition to SAP S/4HANA presents many challenges for finance teams, requiring a strategic approach to navigate complexities effectively. In January 2024, SAP will increase on-premises support fees by an average of 5%, increasing the urgency for migration. Yet, despite this imperative, the adoption rate remains relatively low, with only approximately 30% of existing SAP customers having embraced S/4HANA. This leaves a substantial 40% yet to license the system, signaling a significant hurdle in the path to migration.

For finance teams, the shift to S/4HANA signifies a departure from familiar landscapes, often requiring a steep learning curve and a drop in productivity. Organizations seeking cloud migration must recalibrate processes, reconfigure data models, and adapt to a new interface and functionality. Such transformations inherently pose disruptions to existing workflows and demand meticulous planning and execution to mitigate operational downtime.

The challenges escalate further for organizations with hybrid environments or multiple ERP instances, where seamless integration across on-premises, cloud, or hybrid environments becomes crucial to maintaining productivity. To maintain growth through migration you need the right tools to connect these diverse ERP landscapes and facilitate efficient communication and data exchange between disparate systems.

The SAP Tools That Will Boost Your Agility in 2024

insightsoftware’s suite of SAP products is your key to success in 2024. Our tools are purpose-built to boost trust in SAP data by ensuring accuracy, transparency, and user proficiency, creating a reliable foundation for critical business decisions. They enhance data transparency by offering insights into data sourcing and the entire data handling process within SAP systems, allowing users to understand and trust the data’s journey.

With low-code, user-friendly, Excel-based automation tools like Process Runner and Process Runner GLSU, companies can solve their skills shortages. With software like Angles and Wands, teams can run reports with SAP data in a breeze and in real-time. Angles can seamlessly cleanse company SAP data. Additionally, these solutions can minimize the risk and maximize the reward of moving to S/4HANA.

Here’s the path to agility, scalability, and the proper actionable insights into your SAP data in 2024:

  • Wands for SAP: With time-critical reports, you, your team, and your leaders all need data that is not only reliable but also up-to-the-minute. Real-time data empowers your organization to make informed decisions with absolute confidence, effectively steering the company toward success. Wands for SAP empowers business users to create their own refreshable and drillable reports, with flexible layouts, against SAP ECC and S/4HANA in a self-service manner, without requiring technical knowledge.
  • Angles Enterprise for SAP: Transform SAP data into actionable business insights with a solution that applies a context-aware, process-rich business data model to SAP’s complex data structure and simplifies into normal business terms and language users understand, empowering business users to get answers quickly. Angles’ comprehensive library of pre-built templates allows your teams to overcome skills shortages and hit the ground running, reducing productivity lag. Engaging dashboards and visualizations allows you to effectively communicate your analysis to stakeholders, leading to more efficient business decision-making and fewer ad hoc requests for your team. Gain complete supply chain oversight to help limit the damage caused by global economic disruption.
  • Process Runner: Overcome your reliance on IT with a tool that makes SAP data management fast and easy. Gain deep automation capabilities for all SAP modules that include full support for SAP S/4HANA. Empower business users with no-code automation and pre-built templates through Microsoft Excel. With our latest cloud release, control user access and roles from one convenient location to ensure the protection of your SAP investment. Allow your organization to have self-service cloud access to manage users and roles from any location, delivering the agility your teams need. For those migrating to the cloud in 2024, you can collaborate with cloud file sharing to increase productivity.
  • Process Runner GLSU: Streamline routine financial processes and FICO data entry without adding complexity. Eliminate cumbersome manual processes and tedious tasks that consume significant time and effort. Process Runner GLSU provides the ideal blend of features for your SAP finance team while eliminating the need for lengthy internal development life cycles, budget overruns, and excessive support costs. GLSU improves efficiency and empowers users to create their own templates without leaning on IT.

Check out our white paper to learn how your team can maximize its SAP data in 2024 and beyond. how your team can maximize its SAP data in 2024 and beyond.

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