Given the wide array of SAP reporting tools, it’s not surprising that many users feel frustrated by the complexity of the software and the dependencies that it creates for scarce IT resources. SAP develops some of the most powerful business applications in the world, but it often does so at the expense of simplicity.
For users in finance and accounting, that kind of complexity generates some real-world disadvantages. The month-end closing process, for example, requires a good deal of ad hoc analysis: gathering and collating information, reconciling GL balances against external sources, and identifying any discrepancies that you discover in the process.
Unfortunately, that level of technical SAP expertise is becoming harder to find. The annual member survey from the UK and Ireland SAP user group (UKISUG) found that of those organizations yet to move to SAP S/4HANA, 92% were concerned a lack of available skills will slow their migration (an increase from 71% in 2021). Similarly, SAPinsider’s recent survey found that nearly half of respondents who currently have no plans to move to SAP S/4HANA cite the complexity of using their existing implementation as the main reason.
Closing the Skills Gap Requires a Multipronged Approach
1. Hiring new staff to add skills
Hiring qualified talent to manage your complex SAP systems is an evolving challenge. But what won’t change is the shifting values of the emerging generation of finance professionals who are seeking better work/life balance. Modern organizations are realizing this and automating the painful manual tasks that used to keep young accountants at their desks well into the night. These teams will see higher job satisfaction, less turnover, and higher quality applicants.
2. Training existing staff to develop new skills
While many SAP-based organizations offer training and development programs, many do not prioritize them. Often tedious BAU tasks fill time that could otherwise be used to learn new skills. To facilitate employee retention and develop desired SAP data management skills within your team, you must first free up your finance team’s time, and then be very deliberate about using that extra time to develop and deepen their skill sets. This will tell your employees you care enough about them to invest in their growth while also helping to alleviate skills shortages. Add learning and development to quarterly goals or set aside a dedicated period every week for the team to explore.
3. Utilizing technology to automate repetitive tasks to free up time
Eliminating as many manual processes as possible saves time and resources for finance teams. Rather than spending hours copy-pasting data from your SAP solution into spreadsheets, look for tools that can layer over your existing systems and pull data as needed for planning and reporting. To address the lack of SAP skills on your finance team, look for tools that use familiar interfaces to do new things. Let your users dive deep into the data within a tool they already know and love. Rather than relying on extra coding knowledge to get the reports you need, you can rely on insightsoftware tools and solutions to provide intuitive interfaces that present information in a way that is truly useful to business users.
Unlock SAP Data Potential With the Right Tools
insightsoftware offers a suite of SAP-focused tools to help your team bridge the skills gap and generate more value from SAP data.
- Accelerate financial reporting with real-time data in excel.
- Generate actionable insights from operational data.
- Simplify data management across all SAP modules.
- Empower finance to work faster and smarter with powerful automation.
Our SAP-focused range of products can help you achieve all the above.
Wands for SAP: Empower business users to create their own refreshable and drillable reports, with flexible layouts, against SAP Business Suite (ECC) and S/4HANA and provide them with an intuitive interface in which they can create custom reports, in minutes, without requiring technical knowledge.
Angles Enterprise for SAP: Transform SAP data into actionable business insights with the 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.
Process Runner: Makes SAP data management fast and easy and it offers deep automation capabilities for all SAP modules including FICO, SD, HCM, MM, PP, SM, QM, and PS, and full support for SAP S/4HANA.
Process Runner GLSU: Streamline business processes and financial operations without adding complexity. Eliminate cumbersome manual processes and tedious tasks that consume significant time and effort.
Visit our website to schedule a demo and learn how your team can address its SAP skills gap.