Thousands of enterprise ERP customers have discovered the convenience and flexibility offered by insightsoftware’s Wands products. If you’re currently running any of the Wands for SAP solutions, you should know about some recent updates to the product line that will enhance your team’s productivity, increase the options available for calendar-year reporting, and improve the underlying technology on which the Wands products are built.
Wands for SAP is designed for companies running SAP’s flagship ERP product (S4/HANA or its predecessor ECC). Most customers typically start out by deploying GL Wands, which helps to accelerate core financial processes by offering simple, real-time access to general ledger data directly from within Microsoft Excel. Many users later expand their insightsoftware toolset to include Planning Wand, Reports Wand ,or other software from our suite of purpose-built enterprise tools.
The latest update to Wands (Version 22.2) will be released in Q2 of 2022. In the spirit of constant improvement, insightsoftware has added a range of new features that offer greater productivity and utility.
Let’s look at five reasons you should upgrade to the new version of Wands for SAP.
Reason 1. New Balance Types
SAP users who operate on a non-calendar fiscal year will appreciate the addition of several new balance types in GL Wand. Specifically, we have added a year-to-date (YTD) balance type for the calendar year and a calendar period-to-date balance type. These new balance types offer a new level of flexibility in cases where you require reporting based on calendar dates. A company operating on a 4-5-4 accounting calendar, for example, may wish to develop reports based on specific months or quarters rather than fiscal periods. The new balance types make that process much easier.
For SAP customers, the new balance types work with Classic GL, with SAP’s New GL, and with Cost Center Accounting (CCA) and Profit Center Accounting (PCA).
Reason 2. New Features Enhance Your Team’s Productivity
The team at insightsoftware has added new out-of-the-box report definitions, making it even easier for users to get the information they need.
In this new product release, Reports Wand for SAP now includes advanced search functionality as well. This allows users to search for information based on column names and descriptions. That speeds access to information and accelerates the process of creating new reports.
We have also listened to feedback from customers who asked us to streamline the reporting process. In the past, after creating a new layout and hitting “Save”, users were required to exit and re-open the report to enter parameter values. We have streamlined that workflow so that users can run the report right away, going directly from layout design to parameter input. It’s a seemingly small change, but one that makes a big difference for our end-users.
The latest version of Reports Wand for SAP also allows users to enter information about a report layout, explaining the purpose of the report and the business case it intends to address. This enhances collaboration across your finance team, helping users find the exact information they’re looking for quickly and easily.
Administrators will also appreciate the addition of “usage statistics” for each report layout. They can see at a glance which reports are used routinely, and which have not been accessed in months or years. Reports Wand for SAP provides detailed information about who is using reports, and when.
Reason 3. New Flexibility in Planning Wand
Planning Wand for SAP has received some functional upgrades as well. Specifically, we have added some new fields that offer greater flexibility in the planning process. For the “Load Activity Output” function, for example, insightsoftware has added an “Equivalent Number” field that enables planners to apply a weighting factor to specific activities within a cost center. This is an example of the kind of feature that emerges from our commitment to listen to our customers and attend to their detailed needs as we continue to improve our products.
Reason 4. Technical Upgrades
We have also transitioned the Wands for SAP products to Java 17. Although some end-users may not be aware of the underlying technical details, they will nevertheless appreciate the performance improvements that come with this upgrade. In addition, the move to Java 17 ensures long-term supportability and compatibility with our customers’ evolving technology landscapes. The IT department will appreciate the security enhancements that come along with the move to the Java 17 platform.
Reason 5. It’s Free to Existing Wands Customers
Perhaps best of all, upgrading to the new version of GL Wand, Reports Wand, or Planning Wand is free to customers who already own those products. If your company’s support and maintenance contract with insightsoftware is current, you can benefit from these enhancements at no additional cost.
To get started, we recommend contacting your ERP system administrator. For customers running SAP systems, for example, the SAP BASIS administrator can download and install the software in less than an hour. If your SAP system is hosted by a third party, you may need to work with your cloud hosting provider to schedule the upgrade in advance. In any case, we have made the process of upgrading to the new version simple and painless.
While you’re at it, this may also be a good time to step back and assess your reporting needs as a whole. Companies running GL Wand may benefit from extending that solution into planning or general-purpose reporting.
We often see other opportunities to streamline and rationalize reporting and planning processes. Many companies, for example, struggle to consolidate and harmonize data from multiple IT systems, including ERP, CRM, and others. As a leader in reporting, budgeting, financial planning and analysis (FP&A), and equity management solutions, insightsoftware offers a wide range of products to meet the needs of virtually any business.
If your organization is running multiple ERPs, for example, you may be able to benefit from using Spreadsheet Server, which offers out-of-the-box integration with over 140 different accounting and ERP software systems.