SAP Simple Finance

User Experience

June 20, 2014

Today’s global economic environment is filled with complexity, risk and volatility. Managing and leveraging information has become a vital competitive tool for the success and longevity of any business. Over the years, complicated regulatory requirements and globalization impacts have forced businesses to burn up significant resources in order to manage information.

Finance team members play a major role in this time of change as they are responsible for collecting, processing and reporting the information for the entire organization. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been easy for finance teams due to the versatile nature of the fundamental processes and policies. Furthermore, the analysis tools and systems have been limited in their technical capabilities and didn’t provide the users with the freedom to keep up with today’s changing needs. Finally, companies are also looking for every possible way to reduce cost and manage resources more competently in order to focus on value-added activities.

When it comes to innovation, it hasn’t been very easy to simplify and optimize the finance processes.

SAP Simple Finance solves this challenge.

Simple Finance substantially reduces the way we conduct and manage finance processes while enhancing the underlying controls and improvements for finance. As noted by Mr. Fink, Senior Vice President, Office of the CFO solutions during the SAP Sapphire 2014 show floor interview — simple finance is a co-innovation solution created by SAP and a number of customers to do what wasn’t possible before such as analyzing data in 16 different dimensions in real time.

Watch this video from SAP Sapphire 2014 event.

Here are the top 4 reasons why you’ll love simple finance.

1- Swift user-adoption with easy UX (Fiori apps)

I have worked as an SAP consultant serving the finance community for many years and I have personally witnessed the overwhelming workload of finance users. Most of this workload is created by other departments, global teams and executives who want fast & reliable information without having to learn complex technologies. This is because many users utilize SAP with standard GUI interface resulting in higher complexity, change management cost and wasteful efforts for business users.

Simple finance solves this challenge with Fiori UX. Now, you don’t need to “learn how to use the system”.

With simple finance, user can execute the finance tasks in just a few clicks without having to memorize the transaction codes or examine lengthy instruction binders. As noted by Bill McDermott at SAP Sapphire 2014, ” SAP Fiori can take an existing business process from a 10 clicks to a 2 clicks process.”
The new user experience is based on fresh and simple design philosophy. As a result finance users, executives and line of business staff can get their work done faster and easier without having to learn the system. Users become self sufficient.

2- Reduces the overall hardware cost (compression)

The IT landscape today is bursting with redundancies, aggregations, tables, custom coding etc. Simple finance solves this challenge. By using “compression” the underlying database tables are now utilized more resourcefully. This hardware innovation enables customers to store vast sets of information in a much smaller footprint. Reduction in the size of the database usage also reduces the costs of enabling SAP HANA for customers. This creates a remarkable opportunity for customers to adopt HANA.

3- Massively streamlines finance (value added features)

Simple finance contains all of the functions that were available within SAP Finance solutions delivered as part of SAP Business Suite (SAP Business Suite powered by HANA). In addition , it provides the functionalities that were missing in SAP Business Suite such as SAP Financial Performance Management, Ariba Invoice Management, or SAP Cloud for Travel and Expense. With the integration of operational and analytical solutions on one platform, simple finance eliminates the discrepancies & errors between transactional and reporting systems.

According to an SCN blog post, the following business processes are packaged in simple finance.

  • SAP ERP Foundation Extension (financials add-on for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA)
  • Financial Planning and Analysis
  • Accounting and Financial Close
  • Treasury and Financial Risk Management
  • Collaborative Finance Operations
  • Enterprise Risk and Compliance Management

4- Gives you the agility to keep up with change (cloud)

The marketplace today is changing at twisting speed. It’s been hard for companies to keep up with the speed of outside change. Moreover, there are changing industry and geographical needs. Cloud solves this challenge.

Simple finance is based on HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) enabling customers to take advantage of cloud. Those are:

  • Increased speed of innovation
  • Increased ability to manage change
  • Reduced upfront capex
  • Reduced dependency on IT skills

SAP simple finance can be deployed within managed cloud using SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC). Furthermore, the available cloud extensions make it possible for the solution to be integrated with on-premise and with other cloud solutions in the form of hybrid cloud model. This provides immediate value to the customers who wish to integrate simple finance with other SAP line of business cloud applications such as human resources, sales and Ariba network etc.

Technology is evolving at twisting speed. And I strongly believe that simple finance will become a great inspiration and foundation for the future of finance.

Finally, I’d like to tell you that Sodales Solutions has built many finance apps that are based on the same design principals as SAP Fiori. These apps cover various financial tasks and analysis tools related to SAP ERP Financials, SAP Financial Performance Management and SAP Governance Risk and Compliance. All of these applications can be deployed easily on-premise or in the cloud while leveraging your existing IT platforms with rapid &agile approach.

Curious to learn more. Please write to me at I would be happy to hear from you.

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