Exploring the value-add of advanced technology for your finance organisation

Oct 20, 2021
  • finance
  • SAP
  • Microsoft

You might have heard a lot about new technologies like the next-gen ERP systems of SAP and Microsoft, which have the potential to revolutionise the finance team. Yet, how exactly can these new technologies help improve the finance processes and add value to an organisation? Hear from our in-house finance experts as share their approach.

While new technology like SAP S/4HANA and Microsoft Dynamics 365 tout their many benefits to users, their suitability can differ significantly from different organisations and businesses. The first step is to identify the added value that you want to achieve and map out how adopting the new tech can help you reach your business goals before embarking upon your digital transformation journey,  

Identifying the added values

Finance process optimisation can offer a host of benefits across an organisation. While many companies largely interpret added values as increased efficiency or process optimisation, advanced technology can enhance the user experience (UX) while taking finance control to the next level. The benefits are:

Optimising processes

Introducing standardised processes and new technology that drives productivity helps boost the effectiveness of business processes and makes your business smarter.

Automating processes

Today’s technology, such as analytics that ensures real-time insights, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and collaboration tools, converts manual processes into automated processes. In addition, new functionalities and modules become available. 

Next-level finance/controlling

Every organisation is subject to change, as is its business model. The introduction of new technology is a perfect moment to reflect on existing finance and controlling models. Technology software take (integrated) controlling to new levels, with significant potential to increase business value while reducing (reconciliation) efforts. 

Effortless user experience (UX)

An optimised user experience (UX) can make day-to-day operations easier for users. Users will be more engaged, reducing human errors while also cutting down on user training. 

Three steps to building your business case

Based on many years of experience with finance processes and deep-rooted familiarity with SAP and Microsoft technology, our in-house finance experts have developed a pragmatic approach to help you understand how SAP S/4HANA or Microsoft 365 can change the way you operate. 

In this business optimisation journey, delaware pinpoints the constraints of your existing ERP system and identifies and prioritises opportunities within your existing as well as your future business processes. To achieve the required insights,

  • we assess your business performance 
  • we perform a root-cause analysis, specifying what processes you could improve in order to generate business value. 
  • we map your existing applications and their functionalities against SAP S/4HANA and Microsoft 365 
  • we perform a cost/benefit analysis 

This exercise follows a three-phase approach: discover, capture and orient. During each phase, we consider the process domains that impact or are impacted by the finance organisation. This way, we can reveal the potential to synchronise benefits across different (end-to-end) processes: 

1. Discover

The ‘discover’ phase focuses on understanding your business objectives and activities, your organisation and the ambition of the CFO office. We use delaware’s ‘Finance Digital Transformation Roadmap’ and a process heatmap based on a Process Classification Framework (PFC) to collect this information. The goal of this phase is to functionally define the scope of the transformation for each of the finance business domains, including an overview of possible areas for improvement – which will then be discussed in more detail in the ‘capture’ phase. 

2. Capture

In the ‘capture’ phase, we dive deeper into the pain points, comparing these with previously defined opportunities, process efficiency gains and ambitions. Where possible, this step is underpinned with data.

3. Orient

During the ‘orient’ phase, we identify how to embrace business optimisation opportunities (people – process – systems – organisation) and document how new technology can help to achieve them.